WVW: La Grande Dame/Finale*

And for my final WVW post of 2010, a recreation of an outfit I wore to a Boxing Day soirée…only I wore seriously smoky eyes and  my studded pumps for the actual event. I was having too much fun to shoot a photo that day, and I really wish I had. Sometimes you just can’t nail the same look again.

This is absolutely my favorite outfit of the entire year! Why is it so divine? Oh, the many ways. First, I fell in love with the puff sleeves on this unbelievably comfy top, which I picked up on Christmas Eve. And you know how I love my black. Second, the vintage, double-sided fur stole and muff are not only magnifique in appearance—they were this year’s Christmas gift from my precious husband (he knows wifey well, doesn’t he?).* I find this to be a terrifically serendipitous twist; my city hasn’t had a white Christmas since 1947, and what better for snow than fur?

Finally, the fur pieces were truly the pièce de résistance, because heaters in the tented party I attended were not working and with snow on the ground, you can imagine how cold it was. But I was warm and gloriously chic sans coat, if I do say so myself.

You know what else I discovered? A fur muff is brilliant! This one has a secret zipper pocket inside where I stashed my lippie so I could reapply over the course of the evening without fetching my clutch. Your hands stay warmer because your body heat is trapped in the muff, unlike in thin kid gloves, which always seem to make my fingers colder. And when you need a hand—or both—you just slide the muff up your arm a bit and carry on. I absolutely adore this muff. I imagine that next year, I may add another to my collection. In the meantime, I intend to rock it whenever possible, and I don’t care how pretentious it looks!

*WVW = What V Wore
Gifted vintage fur stole and muff
(thank you Hubby!), Ann Taylor shirt and skirt, Aldo boots.

Guestie on Pretty Shiny Sparkly

Guess what? I’m guesting over on Pretty Shiny Sparkly! Please check it out and show fellow blogger Kristina {@PrttyShnySprkly} some big blog love! Read Being Pretty Shiny & Sparkly – By Grit & Glamour

* It should be noted that Hubby and I are animal lovers. It is our belief that if real fur pieces are already on the market, they SHOULD be worn and used, lest the loss of life required to procure the pelt be completely in vain. Even with PETA and the fur backlash of the late ’80s and ’90s, fur apparel continues to be mass-produced. I do not agree with cruelty to animals on any level. But like many, I also wear leather and eat meat. I don’t know what the “right” answer is, but I think it is far better to treasure a fur item and make use of it than to see it discarded with disdain and know the whole endeavor was for absolutely no good.


  1. You look incredible – you can really pull off fur (I think most women who wear it don’t). Also, this hairstyle truly complements the outfit. Absolutely regal.

  2. AAaw so I deeply understand your crush for this look, this WVW final post of 2010 truly sounds like a “Fashion Apotheosis” Dear V !!! OR How to awake the (haughty) “Fashion Tsarina” who is (majestically) slumbering on you”, AND when through its wide palette of stylish virtualities “Dark Glam” exudes such a strong historical vibrancy . . .
    ps: Happy Holidays to you Dear V !!!

    à Bientôt, Antoine

    1. Thank you Antoine! You know, I actually thought of you when I was shooting these photos. I thought it might be right up your alley. You and I, I think we lean the same way in terms of female archetypes.

      Would you want to use any of these photos on your site?

  3. I love this look!

    I have to admit that before reading the disclaimer at the bottom, I was put off by the fur. I agree with your logic though–if it’s already made and vintage, what’s done is done. I think that’s an ok way to remain ethically sound about it. In this ever changing world, I think consumers just have to take more responsibility for how they purchase goods.

    I really do love this look though! I’m away from the southeast until after new year’s but was very surprised to hear my town got snow too!

    1. Thanks Courtney. I know a lot of people have strong feelings about fur and garments created from animal hides or skins. In reality…and not meaning to sound bitchy…I don’t give a flying fig what anyone thinks. I would never presume to tell someone else what to wear, and I won’t have anyone or any organization tell me what is “appropriate” for me to wear or like. Whether the fur is vintage or new, the deed is done, and not by my hand. I don’t see why others feel the need to judge people because they choose to make use of fur or not. It’s as silly as judging people for being vegetarian or vegan. Or not. We’re all individuals and we all have the right to wear whatever we want…even a meat dress, a la Lady Gaga.

  4. Eeeek! Literally squealed when I spotted this muff (since we were just talking about muffs the other week..)
    Let me say that Hubby did WELL! Two thumbs up.
    You look half Russian Queen, half Furry Samurai in a Winter Setting. Ha! Whatever it is, I love it. I mean, I just can’t help but love that furry fur.

    Fabulous, V!


    1. I KNOW! Can you believe it?! It’s really all because of you! I referenced your vid (with Meghan) below. But I’m going to embed it here too…you inspired me!

      1. This is cool. I completely adore the shops in this video. The headbands, the hats, the stoles. It would be great if I had vintage shops like that in my area.

        I think you look so beautiful in that outfit. The fur collar and the stole make you look like so chic. I agree that if you have real fur you should wear it. I am an animal lover myself and do not approve of cruelty to animals. I inherited real fur from my mother, a fur cashmere cardigan and a beaver coat and I wear them because they are beautiful and both have sentimental value.

        1. Hi JT, thank you! I know…I so wish that shop were near me! I appreciate you sharing your stance on fur too…I’m sure you treasure your pieces, and so you should!

  5. You’re one of two blogs I read where the person seems to have this amazing aura that just amazes me every time I see a photo. You look gorgeous here and i agree with the hair comments above. Also, your stance on fur makes a lot more sense than others I’ve heard. And this is coming from a vegetarian who sometimes supports PETA.

    1. Wow! Thanks, Elle! I’ve never had a comment like yours before. Means a lot to me, on several levels. I’m just kind of equal opportunity, you know? If people are vegetarian, meat-eaters, fur-wearers, anti-leather, tattooed or not, it doesn’t matter to me. As long as they are kind is really all that matters.

  6. Wowwww, you look INCREDIBLE! This is my favorite of your outfits, too! How clever that the muffs have a hidden zipper, too.

    Also, I’m glad you included that note about the vintage fur. I’m a vegetarian, and while I wouldn’t be able to wear fur myself (vintage or otherwise), I think you’ve got absolutely the right attitude – why should pieces that have already been created just be discarded? The animals have already lost their lives, so why let that go in vain? I don’t condone the killing of animals for any reason, but I think it would be an incredible shame to throw away beautiful vintage furs.

    1. Leia, thank you for you comment! I’m always sensitive to the fact that my readers are extremely diverse in their lifestyles and choices. So I am glad you are not the only vegetarian that appreciated my stance, even if it is not one you would take yourself. Just goes to show how blissfully open-minded and supportive you all are.

  7. I’m with you on the fur. Vintage furs, too, often meant a large carnivore lost its life, which is a huge impact on the food chain. So honor that sacrifice by not wasting the item, but, try not to create demand for new deaths. Even when I was vegan, I’d wear leather shoes, because generally animals are not killed solely for leather and if it’s a byproduct of a process it might as well get used rather than wasted.

    1. Cynthia, you, like so many of my wonderful readers, have a very balanced and realistic approach to life and the choices we make. I so appreciate that, and your comment. Thanks for sharing.

  8. You look like Greek (or maybe Russian) royalty. LOVE LOVE LOVE this look, and I love your (and the hubby’s) stance on fur.

    I can see why this is the favorite outfit of the year – words can’t describe how perfect it is! Hubby certainly did very well for Christmas!

    1. Thank you B! I definitely felt like a gazillion bucks in that outfit. Sometimes the planets align and it all comes together just perfectly.

  9. V, I really appreciate that you put a thoughtful disclaimer on fur. I was a vegan for most of my adult life and although no longer am, I think of myself as a conscientious carnivore. Having said that, you are ROCKIN’ the fur!

    I especially love vintage fur, there’s something about the fantasy of its potential history that makes it so glamorous. You embodied it very well:)

  10. V, goodness I am SO jealous of your new muff, especially since it is FUR! Obsessed. It’s gorgeous and you look gorgeous in it! Tell hubby he did a fab job 😉
    This totally reminds me of my childhood when I had a light blue coat with matching ear muffs and a muff lined with white fur. I was probably 3 or 4.

    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, my dear!

    1. Thank you Marissa. Hubby saw your comment!

      Funny, I had a fur coats as a child too. So many of us had (or wanted) fur pieces as little girls…even then we knew they were so glam!

  11. Yowza! Sooo glam! I agree with your stance on vintage/recycled fur vs. new fur pieces. There is a fur trim on the hood of my uber-warm winter parka which I feel a little weird about but I couldn’t resist the coat. It’s making winter so easy…

    Psst…. you are sooo in my top five! 😉

  12. Darling you look AMAZING!! I love the fur stole and the muff is divine! I just received an heirloom mink stole and hat from my mother-in-law and it just so happens I posted it right before click clicking on over to your post!! The fur I received is a family heirloom and I whole-heartedly agree with your stance on fur. Your look is breathtaking and you are beautiful!! Down here in the South a White Christmas is something to be celebrated indeed and you have done so with perfection!
    Happy New Year!!

    1. Thank you Yvonne! I also recently inherited…er…confiscated my mother’s mink stole. For some reason I thought it didn’t fit me. Well it does, and I’m totally going to rock it soon!

      I need to go see yours on your blog.

  13. This looks amazing! The combination of black fur on black with that hairdo is WOW!

    I agree with your stance on fur! I would never buy new fur because I believe that’s encouraging manufacturers but vintage fur should be treasured and appreciated because otherwise it will go to waste.

    1. Hi Rachael, thank you!

      When it comes to fur, new or old, I take the same approach. The deed has been done…I didn’t order it, and unless the government makes it illegal, it doesn’t matter how many of us protest it. The industry will carry on. I’d rather wear and enjoy than see it thrown in the trash. That would really make it all a total waste.

  14. V – You are looking so winter chic here!! Love the whole look and the bun on top of your head is great. Here’s hoping one day my hair is long enough to try that, if I don’t cut it off first. LOL – Katy
    PS Happy New Year. I’m looking forward to a great 2011 as well.

  15. It’s no wonder why this outfit is your favorite. You look stunning! It’s an absolutely classic look, and you wear it so well. I love the muff & the coat is divine. Gorgeous!!!

    Happy New Year!

    Kirstin Marie

  16. You look absolutely amazing! Love these photos and hubby really did nail it with these pressies! I agree with you about vintage fur pieces and also that the whole animal welfare versus use of hides and fur in fashion is a very difficult issue. I also eat meat and wear leather thinking that it makes sense to use the by products of an industry which will never go away and yet I have seen articles making me question this too – arguments that show that it is more the demand for leather goods which is propping up the meat industry, not the other way around. What is the ‘right’ answer?

    1. Veshoevius…thank you. We are in total agreement. I just wrote virtually the same thing a couple comments above. Right now, there is no “right” answer. So we all have to make the one that’s right for US.

  17. You look gorgeous and I think your hair is lovely like that <3.
    I like hearing other people's opinions on fur because it's a debate that's never going to end, isn't it?

    I never commented before but I love your blog and I'm always reading 🙂

    1. Cara, thank you and welcome! I’m so glad you revealed yourself!

      I wanted to leave a comment on your blog but it looks like you have commenting turned off. I’m crazy about those chunky knit snoods/scarves you made! So wish I could do that! One day. I’m going to learn.

    1. Ria, thank you. No, no one ever gives me trouble. I think people are generally terrified of me…which ensures that they mind their own business!

    1. Thank you Jaclyn. Yeah, you know, I always wanted a muff. Actually, there is a story behind this one. Erika (of Style Activist) posted a video she made at what appears to be one of the best vintage shops on earth.

      I actually met Erika and Meghan in person right after they made that video, and I was telling them how much I loved the video, that my hubby and I were watching it and I was CRAZY for the muff. Hubby took note, and there you go…I have my first muff!

  18. I agree with your disclaimer I too am an animal lover; however this is a vintage piece and gorgeous and should be worn, I love your look it is fabulous and I love the Ann Taylor top and skirt!

  19. That fur is much more fantastic than pretentious. My mom finally handed over my grandmother’s mink cape. I love it. I’ve traipsed through super markets and done mundane errand running draped in it. My mom only wore it three times in her entire life. We lived in a very small town and she was very sensitive to the perceived stir it might cause. I think she regrets now not just wearing it. So, I’m planning to wear it every chance that I get!

  20. I love that muffs are making a comeback! I had one as a little girl because I wanted to be a little Victorian age girl like Samantha (yeah – the American girl doll) – lol. On another note, thank you for your well-thought-out disclaimer on fur. I happen to agree with you, but even for those who don’t, I’m sure it’s just nice to read a logical, informed opinion.

    1. Thank you Marissa. Funny, the muff is a little girl fantasy for many of us. And I appreciate that you and others appreciate my statement on fur. I think we should all just wear what we want!

  21. Your coat and muff definitely are the pièce de résistance! I also think you look like Russian royalty, especially with all that snow. Such a divine (not a word I usually use) outfit!

  22. I love the sophistication in your look! And also love this bit ‘and I don’t care how pretentious it looks!’

    It does not look pretentious at ALL !! If looking good and feeling good makes us look pretentious, then please hand me a certificate 😉

    Also, well done for still making the effort to look fab in the snowy weather, here in the UK we have had 2 weeks of snow and I gave up after 3 days 😉


  23. Oh wow, I love every single thing about this outfit – as soon as the page loaded I let out a little squeal of excitement which was, well, kinda embrassing, but it’s just that kind of outfit. Totally agree with the “roaylty” comment too – you look like you’ve stepped right out of a fairytale.

    The fur thing is just so complicated. I don’t wear real fur, but, like you, I eat meat and I wear leather, so I think it would be hypocritical of me to judge anyone else for wearing it. I also think the fact that you’ve obviously thought carefully about it says a lot 🙂

    1. HA! That’s funny. A squeal…I’m definitely honored by that! I almost squealed when I opened my gift and saw the stole and the muff myself.

      I think you have a very level-headed approach to fur…I wish more people did. It just seems like so many rush to judge without really thinking of the big picture, you know? Oh well. We’re on the same page, so thank you!

  24. Vahni,
    I am SUPER jealous of the coat and muff, especially the muff as Ive wanted one for ages and have not managed to procure one just yet! You lucky thing. (also a big well done pat on the back for the Mr.) X

  25. Great post, I’m with Beautifully Inv the first thing that came into my mind was Russian royalty. The boots the coat and the muff all work beautifully against the white backdrop. It’s unfortunate you couldn’t get the boxing day look again, It’s a pain when you get an outfit that works amazingly well then you forget at a later date how you wore it or what you wore certain pieces with. This used to annoy the hell out of me so I started taking photos and building up my own look book, which ended up as a really useful tool.

    I was quite surprised reading the comments that no one had a go at you for wearing fur. I know you posted a reasoning behind why you’re wearing it and it was a valid stance. It’s just a recent poll was posted on IFB and pretty much 90% of the people on there were against wearing fur full stop. I’m quite neutral, I eat meat and wear leather, as long as it’s died from natural causes then it’s all good. One things for sure, you know you’re going to be warm in that baby! I recently saw a documentary about this place in Russia where in winter it gets to -50C people just don’t go out. The residents of the village have to get a mortgage to buy a fur coat as it’s a necessity out there. Just thought I’d post a random fact while I’m at it. I’ll stop rambling now 🙂

  26. Well, well, well! I’m pretty sure if we look “glamorous” up in the dictionary, we are bound to see one of these gorgeous pictures right next to it. You look absolutely stunning.

    On the fur disclaimer, I too own a couple pieces of vintage fur from my grandmother, and I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about wearing them but damn it, I love them so I do. I also eat meat and wear leather so it feels a little hypocritical to turn my nose up at those who choose to wear fur. It’s a complicated issue to which I can only reasonably say “to each his own.” I make it a point not to be judgmental of others.

    anyway, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!

  27. What a wonderful look! And especially lovely that your husband found the furs. I feel the same way about fur – and altho I’ve always leaned towards vegetarian (even as a baby: apparently I just really liked vegetarian baby food while my sister was the carnivore) I haven’t crossed that line: I’ll cook and eat meat. And I’ll wear leather but I’d rather not, but I absolutely feel the same way with either wearing new faux or real vintage and honouring the animal’s life by wearing it.

    I came here because so many people @ FBFF have referred to you today, either in how you respond to comments or your post about switching to WordPress and once I get the courage up, I’m going to follow it! (via Beautifully Invisible). I can see that both of you are just really beautiful women: inside and out.

    1. Hi Jill, thank you! And thanks for popping over to see me.

      I appreciate your stance on fur/leather/meat too. It’s very balanced. I think we all just have to do what is right for us, you know?

      And when/if you decide to do the WP jump, rest assured you’ll have plenty of support with out FBFF group! So many have done it recently, and it’s pretty simple.

  28. GAH! i’m in LOVE! this outfit IS divine, i agree. the muff, the coat, the boots. i totally get what you’re saying about how sometimes you just can’t recreate the same look, but what you’ve got going on in these photos is absolutely breathtaking. and with the cold, snowy scenery behind you… it’s just utter perfection!

    we need to have a gorgeous crown made for you so we can officially title you queen of the blogosphere.

    Full Time Fabulous – Kristy
    twitter: @kristyelena

  29. You look like a real Russian tzarina: the fur, the snow and your beauty…
    What a way to say fairwell to an old year.
    You are fantastic beyond words.
    Have a wonderful 2011.

  30. You look fantastic and I completely agree with you about fur too. I would never buy anything new but I do not see the point in destroying something beautiful that is already in exsistence. I own a couple of pieces of vintage fur which I adore and are the warmest items in my wardrobe! x

    Kittenish Behaviour Blog

  31. These are incredible pieces & superb Christmas present. I was actually just reading a post on fur today. Today, people can acquire Faux furs that are quite lovely with dyes and textures.But, I’m a fan of vintage and have a few fur items from my Grandmother, and recently took them out of the box when I moved. It’s something about vintage fur pieces that I just simply love.

  32. Hi V,

    I am a new follower, but I must say I am loving reading your helpful hints about blogging and being a better blogger. I also like that while you don’t believe in cruelty to animals, you also think that animal products that have been made {like fur} should not go to waste. I feel exactly the same way. It’s horrible to treat animals badly, but you should not disregard what they give to us either. Thanks for sharing your view. I think your muff and stole are beautiful, and if I ever find a set I shall try to give them a good home too.

    bonita of Depict This!

  33. Wow. Dr Zhivago in the best possible way. YOU look ahhhhMAZE-ing! And hat’s off to hubby for picking such per(fur)ect gifts. He has my vote!

    I wish you a wonderful New Year’s and can’t wait to see what the first WVW post of the decade will be.

  34. I absolutely love the muffs V. I am always looking for chic ways to stay warm in Canada and you might just have helped me find an answer. 🙂

    I’m so glad I met you this year V.

    Look forward to hearing from you


    Tashrin from Toronto, Canada

    P.S: don’t forget to enter the $ 45 CSN stores GC giveaway on my blog.

  35. You do rock the muff, Vahni! You don’t look at all pretentious; just joyous with your warm, rich, dashing accessories. I want to put you in an ornate sleigh racing across the snows of Russia, but you’re all cozy with your furs, smoky hot tea in gilded jewel-like porcelain, and some caviar to nibble.

  36. V!! I love the outfit posts with all the snow!!! Thanks for voting on my header!! I am thinking #1 will win!
    I really want a fur muff too! Is that what they are called!?? Sounds funny!
    I hope you have a wonderful NYE and can’t wait to see what is in store for the blogosphere in 2011!!!


  37. V, you look like a Russian Princess with your fur in the snow. I had a very beloved muff as a girl, but haven’t owned one since. Now I’m having a hard time figuring out why I drifted away from this fun accessory, I mean it’s warm and soft and it looks pretty darn stylish here. Hope you are gearing up for a fun New Years Eve celebration. May the next year bring you much happiness and nothing but good things for G&G!

  38. such a gorgeous outfit and a wonderful evocation of the magic of this season…..i especially love the top (i have linebacker shoulders and any extra room really helps) – i can’t seem to find the top on the ann taylor site. could you perhaps point us to a clearer picture of it? curiousity!!

    happy new year!! steph

  39. In absolute LOVE with this look! Everything about it is absolutely flawless. (And I feel tremendously cool because, coincidentally, I just did my hair the same way today. Ha!)

  40. In absolute LOVE with this look! Everything about it is absolutely flawless. (And I feel tremendously cool because, coincidentally, I just did my hair the same way today. Ha!)

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