Shopping: Vintage Fur

Fur coat: vintage, Top: Apt. 9, Jeans: LC Lauren Conrad, Heels: MNG, Clutch: Kate Young for Target, Sunnies: LC Lauren Conrad

This Thanksgiving the temperature dropped suddenly and I finally had the opportunity to break out my favorite coat- my vintage fur.  I love fur for its practicality and have found that vintage or used fur is one of the best ways to stay warm and have a clearer conscience about owning a fur piece.  Many harshly criticize wearing fur, but I have found that it is perhaps the warmest material that one can own.  I tend to buy my fur from vintage dealers or consignment shops, and here are some tips for vintage/used fur shopping:

  1. Check for damage to the pelts – See if there is any breakage or cracking where the pelts are pieced together, paying special attention to the hem and underarm areas.  If pelts are separating from each other they might be able to be reattached via furrier, so this is not an end-all issue.  Also, feel the piece to make sure that it is pliable and bendable.  If it feels stiff or crackly, the pelts are dried out and will most likely fall apart quickly.
  2. Look for missing patches– You need to be detail oriented when looking the piece over because patches of missing fur are not replaceable.  You are looking for damage to the actual pelts themselves here, not just damage to the construction of the piece.  If the piece is too patchy, you should probably pass it up.
  3. Check to see what kind of fur the item is made from– This will affect the pricing of the piece.  For example, fox and mink are worth significantly more than raccoon furs.  If someone is trying to sell you a semi-shabby raccoon coat for $150, move on.  You can do better.
  4. Smell the fur– This may seem odd, but the smell the fur has when you buy it will most likely stay with it for the rest of its life (especially if it’s vintage).  Also, this is a good opportunity to see if you will be allergic to the fur that the item is made of.  Looking great in a fur coat isn’t as fantastic if you have itchy eyes and end up sneezing every two minutes.
  5. Shop during the summer if possible– This is one way to get great deals on furs.  Often, stores are trying to get rid of their stock and will significantly mark down used and vintage furs between May and August.  I bought my fur coat during the summer for just $35 on eBay, and that was its ‘Buy it now’ price.

Note: If you buy a fur online, make sure that it is mailed with 1-day shipping or 2-day shipping.  Exposure to heat can damage a fur by drying out the pelts, and quicker shipping is a way to avoid shortening its life or ruining it.

Happy shopping!

XOXO,

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4 Comments

  1. Whilst it is not particularly politically correct to covet real fur, it does look so nice and looks a million dollars compared to faux fur. – You can just tell the real thing a mile off, and your coat looks stunning.

    I think your reasoning is great – don’t buy it new, but since its already in existence, and its a waste to leave it unused, buy it from a vintage shop .

    I am kind of mixed up about real fur though: I do support the arguments not to use it, but I use leather all the time – and fundamentally its the same argument; just a different animal.
    ah well….

    I like the way you have styled the coat with jeans and a top – looks really cool
    paul

    Reply
    • I know exactly what you mean about wearing real fur! I’ve always stayed away from new fur because it just seems kind of wrong, and I’ve embraced vintage fur because seeing a fur thrown away is just kind of heartbreaking (it’s like the poor thing died for nothing…). I think the key to fur, and even leather, is to make sure that you don’t go overboard. I have my one coat and one scarf, but anything more than that will surely be faux 🙂

      Reply

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