How To Avoid A Fashion Faux (Fur) Pas This Season

Liz Doupnik

‘Tis the season to start bundling up. With outdoor skating rinks to hit, windows to shop and holiday spectacles to enjoy, the last thing you want to be is distracted by the freezing weather. As my fellow New Yorkers know only too well, when the weather finally turns, it turns hard and leaves no room for discussion (I mean duh, it is the East Coast — we do everything 100% and then some).

Fur continues to be one of the biggest trends for winter, and whether you’re a full-blown vegan or as carnivorous as Lady Gaga in a meat dress, you need to know what you’re buying:

  1. Check the label: This one is pretty obvious, but typically the tag will say what kind of animal the fur is or it will give you info on the the material or fabrication of the faux-fur.
  2. Look at the back: we suggest you do this with any coats you already own or ones that might be vintage (it could get pretty awkward if a sales clerk catches you cutting and poking your finger around through the lining of a brand-new coat). Just know most fur feels like suede on the inside of the coat. If it’s faux, it will feel more like rough fabric.
  3. (If you’re really desperate) burn some pieces of the fur. We’re pretty sure this goes against our mother’s rule to never play with matches, but hey, it’s your funeral/coat/whatever. Obviously real fur will burn like normal hair (quickly) and faux fur will smoke and may melt if treated with any chemicals. When doubt, cut a small piece off, place it outside in a aluminum pan or dish and light up.

Photo courtesy of PETA

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