How to buy a fur coat? Expert’s guide to style, size and type

When choosing a fur coat, there are many different things to consider. But whatever direction you take, natural fur is always the warmest choice – but also biodegradable and long-lasting. In fact, a fur coat is a pure example of slow, sustainable fashion.

With sustainability and over-consumption driving buying behavior, we want to make timeless quality choices. Here, we have one great option – the best option – natural, real fur. It’s long lasting, ultra-warm and always in style.

To make your purchase last the changes in fashion, we suggest natural colors and a classic design because non-dyed, natural colored mink or fox are always in style. But for those who love color, why not fit the coat with the color scheme of your wardrobe. If the coat is in your favorite color, you will find use for it.

Additionally there is an option for full-on fur looks. You can find parkas with fur trimming on the inside which makes them equally warm. For example, fox works well as a lining where fur creates a warm atmosphere inside a coat and close to your body. Some parkas are also reversible so that you can choose to wear the fur on the outside, too. Fox looks great also as a trimming in a hood where it also creates a microclimate that guards you from wind.

Fox and Finnraccoon trimming and lining

What furs are out there?

The most used furs are mink, fox and Finnraccoon which are all really durable and warm. However, they look completely different: mink is short-haired while fox and Finnraccoon have long hair. In other words, in a mink coat you can fly under the radar but with a fluffier fox coat, you make more of a statement.

There are other fur types too, for example rabbit, which is the most common. Rabbit fur is more affordable, and the softness might recall plucked mink, but mink is much more durable.
Nowadays, shearling is used a lot, it is very trendy but as we encourage investing in slow fashion – on something you’ll wear for years – we suggest finding a style and color you like with mink or fox.

Yellow and pink fox jackets

What should I look for?

Look for something that brings you joy – this is a purchase that will last decades, so you must feel comfortable with it. Secondly, it’s important to try the coat on to check its wearability. You should also check that it is symmetrical: the color is even, the cut is symmetrical, and the overall look is good throughout the garment – these are the basics to get you started.

The fur should be soft and look nice, not dirty, clumpy, shaggy or uncombed. Just think about your own hair when it’s in good condition. Still, real fur is a natural material and therefore it loses some hair, just like with angora or down products. However, if you pull a little or shake the coat, there shouldn’t be enormous amount of hair loss as that might be a sign of bad quality.

Want lighter or tailormade?

Nowadays fur coats are lighter than they used to be since many alternative techniques have been developed to make the garments less heavy but keeping furs’ warmth and suppleness. These techniques are meant both to optimize the amount of material but also to make the product lighter and more wearable. In the most popular technique, called fox-on-fabric, strips of fur are sewn onto fabric. This way the volume of the fur remains but the weight is lower which makes the coat still warm but easier to wear. Another good technique is the so-called air galloon, which makes fur light, and flexible, while still preserving its warmth.

If you buy a fur coat from an online shop, it’s good to check the return policy. It’s also vital to take good measurements for making sure you are buying the right size. When the garment arrives, open up the package, hang the coat on a hanger and let it breathe for a while so that the fur regains its fluffiness and bounce. Then try it on – and be precise: if you are spending hundreds or thousands of Euros on a coat, make sure it fits and that the fur looks great throughout. If possible, you could have the garment tailormade in which case it will be even more unique and will fit like a dream.

Dark brown classic mink coats

Still thinking of remodeling or buying a vintage coat?

If you have been lucky enough to inherit your granny’s coat, the history and emotions attached to it are precious. No new coat can replace it. If the coat doesn’t fit you or your taste, you could have it remodeled. However, it’s good to keep in mind, that sometimes it might be more expensive to remodel a vintage coat than to buy a new one. The furrier might need a lot of working hours with the old garment to cut, design and sew.

Often people think that it is OK to wear vintage fur but they don’t approve buying a new one. But a fur coat can last for decades – why couldn’t you buy a new coat yourself and then eventually pass it down to your children or grandchildren?

Related articles:
What fur is this? Our guide to fur types

Fur is a functional high-performing material

How to take care of fur to enhance its longevity

Five things to consider when shopping for your first fur coat by Pologeorgis in New York