Ask Avery: All I want fur Christmas
blog by Avery Hartmans • December 07, 2012 @ 9:07am
Now that it’s winter, I’m thinking I want to start wearing some fur (fake, not real). How do I wear it without looking like a pimp or a grandmother?
Not that there’s anything wrong with looking like either of those two things, but I can understand your conundrum. Wearing fur can pose a dilemma, and not just of the ethical kind. It’s not exactly the most understated of materials and you certainly won’t be flying under the radar while wearing something else’s skin — or the synthetic version of it, anyway. Speaking of which, best to stick to faux fur over real: the whole red-paint-splattered look isn’t really in this season.
The biggest challenge when it comes to wearing fur is to make sure it’s not too dressed-up. It’s easy to throw on a fur stole over a ball gown — when and where you’d be wearing that ensemble, I’m actually not too sure — but it’s not quite so easy to wear fur on a casual Friday.
The trick to pulling it off, however, is simpler than you may think. Limit yourself to one fancy item — in this case, fur — and make sure the rest of your outfit is coordinated but dressed down. If the rest of your clothes are too fancy and outlandish, that’s when you start looking like a pimp. Or Cee Lo Green. Although come to think of it, those two things may be synonymous.
Another way to avoid looking like Cee Lo — if you’ve ever seen him or his scary baby hands, you’ll know you should avoid any resemblance — is to choose fur pieces that are fairly neutral in color. Brightly colored furs are so tacky, it hurts to even look at them and they may even kill brain cells, so just avoid them at all costs. Neutral colors and some pastels get my seal of approval, but if you so much as think about buying a teal fur vest, I will haunt you forever.
Top pick: the scarf
Oh, don’t even act surprised, everyone and their mother saw this coming — of course I picked something burgundy. Burgundy (otherwise known as merlot, maroon or wine) is one of the few exceptions I will make to my “no colored fur rule.” Regardless of the fact that no animal found in nature has fur the color of a 12-year-old bottle of pinot noir, a deep red fur scarf can look understated when paired with a tweed or plaid coat, skinny jeans and flats. Plus you’ll feel classy just being able to describe the color of your scarf using wine terms.
Scarf: Target, $15.99
Top pick: the coat
Does a leopard print coat seem impractical? Guess again. A double breasted, finger tip-grazing, slightly boxy jacket is much more versatile than most people think. Paired with leggings, ankle booties and an oversize sweater on lazy days, you’ll be warm and comfortable, but people will still think you have style. Worn with tights and a high-waisted full skirt, you will simultaneously look adorable and possibly like you have no pants on. I’m not saying I encourage that, but I’m not saying I don’t.
Coat: Forever 21, $62.80
Top pick: the sweater
Besides maybe golden retriever puppies, I can’t think of a single thing that looks cuter or cozier than an oversized, fur-collar sweater. A thick, thigh-length cardigan with a plush fur collar looks both decadent and extra warm and is perfect for both chilly winter nights by the fireplace or a holiday party, depending on what you wear it with. Super skinny jeans or coated leggings and thigh-high boots will do for a party, while a pair of cable-knit sweater leggings will keep you warm and toasty for a night in. Honestly, I’m not sure how anyone could look cuter in a fur-collar sweater unless they were actually holding a golden retriever puppy. Better add that to the Christmas list as well.
Sweater: Lord & Taylor, $167.39
Top pick: the booties
It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for a great pair of ankle booties — add fur and I’m sold. A sleek pair of black leather booties gets just the right seasonal touch with the addition of thick black fur and trust me, your ankles have never been this warm. And despite what you may think, these booties can go with just about any outfit you assemble from your winter wardrobe. Pair them with jeans, leggings, tights high socks or bare legs if you’re extra brave — anything goes. And these are especially perfect if you’re into the head-to-toe black look. Mixing and matching materials and fabrics adds another dimension to black on black on black.
Boots: Zappos, $195
Top pick: the vest
Fur vests have been around for a few seasons now and while I’ve never jumped on that bandwagon, I can’t deny that there is something intriguing about a fur vest. Maybe it’s because so many controversial fashion choices are being combined into one item, but I’ve always been a little hesitant. Plus, in my experience, wearing a fur vest typically means you don’t smile a lot and probably threw a Super Sweet 16, so it only adds to my aversion of the things. But when done right, a fur vest can be, at the very, least, practical. Try using it as a layering piece: a thin sweater, a vest and a light jacket on top not only makes you a layering champ, but also means you’re sartorially sneaky. Any jacket you throw on top will automatically look like it has a fur lining. Take that, trust fund princesses.
Top pick: Banana Republic, $125
Photo courtesy of Facebook.