America’s Oldest Furrier
Est. 1889

So, you have decided you are going to by a fur. This is a big investment. It will probably outlast your car or maybe even 3 or 4 cars. Many people buy a mink coat as their first fur investment, but is mink really the right fur for you? Just as our body type determines what type of clothes will look best and flatter us, the same rules go for a fur. Below you will be able to find information about the types of fur and their characteristics as well as how to select and buy a fur coat or jacket. You want to make sure that this investment is a good one.

Color

Buying A Fur Coat Or JacketMost women have a good idea if they look best in warm shades or cool ones. But fur shopping isn’t quite that simple, even though there are fewer natural shades of fur than there are colors in the rainbow. When choosing dyed furs like bright purples, forest greens and raging red, the usual rules apply. When choosing from the natural beauty of fur, however, the following are some general guidelines:

Blondes are enhanced by brown or pastel mink, by lynx and exotic light shades of mink or fox. They would do well to avoid black mink (which can look harsh), plus silver fox, raccoon and chinchilla (too blue), unless you’re a platinum blonde.

Brunettes dazzle in black or mahogany mink, plus any red or blue shades (depending on your skin tone) of fox, mink or wild fur. Stay away from very light mutation mink or fox, which can look jarring on a brunette if they don’t have a substantial pink or red undertone.

Universal furs are sables and the lamb family — Persian, karakul, broadtail, shearling. Sable, Persian lamb, karakul and broadtail usually come in natural, neutral tones of black and brown, while shearling is almost always dyed. And whatever you do, don’t pick a fur the same color as your hair.

Shape

Quite frankly, it is very easy to pick the wrong fur for your body type and end up looking like a woolly mammoth. Yes, the wrong fur can add unwanted and unflattering inches to your waist and hips. The first rule, no matter what your body type, is never wear a full-fur garment that is too tight or too fitted to your figure. You’ll look like an overstuffed bear.

Petite:

In searching for a long fur jacket or coat, find one that is cut specifically for a petite size. These are made proportionally for petite women with shorter arms and torsos, not just an abbreviated hemline. Often you can get away with regular-sized jackets or waist-cinching short coats, as long as they don’t go below mid-thigh on you and the waist actually hits your waist. Avoid knee-length coats that cut your legs in half. Avoid decorative detail or fussy lines that can be overpowering.

Full-figured:

Believe it or not, it is easier to fit a fur for a woman with a fuller lower half, or pear shape, than it is to fit a woman with an ample bustline. Conventional furrier wisdom says that, when a heavy woman puts on a knee-length swing coat, she virtually disappears and looks like she could be a size eight. If this style works for you, go for it. But sometimes a clean, A-line short coat works just as well in disguising a wide behind if it falls mid-thigh and you have decent legs. And it makes for a more attractive silhouette.

This is the opposite of what you need, however, if you are well-endowed on top but otherwise a regular size. If you put on an A-line coat, the wide line would start from the top and continue all the way down, like a bag. Instead, try a crisp, double-breasted blazer or a belted look that brings in the line at the waist.

Furs definitely are made in large sizes. As with better fashions, however, many times classic fur coats are made roomy, so a size 12 fur often fits a woman with a size 16 dress. Therefore, sometimes a larger woman won’t need to go to a specifically large-size coat if you wear a 16 or smaller. Again, just make sure it doesn’t fit tight.

Also keep in mind for larger sizes, almost never wear a long, full-fur coat made of a long-haired fur such as fox, lynx, raccoon or long-haired beaver. Opt for a sheared fur, leather or fabric coat trimmed with a dramatic long-haired fur collar.

Tall & Thin:

You were made to wear furs. For evening, try a little sable or fox chubby that flies away from a slip of a sexy dress. For day, a long, belted fur robe will add curves to your figure.

Every Occasion

There really isn’t any occasion when you can’t wear fur fashions these days, whether it’s in the yard raking leaves with the kids, keeping cozy at the office or decked out at that awards dinner. The days of the 1980s power suits with matching mink coats might be over, but the new furs definitely fit with more relaxed lifestyles. If in doubt, check this handy guide.

Executive Style

Fur-trimmed cashmere sweaters, fur-trimmed leather or mohair coats, fur ponchos or shawls, twinset fur sweaters

Luncheon Ladies

Broadtail suits, sable jackets, classic minks, chinchilla-trimmed pashmina capes

Evening Flash

Fox chubbies, fur-trimmed leather pant suits, lynx cat coat, detachable fur cuffs, fur legwarmers, fur skirt and tank top

Formal

Major sables, long fox coats, Russian lynx, mink bolero jackets, stoles, chinchilla, broadtail coats

Sport

Fur-lined nylon anorak or duffel coats, fur-trimmed leather jackets, reversible fur vests, fur ponchos

Warm Weather

Fur-trimmed leather or fabric coats or sweaters, accessories, ponchos, lightweight sheared fur jack

Tips & Warnings

  • The price of a fur coat generally depends on workmanship, label, style, and the number and quality of its pelts.
  • Have hesitations or reservations about buying a fur? Consider a warm shearling to see what you have been missing out on.
  • If a new fur is out of your budget look for vintage or previously loved furs. Most furriers will offer on the spot financing as easy as filling out the application.
  • Buy the highest-quality fur that’s within your budget. Choose an outstanding-quality beaver coat over a moderate-quality mink.
  • Leather strips can be inserted to space out fur strips. The finest fur garments have no leather, while less expensive ones contain more.
  • Want to be discrete about wearing fur? Look for a reversible garment that you can easily flip over and wear the fur on the inside. Consider sheared furs -these garments look more like velvet and cashmere even close up.
  • Faux fur is not an alternative. These synthetic fabrics are petroleum-based products that can cost just as much as fur, will not keep you as warm, and harm the environment.