Once upon a time, sporting a mink or other luxury fur coat was the hallmark of sartorial success. It told the world that you were chic and fashionable and acquainted with the finer things in life. Then our collective environmental and ethical consciences took over, and wearing fur became a badge of shame for many. However, when you live in a region that regularly experiences Polar Vortexes (yes, another one is on the way this year…) a fur coat or accessory is actually quite practical…and let’s admit it, they are soft and warm and furry and you feel sensuous all wrapped up in luxury. Just writing this I’m having visions of Lara and Yuri in Dr. Zhivago, or Anna and Count Vronsky in a Moscow train station…
There are practical, modern day, alternatives if you seek warmth with a touch of romance tossed into the mix, and they come in the form of faux furs. Faux fur has evolved in the past few years from what one would snobbishly refer to as fake fur. Some of the higher end faux pieces are so good that you have to get up close and personal to tell the difference. And faux fur pieces come in a wide variety of (generally affordable) spots, stripes, and styles. From vests to full length coats, capes to jackets, there is a design and style for everyone.
Whether you choose to be obviously faux with a longer, shaggier, pelt, or make the neighbor wonder in a sheared style, really depends on your personal mission statement. But one of the great factors about faux fur pieces is that they mix and match with a lot of different things already in your closet. A shaggy vest can bring a touch of whimsy and warmth to a pair of jeans, as well as an air of trendy chic to an a-line skirt and silky blouse.
If you’ve never gone faux before, spend some time fondling the merchandise in a store. Discover the fibers that make you feel cozy. The same synthetic can be scratchy in one style and as soft as a baby’s bottom in a different cut. Also decide if machine washable is important to you. Some are – some aren’t. But at least you won’t have to dry store them for the summer months!
Once you are familiar with the fabrics that make you tremble, you can feel more confident shopping on-line. The Zoom feature on an item can be your best friend when perusing on-line merchandise as you can see if the tips of the fur are sharp or blunted.
What I love most about faux fur is that I’m not hurting the environment or contributing to animal cruelty, and I feel like I can be more impulsive with my sartorial choice as it’s really not a huge investment. Maybe my synthetic leopard print driving coat won’t become a legend most, but I can be legendary in my mind just wearing it!
Here is a selection of some of the fun faux fur pieces that are trending in stores these days…