How to wear fur: Our Style Panel shows you 15 ways to try the trend, whether faux, vintage or real
Fur. You can’t mention the word without stirring controversy. Is a fur coat more important than a living animal? For many, wearing fur is a question of ethics. For others, it’s a question of aesthetics. And while valid points exist at both ends of the spectrum, fur has once again become trendy. Following Prada’s bright and quirky statement of candy coloured rabbit tail accessories for Spring 2011, colourful dyed fur re-appeared at Oscar de la Renta, Peter Som and L’Wren Scott for Fall/Winter 2012, not to mention again at both Prada and Miu Miu for Spring 2013.
And while it might be an out-of-bounds option both morally and monetarily for many, we challenged our Style Panel to teach you how to wear fur—real, fake, vintage or otherwise—to make one heck of a statement this season.
Just as we expected, out Style Panelists’ opinions were as varied—from Sandy Joe Karpetz’s “insatiable passion” for vintage fur to Alyssa Lau’s choice to never wear the real thing—as the tips for how to wear fur—from Kayla Short’s simple fur parka trim to Jacquelyn Son’s navy faux-fur cropped jacket from Zara.
Question 35: Whether faux, vintage or real, show us how to wear fur. Read the answers now! »
Or jump to: ALEXANDRA NIKOLAJEV, TORONTO | ALYSSA LAU, EDMONTON | AMY NELSON, CALGARY | BARBARA ANN SOLOMON, TORONTO | CHRISTINA CRAVERO, TORONTO | IVA GRBESIC, TORONTO | JACQUELYN SON, VANCOUVER | JEN TAM, VANCOUVER | KAYLA SHORT, HALIFAX | KRYSTIN LEE, TORONTO | MELANIE MORAIS, EDSON | MO HANDAHU, HALIFAX | SANDY JOE KARPETZ, EDMONTON | STEPHANIE KOCH, KELOWNA | STEPHANIE STERJOVSKI, TORONTO | WHITNEY COSGRAVE, LOS ANGELES
Alyssa Lau, 20
Edmonton | The Ordinary Peoples
I’ve never condoned wearing real fur, because let’s face it, if I were a fox, I wouldn’t want anybody but myself to wear my own skin. Regardless, the look of faux fur is perfect for any outfit. And when I mean any, I mean any (I’ve been wearing my faux fur jacket non-stop to school). What I’ve chosen to do with this challenge is contrast my faux fur jacket with a more boy-ish outfit, thus balancing the somewhat feminine stigma associated with fur coats (when I think fur, I think Cruella and Olsen twins). But like I said before, faux fur can really be used with any outfit.
Alyssa’s wearing: Tee, Easy Money Clothing. Plaid shirt, 2020AVE. Faux fur jacket, Choies. Velvet leggings, Romwe. Boots, Doc Marten.
Krystin Lee, 26
Toronto | Suburban Faux-Pas
I believe faux fur is a fun addition to any wardrobe. Paired appropriately, it can add a certain je ne sais quoi to any ensemble offering a glamorous touch. A major fan of animal print and faux fur, this coat was a must-have from Topshop. I opted to pair it with my new favourite color combo—pink and red—and a neutral pair of pumps so that it really popped.
Krystin’s wearing: Coat, Topshop. Blouse, Esprit. Pants, H&M. Shoes, Zara. Necklace, c/o Luxe Craving. Sunglasses: Karen Walker. Watch, Michael Kors. Bracelets, c/o Gap, J. Crew.
Mo Handahu, 29
Halifax | Curvy Geekery
I love how recent Style Panel challenges are daring me to step out of my comfort zone. Truthfully, my first item of fur was a faux fur purse I made 3 weeks ago. Being the novice fur wearer that I am, I knew I had to start small and opted for a fur collar. I immediately connected with this beautiful piece because of the really pale azure hue that it has. I feel wonderful in this fur collar and I look forward to investing in more. Though this piece is real fur, I’d feel more comfortable in finding faux fur pieces to add some luxe to my closet!
Mo’s wearing: Blouse, thrifted. Blazer, thrifted. Earrings, thrifted. Jeans, Winners. Shoes, The Bay. Fur collar, De Nova at Second Storey.
Jen Tam, 23
Vancouver | Her Waise Choice
Of all the ways there are to wear fur, my favourite, by far, is in the form of a vest. While a full on fur coat is a little bit too intimidating for me, a vest is a happy medium that also happens to be much more versatile; I’ll wear one either under a coat for a subtle peek or over a jacket for lots of texture and to create a whole new look for that piece. I love that they can add warmth and textural interest at the same time, too!
Stephanie Sterjovski, 22
Toronto | Stephanie Sterjovski
I’m a faux fur kind of girl. For a while, I was very hesitant to wear this look, because I didn’t know how I could pull it off. Enter the faux fur vest! I suddenly fell in love with the versatility and the added texture to my outfits. I love mixing it with a sweet chiffon or silk shirt, especially with a printed detail, like polka dots.
Kayla Short, 26
Halifax | Short Presents
More now than ever I think fur is becoming a must have luxe item! Whether it’s a fur coat, vest, or just accents of fur on mittens, scarves or stoles, fur is certainly cropping up everywhere. Whether real, vintage or faux there certainly are plenty of “fur” options out there regardless of your political stance.
Tips for styling fur are simple and similar to knits; because fur is bulky you need to make sure your pieces are proportionate to each other, and your body. To avoid looking like a giant yeti, just choose one bulky (fur) item and then opt for pieces that fit closer to the body, or at least hug your natural waistline and/or hips (like this empire waist on this jacket above). The last thing you want is to lose yourself in all that bulk, so adding fitted items with a great pair heels will help elongate your body.
Kayla’s wearing: Jacket, Pajar. Boots, Vince Camuto. Bag, Christopher Kon. Socks, Ardene. Mittens, Ardene. Scarf, Made by Kayla’s mother.
Iva Grbesic, 37
Toronto | One Chic Mom
I love fur, faux or real. I don’t have many real fur pieces in my closet and manufacturers are making some amazing faux pieces making it affordable to all. For me, fur is best when it is the accent piece or trimming; it takes something nice and makes it extraordinary. That’s why I love this coat. Most women have a few special dresses in their closet and forget to have one amazing coat that compliments those dresses. The dramatic fur collar makes this coat my go to piece for special occasions. It’s been in my closet for 11 years and still looks amazing and has continued to be in style.
Iva’s wearing: Coat, Di Capra. Dress, Banana Republic. Belt, BCBG. Shoes, Jimmy Choo.
Sandy Jo Karpetz, 25
Edmonton | The Pretty Secrets
If there is one thing you should know about me it is my insatiable passion for vintage fur. While I have yet to buy anything first hand in that department, I feel as though it is frowned upon more often than not. The fact of the matter is I live in a climate where fur is just plain sensible. Usually the strangers who give me a hard time about my fur garments are the ones sporting leather goods and have no sense of irony.
I was not always so opinionated on the topic though I realized my disregard of others opinions when I attended an anarchist book fair wearing a massive fur hat and a leather duster with a fur trim collar. I later found out that my friends and I were being referred to as “The Trappers.” With that said, if you want to dip your foot in the furry pond, I suggest starting out small: a pony hair clutch, muskrat mittens, or in this case a tasteful mink stole. Vintage is a wonderful way to make a small investment on something you’re not quite sure is your vibe yet.
Sandy’s wearing: Dress, vintage. Belt, vintage. Mink stole, vintage. Earrings, vintage. Tights, Wolford. Heels, Aerosoles. Purse, vintage Hudson’s Bay Company. Necklace, Sandy’s Mom’s. Lipstick, M.A.C “Diva.”
Jacquelyn Son, 20
Vancouver | Style Worthwhile
Adding a heavy fur coat to any outfit adds that little oomph to top it off. Whenever I wear fur, faux or real, it makes me feel like I’m going to some sophisticated classy event, even if I’m not actually going anywhere special. I wouldn’t wear fur everyday, but it’s nice to throw it on just when I want to feel royal. Balance is the key to a healthy lifestyle, so when I wear a bulky fur coat, it’s important to proportion the rest of the outfit accordingly. A thick fur coat calls for something more fitted inside. Know what works for you and rock the fur.
Jacquelyn’s wearing: Faux fur coat & sweater: Zara. Black jeans, J Brand. Heels, Forever 21.
Whitney Cosgrave, 25
Los Angeles | See Shop Eat Do
I think fur or faux fur has surpassed being just a trend and is here to stay—it’s practical and chic and pairs well with just about anything. I recently picked up this vintage fur stole at a flea market here in LA and I’m obsessed with it. I like to wear it with unexpected pieces, like my silk top in this picture.
Christina Cravero, 27
Toronto | The Style Mogul
Even though I wear both real fur and faux fur, I prefer real fur. Fur is such a controversial subject, and sometimes I never know how to respond when someone asks me if my fur is real. With the knowledge I gained while working at Danier for many years, I’ve learned that not all fur means animal cruelty. With 5 fur coats, which I inherited from my grandmother, and the fur collars and vests I bought while working at Danier, fur has become a staple in my winter wardrobe. My fur vest has to be my favourite staple piece. I love the color scheme since it pairs really well with everything in my wardrobe. Whether it’s left open or belted this long vest has truly made a statement on every outfit I’ve worn it with.
Christina’s wearing: Vest, Danier. Pants, Zara. Top, Danier. Purse, ASOS. Necklace, Winners. Shoes, Aldo. Belt, Danier. Bracelets, Persona, Pandora & Tiffany’s. Sunglasses, Ray Ban.
Melanie Morais, 24
Edson, AB| BornLippy
Wearing faux fur is a great way to elevate virtually any winter outfit. I usually tend to go with faux fur vests since they are budget friendly and come in many style options to easily fit any need. For a more casual look, I’ve been pairing my vest with plaid shirts since I like the contrast and it helps keep me warm in such a cold climate. For a dressier look, I like the idea of the vest being paired with a blouse and skirt or your favourite winter dress to switch it up a bit! The key to remember with wearing a faux fur vest is to not over accessorize since the vest is such a great accessory in itself!
Melanie’s wearing: Faux vest, American Eagle Outfitters. Plaid shirt, Gap. Jeans, Levi’s. Boots, Aldo. Purse, Roots. Sunglasses, Urban Outfitters. Watch, Michael Kors.
Stephanie Koch, 27
Kelowna | Inherited Jeans
I love wearing fur in the fall and winter. Not only is it practical for warmth but it creates a luxurious air to an outfit even if you are doing nothing glamorous at all! My favourite piece this season has been a fur vest which ended up being far more versatile than I first imagined when I saw it on the rack. It’s fun over dresses, long sleeve tees, collared shirts, and even flannel as I discovered. However, my favourite way to wear this piece is over my leather jacket. It adds warmth to a lighter jacket that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to wear due to asinine temperatures, and it’s almost like creating a new item when you bring the two together. Pair with your silk blouse of choice and skinny jeans to balance the volume, and you have a chic yet functional weekend look.
Stephanie’s wearing: Beanie, TNA by Aritzia. Blouse, Wilfred by Aritzia. Jeans, J Brand. Jacket, Joe Fresh. Faux fur vest, Forever 21. Boots, H&M. Sunglasses, Michael Kors. Necklace, Spike The Punch.
Barbara Ann Solomon, 25
Toronto | Barbara Ann’s Style Blog
Fur is one of the most controversial fashion topics that I discuss. Growing up, I never liked anything about it, but recently I found myself attracted to both vintage furs and some of the amazing faux styles that are available. Over the last few years I’ve built up quite a collection, and it wasn’t until I started blogging did I realized how much of my winter wardrobe consisted of fur. I tend to save the vintage pieces for formal occasions and find it easy to style my faux collection to wear daily. I challenge myself to make fur more youthful by wearing it in unexpected ways, like with neon.
Barbara Ann’s wearing: Vest, Kristen Blake. Shirt, Joe Fresh. Bralette, Pink. Pants, Talula Babaton. Heels, Aldo. Belt, H&M. Hat (in hand), Roots. Necklace and Earrings, DIY.
Alexandra Nikolajev, 27
Toronto | I’m a Little
I’m just going to put it out there: I LOVE FUR. I know it’s a hot topic and I’m not here to dispute that, but as the offspring of an elderly Eastern European man, let’s just say fur is in my blood (as is being selfish, I swear). I got my first piece of vintage fur before hitting double digits and while I have yet to ever invest in a brand new piece, I do enjoy a good quality vintage item here and there. But for the everyday, I love to play with faux fur and always find it simple to incorporate in to my winter looks.
Exhibit A: this shirt and skirt combo was easily a look in its own right, but the inclusion of a little faux fur vest action added some standout definition and screamed winter warmth. The best part is faux fur is relatively inexpensive and there are a variety of options for every budget. If you’re looking to experiment with fur: new, vintage or faux, a good quality fur vest would be my best suggestion. Not only does it act as an additional layer during the frigid months, but it can simply spice up your look, day or night. And if all else fails or my reasons aren’t valid enough for you, all I can promise is that you will always feel hot in it.
Alexandra’s wearing: Shirt, Zara. Skirt, Zara. Vest, Winners.