The Perfect Fur Coat: Why, What, and How to Buy
Why Should I Buy a Fur Coat?
Fur: it’s a word that evokes strong feelings. For some, fur conjures memories of the Golden Age of Hollywood. The refined glamour of movie mavens from the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s draped themselves in lavish fur coats and stoles. Stars like Joan Crawford, Lena Horne, and Marylyn Monroe are just a few classic celebrities whose styles are still admired to this day.
For others, fur represents the only pragmatic defense against the elements. Humans starting wearing clothing 170,000 years ago, and fur was a necessity for survival. Different cultures from around the globe utilize fur for warmth and protection. In modern times, hunters and nature enthusiasts choose fur as a natural, environmentally responsible choice.
There a new emergence of fur on the runways. In the 90’s and early 2000’s, fur was seen as a bygone relic, but today, over 500 designers use fur in their runway shows and ready to wear collections.
To a new group of social media aficionados, fur is a stylish, fun way to express individuality. Fur is now being worn in new, innovative ways. Fur bomber jackets, fur handbags, and even fur cell phone cases are trends bolstered by social media post, likes, and shares. Fur is now blending the best of both worlds:
“Between our old-world knowledge and the creative young talent we have here, we can figure out how to…make dreams come true.” – Eric Rouskas, furrier in New York City
Why should you buy a fur coat? Because the final barriers to wearing fur have been erased. Fur coats now blend the best of glamour, practicality, fashion, and youth to produce the perfect fashion item.
More women and men are deciding to wear fur coats for these reasons and more. Maybe you’ve always been intrigued by the idea of a fur coat, but have never taken the plunge.
Now is the time to dive into the extraordinary. A fur coat will set you apart from the crowd and leave a lasting impression from the time you walk through the door.
There’s a perfect fur coat for everyone. From svelte and sleek styles to long and dramatic, fur coat designs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Since there are so many styles of fur coats, finding the perfect fur coat for you can feel a little daunting. If this is your first time buying fur or you are in the market for a new fur style, follow these simple step-by-step tips on finding the perfect fur coat for you.
Few items can both impress the fashion elite and wear comfortably for years and years like a luxurious fur coat. Yes, you could always buy a pair of designer shoes, but typically the cute shoes come with a steep price of aching feet and pinching toes. Or you can buy a comfortable, yet ordinary pair of blue jeans.
Real fur blends style and comfort. However, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and this is true with fur imitations. Beware of fake fur while searching for your perfect fur coat. Real fur gives you several benefits over fake furs.
Why Should I Buy Real Fur?
A real fur coat will give you unmatched versatility in your wardrobe. So why should you buy a real fur coat instead of fake fur?
While it may appear buying fake fur is a convenient choice, we advise learning about the difference between real and fake fur to give you insight into what kind of fur is best for your lifestyle and personal tastes.
Cultures from around the world have been incorporating real fur into their daily lives for centuries.
However, beginning in the 20th century, fake furs using synthetic materials and chemicals emerged in the fashion world. Phrases like “faux” or “eco-fleece” were manufactured to imitate the genuine quality of fur.
Real fur is environmentally responsible. From family owned fur farms to local boutiques, real fur is a renewable resource. Fake fur requires non-renewable materials such as plastics and nylon.
“Fast fashion is promoting dependence on foreign oil and exacerbating child-labour issues in the Third World. Given all this, should we not be buying the real deal instead?” – Michael Whelan, American Fur Commission
When a fake fur coat is thrown away, it can sit in a landfill for years since it cannot naturally decompose. On the other hand, real furs can naturally biodegrade after just one year. Long after a fake fur has been discarded, real fur can be restyled to match modern trends.
Genuine fur means quality. From small Midwest furriers to the high fashion runways of Paris, real fur means consistent quality without sacrificing versatility.
What Type of Real Fur Should I Buy?
So, what should you look for when shopping for a fur coat? The rich, global legacy of fur is present in the numerous types and textures available.
When you’re buying any fur item, such as a coat, jacket, or handbag, knowing the different types will help you find the best fur for your needs:
Mink is one of the most popular and sought after furs, ranking at the top alongside chinchilla and sable. A mink fur coat gives the wearer a plush elegant look. Think glamorous Old Hollywood. White mink furs were a particular favorite of stars like Marilyn Monroe and Margaret Lockwood.
Mink is still a top choice for both men and women of all ages. It’s now used for modern styles, but is still a first choice for extravagant, long fur coats.
Mink is a member of the weasel family, and while they can be found in the wild throughout North America, they are mostly ranched at farms. Ranched mink allows for precise breeding, leading to a healthier pelt.
Female mink are smaller which typically means more pelts are necessary to make a coat. However, female minks are famously known for their luxuriously lightweight wear. Male mink pelts still hold considerable value because their dense pelts can be dyed and altered more easily than female mink.
Both male and female mink fur is a spectacular choice for a fur coat. Although light and soft, mink is surprisingly warm and durable, lasting for years with proper care.
Despite its luxury, mink coats come in a wide range of reasonable prices starting around $1,000. For fur coats from famous designers, mink can cost well over $10,000.
Chinchilla is a small animal native to South America. First used by South American Indians, Chinchilla has been a sought-after fur for centuries. Chinchilla is a more rare type of fur and also difficult to work with, so expect a higher price tag for coats and jackets.
The cost of chinchilla also reflects the quality. Chinchilla is one of the most luxurious furs available. Why? Because chinchillas have the highest hair density of any animal. To give you perspective, humans only grow one hair from each follicle, but the average chinchilla can grow 50 to 80 hairs from a single follicle. This translates into 20,000 hairs per square centimeter.
With this dense hair, you may think chinchilla fur is heavy and uncomfortable. The opposite is actually true. Chinchilla is one of the softest furs available. The soft, fluffy texture is a favorite among fur aficionados. Chinchilla fur also shines with a natural pearlescent silver blue tone which complements many fur coat designs.
If you’re new to fur and want to buy a more reasonably priced coat, choose rabbit fur. This type of fur is warm, soft, and easy to wear. Rabbits have medium-length guard hairs so keep in mind that it can shed without proper care. A popular option for rabbit is to shear it for sporty, active looks. Are you planning to wear your fur while skiing or at your cabin? Rabbit is a smart choice for these occasions.
Rabbit fur is also known for its versatility. It’s a popular choice for dyed, sheared, or knitted styles and can even be designed to mimic other more expensive furs like chinchilla.
Rex Rabbit is a special breed that is known to be more luxurious than everyday rabbits. This type of fur originated in France in the early 1900s. Rex Rabbit does not have a significant layer of guardhair so its fur resembles chinchilla or mink.
While these are some of the most popular choices, there are over a dozen types of furs including fox, beaver, raccoon, fox, lynx, coyote, and lamb. To learn more about the different types of furs, the International Fur Federation has a helpful visual guide to several types of furs.
How Should I Buy My Fur Coat?
The best tip for finding your perfect fur coat is to shop around and visit a few different furriers.
A fur coat makes a bold statement so a little preparation goes a long way. Buying a fur coat is the perfect time to be selective. Just because you see a fur coat on sale for a reasonable price doesn’t mean you should rush to make a decision.
Find at least three furriers in your area for you to browse. While large chain department stores do sell fur coats, they normally don’t specialize in fur so they may not be equipped to answer all your specific questions.
When you buy your fur, find a furrier you are comfortable both purchasing and working with in the future. A fur coat is more than a one-time purchase. Real fur requires regular and proper care including cleaning, storage, repair, and somewhere down the road, you may need a fur restyle.
Keep all of these services in mind while shopping for your fur coat. It’s much easier to use one business for all your fur needs throughout your ownership.
Find Your Style
When you’re looking for your perfect fur coat, think about the specific reasons why you want a real fur garment. Do you want to make a fashion statement or are you looking for a more elegant and classic style?
There are no wrong answers to these questions.
If you want to follow current fur fashion trends, look at colorful dyed furs in modern cuts. A benefit to this type of coat is it can be worn during more causal events. Style icons are wearing fur during Sunday brunches or weekday events. For example, you can wear a dark blue short fur jacket with a pair of dark wash jeans and a white blouse.
For more traditional tastes, go with classic fur colors like black, brown, white, or grey in longer silhouettes. These types of fur coats are timelines. Since this type of coat makes a major impact, reserve longer classic furs for special nights to the symphony, opera, or a fine restaurant. You can also wear fur for other special occasions like a winter wedding or gala.
Keep in mind that these guidelines are not set in stone. Fur is now a favorite fabric of many types of people from different backgrounds and ages. There are dozens of ways to incorporate fur into your wardrobe, so let your inner style maven shine through your fur.
Get Up Close and Personal
When you’re looking at a fur coat, look for the classic indicators of quality. To do this, examine the fur closely. Run your hands through the fur on the outside of the coat. It should feel soft and silky whether you rub you along or against the grain.
Real fur feels genuinely soft, while fake fur will feel more synthetic and sticky. Unfortunately, some shops try to pass along faux fur as real. It’s important to know the difference to make sure you’re buying a quality coat with all the benefits of real fur like style and longevity.
You should also look and touch the inside of the coat before purchasing to make sure the stitching and lining are precise.
The furrier should be able to give you detailed information about where the fur originated and where the coat was manufactured. Feel free to ask the sales assistants questions about the coat. The staff should be ready to address any concerns.
Keep in mind designer fur coats are typically a trustworthy indicator of quality. However, there are many quality fur coats available that are not produced by brand names.
Bringing it All Together
The perfect fur coat blends stunning vintage style with modern tastes. It will give you both utility and style. Always imitated but never duplicated, fur is a responsible fashion decision designed to outlast cheap copies.
The perfect fur coat for you may come in mink or chinchilla, short or long, classic or contemporary. Shop boldly for your real fur coat. Contact at least three furriers and ask them about the quality and origin of their furs. Try on several furs to find the best fit to flatter your body shape and lifestyle.