Stole (shawl)
A stole is a lady
The word lady is a polite term for a woman, specifically the female equivalent to, or spouse of, a lord or gentleman, and in many contexts a term for any adult woman...

's shawl
A shawl is a simple item of clothing, loosely worn over the shoulders, upper body and arms, and sometimes also over the head. It is usually a rectangular or square piece of cloth, that is often folded to make a triangle but can also be triangular in shape...

, especially a formal shawl of expensive fabric
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

 used around the shoulders over a party dress or ballgown.

A stole is typically narrower than a shawl, and of simpler construction than a cape
Cape can be used to describe any sleeveless outer garment, such as a poncho, but usually it is a long garment that covers only the back half of the wearer, fastening around the neck. They were common in medieval Europe, especially when combined with a hood in the chaperon, and have had periodic...

; being a length of a quality material, wrapped and carried about the shoulders or arms. Lighter materials such as silk
Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity...

 and chiffon
Chiffon (fabric)
Chiffon, , from the French word for a cloth or rag, is a lightweight, balanced plain-woven sheer fabric woven of alternate S- and Z-twist crepe yarns. The twist in the crepe yarns puckers the fabric slightly in both directions after weaving, giving it some stretch and a slightly rough...

 are simply finished, that is, cropped, hem
To hem a piece of cloth is to sew a cut edge in such a way as to prevent unraveling of the fabric.There are many different styles of hems of varying complexities. The most common hem...

med and bound
Binding (sewing)
In sewing, binding is used as both a noun and a verb to refer to finishing a seam or hem of a garment, usually by rolling or pressing then stitching on an edging or trim ....

; heavier materials such as fur and brocade
Brocade is a class of richly decorative shuttle-woven fabrics, often made in colored silks and with or without gold and silver threads. The name, related to the same root as the word "broccoli," comes from Italian broccato meaning "embossed cloth," originally past participle of the verb broccare...

 are often lined as well.

A stole can also mean a fur
Fur is a synonym for hair, used more in reference to non-human animals, usually mammals; particularly those with extensives body hair coverage. The term is sometimes used to refer to the body hair of an animal as a complete coat, also known as the "pelage". Fur is also used to refer to animal...

 or set of furs, (usually fox
Fox is a common name for many species of omnivorous mammals belonging to the Canidae family. Foxes are small to medium-sized canids , characterized by possessing a long narrow snout, and a bushy tail .Members of about 37 species are referred to as foxes, of which only 12 species actually belong to...

) worn as a stole with a suit
-Garments:*Suit , a set of garments with matching pieces, including at least a coat and trousers**Formal wear, the general terms for clothing suitable for formal social events*Boilersuit, or coverall, a loose-fitting one-piece garment...

 or gown
A gown is a loose outer garment from knee- to full-length worn by men and women in Europe from the early Middle Ages to the 17th century ; later, gown was applied to any woman's garment consisting of a bodice and attached skirt.A long, loosely-fitted gown called a Banyan was worn by men in the 18th...

; the pelage or skin, of a single animal (head included) is generally used with street dress while for formal wear
Formal wear
Formal wear and formal dress are the general terms for clothing suitable for formal social events, such as a wedding, formal garden party or dinner, débutante cotillion, dance, or race...

 a finished length of fur using the skins of more than one animal is used; the word stole stands alone or is used in combination: fur stole, mink stole, the namesake of Dreamlander Mink Stole
Mink Stole
Nancy Paine Stoll better known by the stage name Mink Stole, is an American actress from Baltimore, Maryland. She began her career working for director John Waters, having appeared in all of his feature films to date...

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