How To Rock: Fur Ear and Hand Muffs

- By Sarah Wade -

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Whether bona fide or faux, fur is undoubtedly experiencing a renaissance, with accessories being a must this season. Ear muffs and the traditional hand muff should top of every girl’s  winter wish list,  yet many may leave them off, as they’re possibly two of the trickiest seasonal pieces to get just right.

You might think hand muffs faded out in the early 1900’s, but some of the world’s most exquisite brands are incorporating them as essential parts of their winter collections. Fashion a-listers like Sarah Jessica Parker and Rihanna have embraced them too,and of course, Princess Diana, who famously teamed her hand muff with a sleek equestrian style coat.

Now we’re not saying that these appealing items should be always paired together, often they can speak for themselves in varying ensembles. However, if done right, and in matching fur, a complementary duo could take you from heedless to haute in one fell swoop.

Ear Muffs

Left: Prada F/W 11 Right: Alexander Wang F/W 11

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From J Mendel to London’s Caroline Charles, international autumn/winter ready-to-wear shows have been awash with super-cute ear muffs. As the mercury drops, consider making like Miuccia and go for a full-head alternative, complete with chin-strap, as seen at Prada. Even designer du jour Alexander Wang provided an update, using fur on the arms of sunglasses – these covetable items are currently the talk of exclusive ski resorts in Aspen and Courchevel.

Hair & Make-up

As an item of headwear, hair and make-up must be considered when rocking overtly furry ear muffs. Being a statement accessory, ear muffs demand simplicity in the hair stakes. Loose waves or tumbling curls work well, as do sleek straight locks with or without bangs. If your muffs accompany a little action on the slopes a high ponytail can look great, with tendrils left around the face to soften.
Subtle make-up in wintery hues will add to this appealing theme’s tone. Pinched cheeks and lips should be added to pale but neutral eyes with a splash of mascara and perhaps a flick of liner. Minimalism is key, creating a natural glowing look as if one’s taken a brisk walk in the cold.

Team Them With

Be careful not to over complicate – further volume around the neck or shoulders will not work with ear muffs. For a high-end, fashion-forward look, accompanying lines should be sleek and smooth. A versatile product for the city, ear muffs will mix effortlessly with everything from your best wool coat (a coat with oversized lapels will really make an impact!), to your edgiest leather biker jacket. Add a fine cashmere or even jersey scarf to keep the cold out but retain those smooth lines.

Hand Muffs

Left: J. Mendel F/W 11 Right: Alexandre Herchcovitch F/W 11

 

With fur hand muffs, you have the chance to let glamour reign. Think Princess Di on Royal Duty or starlets of the silver screen on a winter red carpet. Whilst a practical accessory to keep your manicured fingers from turning blue, hand muffs ooze old school sophistication and luxury. Many a furrier keep the style in their repertoire, while in recent seasons names including hot Brazilian designer Alexandre Herchcovich have added a variation to their ready-to-wear collections. Better yet, vintage stores across the globe are a veritable treasure trove, with Dr. Zhivago-esque fur accessories just waiting to find their new sartorial home.
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Hair & Make-up
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Now is time to turn on the allure – a myriad of hair styles will suit this luxurious theme.  Again, soft curls or waves compliment, try vintage inspired variations too with a side-parting and even finger waves to frame your face. Alternatively turn this in to an up do, gathering up the lengths of the hair in to a messy low bun at the nape of the neck or to one side. Fancy going all out vintage? Try forties victory curls, tonged and pinned away from the face.   For a vintage inspired face,  use a flick of eye liner on neutral eyes and team with your favorite blood red lipstick – MAC’s Ruby Woo is perfect. Alternatively, a smokey, almond-shaped eye will look fabulous with peachy nude lips. If this overly polished style isn’t quite you, once again adopt the wintery pinched lip and cheek look, with neutral colors and a little bronzer for a glowing, dewy complexion.
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Team It With
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Here’s where you get to have fun. Fur hand muffs work best with feminine layers. From dainty Mary-Janes or booties worn with opaque tights, a skater skirt and your best tailored coat, to killer platforms with cigarette pants and a structured trench – this accessory works best with chic sophistication. There is no limit to ‘dressing up’ either, add a jewelled brooch to your hand muff, try matching the fur with other items and ensure that your fingers within are perfectly groomed and accompanied by cocktail rings galore.
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1. Liska Mink Earmuffs, $377.79
2. Karl Donoghue Shearling & Leather Ear Muffs, $155
3. Ana Konder for ASOS Mongolian Ear Muffs, $145.44
4. Canadian Hats Ear Muffs, $340
5. Juicy Couture Faux Fur Ear Muff Headphones, $41.99
6. Ca4la Fairy Earmuffs, $178
8. Furs New York Fox Barrel Muff, $155
9. ASOS Faux Fur Muffler, $36.36
10. Heals Moscow Faux Fur Muff, $44
11. CW by Carin Wester Anita Faux Fur Bag, $78
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Based just outside London, Sarah Wade is the editor of international trend service MPDClick.com and the eponymous blog Sarah-LeighsStyleFiles.com. Sarah is an advocate of emerging talent, vintage fashion and the arts, while is also a published photographer. You can follow her on Twitter @SarahLeighW    
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Based just outside London, Sarah-Leigh Wade-Bunting is an editor and brand consultant working with trend forecasting organisations and international retailers, specialising in digital media. Sarah-Leigh launched her popular eponymous blog Sarah-LeighsStyleFiles.com in 2009 and is an advocate of emerging talent, vintage fashion and the arts. You can follow her on Twitter @sarah_leigh_b

3 Comments

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