Fur is big right now – most of it is fake – and I totally understand why. Very few people want to purchase an item of clothing that was made from the hide of a fuzzy little animal – myself included. All that animal rights stuff has sure hurt the fur industry! In all seriousness though I would never purchase an authentic fur coat brand new, but at the same time, I can’t stand to see perfectly good fur coats ending up in the trash because women are too afraid of wearing them out in public!
Walk into any second hand clothing store and there are racks of fur coats in perfect condition that no one wants to purchase, but women are more than happy to purchase faux-fur made from petroleum based products!? Something doesn’t add up here? If we truly care about animals and the environment then buying used and making use of what already exists seems far more responsible than buying a brand new, faux-fur coat, made using environment polluting petro-chemicals! On top of all that, a vintage fur jacket will far outlast a brand new fake piece. We have a motto in our household, waste-not want-not, and I think this really applies to buying and wearing vintage. It is more environmentally friendly, the pieces you find have stood the test of time, and they are probably going to last you much longer than a new piece would. My two vintage fur pieces happen to be from my grandmothers; the light brown one from my paternal grandmother and the dark capelette is from my maternal grandmother. Both pieces have been kept in pristine condition over the years, and I am doing my best to keep them that way too. I also love that my light brown one is monogrammed on the inside with my grandmothers initials which also happen to be my initials! (At least before I added my husband’s surname on the end.) I highly recommend asking your grandma if she has any vintage she wants to pass on. 🙂
If grandma doesn’t have anything for you, then a great place to shop vintage is on Etsy, where a simple search for ‘fur coat’ turns up more than 20,000 results both real and faux.
There are hundrends of vintage shops that have congregated in this one online space, which means you can find just about anything you could possibly want. One of my favourite vintage things to buy online are purses, and this vintage Dooney and Bourke piece (see photos) was purchased from a wonderful shop called Bags Babylon, and it is such high quality compared to what Dooney and Bourke produces these days! There are many, many shops that specialize in vintage bags, and a simple look at their star rating, and their number of sales will let you know if they are reputable. You can also ask questions of any seller and they are usually more than happy to give you thorough details on an item. One question that is always worth asking, is if an item has any odours, as it is very hard to get funny smells out of leather!
It is totally worth the effort to preserve your leather goods and fur pieces for the future too. I treat my leather pieces in the spring and fall and occasionally throughout the winter. Many places sell products to keep your leather looking good and lasting well into the future. After all if we are trying to be responsible consumers than we need to take care of what we already own!
Do you have a vintage piece you love, or an opinion on the wearing of fur 😉 let me know in the comments!