As a little girl, I remember watching my favorite aunt get ready for a night out with her best girlfriends. After carefully primping her hair and face, she would fly down the stairs with sass, take a quick glance in the mirror, and if the season permitted — throw on her floor length, fox fur coat.

I was enamored with her. You couldn’t tell me I didn’t have the flyest auntie on the block when she wore that coat. The way the auburn-colored fur wrapped around her slender frame paired with her favorite red lipstick can only be described as fierce! I always told myself that when I grew up I would have a coat like that of my own. I would also fly down the stairs to check my rouge lips one last time before I hit the town. And most importantly, I would be fierce!

When I became a teenager, I begged my aunt to let me try it on every time I time I went to visit her. Yes, I was too old to play dress-up but I couldn’t help myself. I would walk around her house in the blazing heat of July, delicately stroking the coat as if it were my pet. Meanwhile, she had no central air conditioning. My love of fur only grew as I entered college and started studying textiles. Various colors and styles of fur were a vision of beauty. Since I still couldn’t afford an authentic one, I had to opt for a cheaper faux version, but this did not satiate my need for the real deal. My faux was nice, but the feel was off, the color was off, the weight was off.

I know I may sound like some sadistic animal killer, but I’m truly not. I actually love animals — as contradictory as that may seem. I also really like PETA’s celebrity campaign ads (Taraji P. Henson’s is my favorite), but I still love a beautiful fur coat. By now you are probably comparing me to Cruella de Vil and I completely understand, but have you ever tried one on? Besides, who doesn’t own a leather purse, jacket, or even the interior in a car?! Furthermore, fur was used as clothing, in ancient times, to keep warm during harsh winters! Okay, so now I’m trying to justify my obsession — but you can’t fault me. I love fur!

How do you feel about fur for fashion?

  • Kris

    I love fur and faux fur. Although faux fur is the only thing in my budget right now lol.

  • Bronze

    I love both. But I understand real fur. Living in Cali…40 degrees is ‘blistering cold’ but I once visited Edmonton Canada…..BABY……..I WAS COOOOOOOLD. That was also the first time I tried on a real fur coat. It was heavy but very warm. I say the real problem is with pouching.

    Fur fashion is awesome. Have you seen Naomi Campbell in Dennis Basso. Lord, lord, lord. That man knows how to use fur for haute couture. Fur is such a luxury, designers should only use it for real fashion, not crap.

  • Tiffany W.

    Can’t ride with you on this one. I’m not thug life-ing for PETA either, but this article made me cringe a bit. It reminds me of that one fashion week where Kanye and Amber Rose were prancing around in their furs. I’ve never seen such disgusting, inflated sense of self-importance in my life. Fur is just so unnecessary in this day and age, and my head hit the desk when you brought up that argument. Nah, you lost me there.

  • http://RobbyDoesDallas.com Robby

    I tried on a real fur coat for the first time at a sample sale in November of last year, and it scared the shit out of me (really). It was so heavy and big, I felt like a real animal was draped over me. EW! I get chills just thinking about it…No real fur for me. I live in Tejas anyhow. What I look like?

  • LaTigresse

    Being a canadian, I think fur is practical… I have this vintage mink hat that belonged to my father for more than 25 yrs (he never really wore it, so it is still in a mint condition). I totally love this hat! I get soooo many compliments on it, plus it keeps me warm in winter time.

    Fake fur is fine too tho, I had a hat in fake fur last winter and it didnt have the same feel and didnt look as luxurious! I think fake fur is good for when you don’t have the budget for real, as long as it doesnt look cheap… else the look is gonna be tacky i think.

  • http://twitter.com/quoththeraven_ quoththeraven_

    Fur is so heavy and it makes me feel weird knowing it took a dozen little mammals to make a coat. I think it’s so unnecessary. Plus, the furs in my family go back about 5 generations so they smell funny.

    Full disclosure: I own leather and my car interior is leather, too. I don’t know how I feel about leather yet…

  • Darcy Mayfair

    I think it’s really cool that we’re talking about this issue.

    I stay away from fur (with the exception of one item that I purchased) – especially ever since I learned that much of the fur-trimmed items that are sold here that were made in China are actually made using dog and cat fur. They deliberate mislabel or don’t label the origin of the fur, knowing that most “Western” consumers would NOT buy it if we knew that this was coming from animals that we love as companion animals. What’s more is that these animals are SKINNED ALIVE, and then left to die of shock in excruciating pain WITH NO SKIN ON THEIR BODIES. I saw pictures. I REFUSED to watch the video. That is NOTHING that I want to be a part of. Please at least check the origin (country) of the fur products you buy if you wear fur.

    Listen, I understand the appeal of fur on a visual and tactile level. Designers can do some amazing things with fur, especially as an accent piece (fur trim – I’m not so into wearing big, ostentatious fur coats just to show that you can afford it and someone else can’t. That’s just vanity and there is no artistry in that to me) and it does feel nice. But I’d rather wear my faux fur and if I need that real fur feel, I can adopt a shelter dog and pet him and get all the benefits of the unconditional love that only a pet can give.

    That said, I do own leather and python products. I’m not a vegetarian (although I’m considering not eating red meat), but leather seems different to me because it’s more utilitarian. We make use of every bit of the cow. Fur seems to be an unnecessary extravagance and I don’t think the industry is well-regulated, especially for fur that is hunted, trapped, farmed in certain other countries, which results in a lot of needless cruelty. Last year, I signed a petition supporting the ban on the seal hunt in Canada – you know the one, where they go up on the ice and club baby seals to death and then rip the fur off their bodies in front of the distressed seal mothers? (BTW, you’ve got to be pretty barbaric to bludgeon a baby seal to death – have you seen how cute they are?) Well, we got them to ban the hunt because many countries made it illegal to purchase seal products and with no market, there’s no reason for the massacre. But our victory was short-lived. This year, the Canadian government struck a deal with China to sell them seal meat and other products, so the hunt is back on again. :(

    I have a beautiful Gucci jacket that I bought on sale and admittedly it is trimmed with one of the worst kinds of fur (broadtail) – very beautiful – but a horrible industry for how it is obtained. Although the fur was very much a part of the beauty of the jacket, I would have been happier if it were faux fur. I didn’t buy it because I wanted the fur per se. Still, I find myself wearing it less and less. I love that Karl Lagerfeld’s past F/W collection at Chanel (not this recent one) used only faux fur. I’d love to see more designers take that position, or at least offer more alternatives for people who object to fur for humane reasons.

    Lastly, I really dislike seeing fur coats on little girls. It’s like a part of their innocence dies when they wear this stuff. I think children should be raised with compassion first. Besides, I think if kids spent more time visiting petting zoos and on nature discovery activities, they themselves would not want to wear the little bunny they just pet at the farm. The reason why the Earth is going to hell in a hand basket is that so many of us are so horribly disconnected from green spaces and other living beings that we share this planet with.

  • Darcy Mayfair

    oh damn, *deliberately – y’all know how I hate when i have typos. LOL. (Don’t mind my neurosis :p )

  • Francessa

    This is off topic, but I wish I had boobs like that

  • http://noirmuse.blogspot.com/ caribbelle

    I’ll do vintage fur!

  • She Love

    I don’t like fur. It looks tacky to me, and faux fur looks even worse. I feel bad for the animals, too. Surprisingly, I don’t own anything with animal skin.

  • zy

    nope, sorry, i don’t do fur. i can barely wear leather without feeling guilty for the poor cow that was slaughtered for me to wear it. i don’t eat veal because of poor calf that was force-fed and kept in a too-small pen so they wouldn’t develop muscle strength by walking. i’m trying my damndest to give up chicken (unless it’s free-range) because of the horrible conditions they are kept in on chicken farms. I’m a sucker for animals of all kinds. they feel pain like we do and i cannot with a sound mind, discount their feelings simply because they are not “higher-beings” with that said, i certainly would not be wearing the pelt of an animal skinned, oftentimes alive, simply so i can have the “status” of a fur on my back. no thanks. there are far too many advancements in warm-weather clothing for me to justify buying into that sort of cruelty.

  • minna k.

    Faux all of the way, or possibly hand me down. Same goes with leather. I wear hand me downs, but that is about it. My mother has a vintage fur coat that has lived in her closet for 30 some odd years. Im not sure what type. I have mixed feelings about actually wearing it.

    I visited a flea market here in brooklyn. One of the vendors sold vintage fox stoles WITH THE HEADS ON THEM. Eyes teeth and everything. I felt so sick looking into the faces of those poor little guys. How sick is that?

  • http://www.greaterthanfangirl.com Aubrie

    Interesting argument. I just inherited a genuine mink shawl from my godmom, and I can’t bring myself to wear it. It’s a beautiful shawl, and I do own a leather coat already, so they should both be equally evil. But why, then, am I just fine with wearing the leather, but not the mink?

    It may be because leather comes from domestic cattle, which I’m already used to having for dinner, whereas minks and foxes are adorable wild predatory animals that I can’t easily associate with my daily life. Therefore it just feels wrong to be using their furs. What happens to the rest of them, after their furs are gone?

  • Curlychronicles

    “Besides, who doesn’t own a leather purse, jacket, or even the interior in a car?!”

    I’m a bit perplexed that you don’t know what a vegan is because if you did, you’d know, this group doesn’t own any of the items you mentioned.

    Now that we have that outta the way… if we were living in the times of Native Americans when it was cold as shit, I’d have no problem at all surviving with whatever animal by product resources I needed – buffalo hat n all. But I don’t need it so I don’t utilize it. My main problem with the fur industry is that it’s unnecessary and it’s disrespectful. Our ancestors had a relationship with the land, the animals, and each other.. we have NONE of that anymore and it’s really a shame. I’m not a paint throwing liberal and I don’t knock anyone who not going all out to be completely animal byproduct free because it’s probably impossible but the fur trade is really an unnecessary and cruel business.

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