5 Things To Consider When Shopping For Your First Fur Coat
5. Things To Consider When Shopping For Your First Fur Coat
Living in New York, wintery days outnumber warm summery days, so more often than not, you dress for cold weather. Thankfully, this doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice style for comfort. There’s no reason to wear a shapeless parka or layers of bulky sweaters every day to keep warm. Instead, find a pretty, stylish fur coat, jacket or vest to add both texture and versatility to your winter wardrobe. There’s nothing quite like fur to keep you warm and looking chic.
If you’re like most women, purchasing your first fur coat will be the most expensive addition you make to your wardrobe so treat it as an investment. Fur lends timeless appeal to any outfit and adding a fur coat to your wardrobe, if chosen right and treated well, will give you years and years of wear.
The style possibilities are endless. Each year, designers incorporate more mink, fox, sable, lamb and many other furs into their collections. With so many different styles and types of fur to choose from, purchasing your first fur coat can be a daunting task.
So, where to begin?
1. Visit a reputable furrier
Start by visiting a furrier well-versed in the myriad types of fur, skin workings, and manufacturing techniques. An experienced furrier can answer any questions you have and help you decide which type of fur best suits both your budget and lifestyle. A reputable furrier will also carry a wide array of furs, colors, shapes, and styles and will stand behind his merchandise. Established in 1960 by Stanley Pologeorgis, a pioneer in the fur industry, Pologeorgis Furs is world renowned for unparalleled quality and craftsmanship. Now under the stewardship of his son Nick and daughter Joan, this tradition of excellence continues. With each garment bearing their name, the Pologeorgis Family is personally invested in ensuring the highest quality in every garment sold. We, at Pologeorgis, invite you to visit our atelier and showroom and browse our extensive collection. We personally design and manufacture every piece in our collection and offer a full line of ready to wear coats, jackets, vests, and accessories for you to choose from. We can also design a custom one of a kind garment exclusively for you. One of our experienced and knowledgeable furriers will guide you through this process, helping you create your dream coat. We also offer a full suite of cleaning, remodel, repair and storage services, right on premises. If a visit to our showroom is inconvenient, you may view our online collection at www.pologeorgis.com.
2. How will you know if it’s Real fur?
It is easy to tell the difference between a faux fur and a real fur coat if you know what to look for. Do not be afraid to look at and touch the fur. Start by running a hand through the fur. Real fur will feel soft and silky while faux fur, made from petrochemicals, tends to feel rough and synthetic. Real fur has a dense soft underfur beneath the long glossy guard hair. Look closely at the hair. In a real fur, each individual strand of long guard hair will taper to a fine point (unless the fur is sheared and the guard hair has been removed) while the tips of individual strands in a faux fur are blunt since it is manufactured. Next, part the hair at the base of the fur near the skin. If you see a synthetic weave fabric, it is a faux fur. If it is real fur you will see animal skin. Touch it. The skin of a real fur pelt should feel like suede and should give a bit when you apply light pressure. Be sure to look for a designer who sells genuine fur coats. At Pologeorgis Furs, each of our custom fur coats, fur vests, fur jackets and our collection of fur accessories and home décor are handmade using only the finest genuine fur pelts. The easiest way to tell if a fur coat is made of real or faux fur is to inspect underneath the lining. Look in between the lining and the underside of the fur. There you can see if the coat was manufactured out of synthetic material or is made of fur pelts sewn together. If you are still unsure, push a straight pin into the lining of the coat; if it pierces the coat easily, the base is likely synthetic and the fur is fake. However, if it is more difficult to push the pin through the coat, then it is real fur. Check the label of the coat for the country of origin. Each fur coat should have a label, which lists what it is made of and the fur’s country of origin. A fur coat’s quality depends heavily on the origin of the pelts used to make it. The best mink and raccoon skins, for example, come from the United States, the best lynx and sable come from Russia. Also, if you choose a fur coat made from pelts sourced from one of the certified fur auction houses, such as the NAFA, SAGA, KOPENHAGEN, and ALC, you can be sure you are buying a high-quality garment. While the lack of a label may not necessarily mean that the fur is fake, it is a reliable way to learn where the pelts came from and any other materials used in the coat’s manufacture.
3. Which type of fur speaks to you?
Now that you have decided to invest in beautiful, genuine fur, you should consider which type of fur reflects your individuality and best fits your lifestyle and budget. Here’s a quick primer of the furs we most often use in our collection:
Mink: Mink is the fur standard, with the best pieces being lightweight with a dense, soft underfur. Mink can be worked horizontally or vertically, and it is available in natural and dyed colors. Our popular mink styles include an assortment from classic to trendy.
Raccoon: A highly durable option of fur, raccoon consists of a wooly underfur with long guard hairs. It can be dyed, but the natural colors are black and grey.
Rabbit: Often dyed in a variety of fun and beautiful colors, this fur is a medium length and particularly soft. Rabbit pieces can be worked in different ways with knitting and shearing.
Lamb: Several different species of lamb are utilized in our quality products. One example, Swakara, has soft wavy curls and is one of the oldest breeds of domestic sheep globally. Shearling is a Merino lamb which can be worn on the interior or the exterior of the garment. It is either sheared and ironed or short and tightly curled hair. This fur has been at the top of the trends list for the past few seasons.
Sable: Russian sable is highly characterized by its warmth, lightness, and silkiness. The most expensive fur, sable is available in gorgeous shades of golden to dark brown. Ours is sourced from NAFA.
Beaver: Beaver is known for extremely dense underfur and glossy, long guard hair. It is one of the warmest furs and is often dyed and sheared.
Chinchilla: The softest and most delicate fur Pologeorgis offers is chinchilla. The natural shades are black, grey, and white. Yet, it is commonly dyed an assortment of vivid colors.
Goat: This fur is unique in that it is most frequently stenciled or printed with a pattern. Goat is available in either short and thick or long and straight fur. It is soft to the touch and has a natural shine.
Fox: Depending on the species, fox fur can be thick and soft or dense and spikey. It works well in natural or dyed shades. These elements, along with the variety of ways in which it can be worn, making it a popular choice. Types of fox include silver fox, blue fox, arctic fox, and shadow fox.
Coyote: This fur works well in its natural shades of tan, grey, and cream. Coyote is a top choice for durable trims and linings due to its thick underfur and coarse guard hair.
4. Is your fur coat made from full skins or pieces?
Once you have decided you were born to wear mink (or fox or sable or lamb or…) another factor to consider when choosing your fur is whether it is made with full pelts or pieces of pelts sewn together. A fur coat made from full pelts, typically the back and belly of the animal is of higher quality and will cost more than a fur coat made from pieces of fur. A pieced mink is made either wholly or partially of paws, gills, tails and other pieces of mink sewn together. Because it is made from pieces sewn together, creating many seams, a pieced coat may not appear as symmetrical or wear as well as a coat made from full skins. However, a good pieced coat from an experienced furrier can be very attractive and will be much less expensive than a full skinned coat. A well-made pieced coat is a chic alternative to faux fur when real fur would not otherwise fit your budget.
5. How should your fur coat look and fit?
Let the mirror be your guide. You should like what you see and feel. Turn and look at the coat from all angles. If you typically wear a sweater or blazer, bring one to try on with your coat to ensure you’ll be comfortable wearing them together. Your coat should fit well and feel light on your shoulders. The shoulders, sleeve edges, and hem of the coat should fall evenly all around and you should feel the color suits you. The fur should look lustrous and shiny and the natural markings in the fur should be uniform. It should feel soft and silky to the touch and the skins underneath should feel soft and pliable.
We hope this guide helps you choose the perfect fur coat to make you look and feel beautiful for many winters to come. You can visit us at www.pologeorgis.com to view our latest collection.