Restyling Your Old Fur Coat
You purchased a fur coat years ago and wore that thing like it was going out of style. A decade or two later, it did just that. Now it’s covered in plastic (a definite no no!) and hanging in the back of your closet because no one wears floor-length muskrat fur coats anymore … you think? Before you sell it on eBay or donate it to the local costume shop, consider restyling. Depending on the condition of your old coat – and how dramatic of a change you’re looking for – there are plenty of options.
Length: In the late 80s and early 90s, floor grazing coats were in fashion. The longer and more voluminous, the better. In those days, you could count on one hand the number of times you wore a fur coat during the year. Today’s woman wears her fur coat more often. She’s on the go and needs ease of movement and a way to keep it casual. In addition to giving your old coat a versatile fashion update, shortening will also take care of any salt buildup, water damage, or general wear and tear on the bottom. Here a few length options to choose from.
Raise the hem: Taking the hem up to just above the knee gives you a chic walking coat. This keeps the garment slightly more formal while getting rid of the excess bulk or tattered ends. Because most of the length stays, so does the warmth.
Even shorter: For something even shorter and edgier, take the hem up to the hip. This jacket length is versatile and perfect for getting in and out of the car, being on-the-go, etc.
Vests and wraps: Fur vests have come back in style with a vengeance, and it’s not uncommon for a woman to pair a vest with slacks or skirts. Removing the arms and bringing up the hem (or not, if you want something more dramatic) of an older-style fur coat is a simple way to achieve the vest look people are craving this fall. A fur wrap is also an option. Depending on how much fur you have left over after restyling, you may be able to create a scarf, a headband or add fur to trim your accessories – gloves, boots or handbags.
Silhouette: Whether you desire a new look or simply need a new size (depending on how drastic), consider a new silhouette. This can involve anything from nipping the waistline to reducing shoulder fullness to bringing in the neckline. Smaller neck and shoulder lines will help balance out your frame properly. If these elements are too big or drastic, they tend to push the upper body forward. Minimizing them will improve the look of your posture – something no woman will complain about! New silhouettes can also mean new sleeves. While dolman sleeves (think wide arm holes that narrow down to tight wrists) are coming back in style for sweaters and T-shirts, they can look overwhelming on a fur coat. Take the arm holes up for a more fitted look. If the armholes are already high but the sleeves are too baggy, tapering will add a tailored and feminine flare. This keeps the garment modern and adds function as you remove excess fur.
Shearing (left): Shearing can turn a heavy, long fur coat into something lighter, more casual and easier to care for. Shear the whole garment, or leave some length to the collar and sleeves for added effect. Fur liner (right): If you know that your old fur just isn’t meant to be a stylish coat exterior any longer, don’t fret. Turn it into warm lining for a rain coat or leather jacket. You’ll be recycling the fur and end up with a great coat for versatile use.
Something new: Simple embellishments – like new buttons, adding a monogrammed name tag or replacing the zipper with something more modern – can add some detailed pizazz to your old fur coat. Or, converting an old fur garment into lux home decor is another option. Depending on the quality of the fur, your old coat might make the perfect pillow, throw or blanket. So, instead of letting your once incredible garment hang amongst mothballs in the back of your closet, give it an update! Bring it in to York Furrier and work with one of our professional craftsmen. You’ll walk away with a new, modern silhouette and a style that you can wear and enjoy all the time!