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Are Muffs still in fashion?

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Chevaliers Francais De L'Ordre Royal Militaire De St. Louis., Digital ID 826439, New York Public LibraryPerusing the gift wares at the Grand Central Terminal holiday booths, I saw some muffs on offer. This fashion accessory was long in demand. An example of its universal appeal can even be seen in the Digital Gallery: type in “muffs” and 196 illustrations depict men, women, and children with this item. The style had its variations, including exaggerated sizes and decorative additions. The muff wasn’t popular with everyone, however. Many people saw it as an affectation.

Today, most people equate muffs with feminine accessories, especially for picturesque skaters. But there was a time when this fashion was particularly enjoyed by dandyish men. A look at When Men Wore Muffs reveals the history behind the object. I worry, however, that the muff is doomed to extinction in our postmodern world. It is impractical in an age when cell phones and Blackberrys are welded to our hands…

Wait! Jahdid, my colleague who helps me with this blog, tells me that football quaterbacks use muffs, sewn into the waistlines of their uniforms, to warm their hands between plays. However, they aren’t termed muffs, but called “hand warmers.” Interesting, eh?

 

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