Archive: Feb 2013

  • 3 Types of Men’s Fur Coats

    The men’s fur coat is a fashion icon that has served as a staple in men’s wardrobes for centuries. Coming to prominence in the late 1800s among trappers and mountain men, the garment took on mass appeal in the 1920s and 30s. And judging from many designers’ current lineups, it is currently experiencing a fashion revival. Here is a brief primer on the fur coat as a fashion item for men, as well as three timeless styles that can be worn every year.

    In the 1920’s the fur coat became a status symbol among men who proudly wanted to show off their wealth and position in the societal hierarchy. This trend continued through the 30’s as furriers refined their use of materials and styles. For instance, between 1929 and 1935, the camel hair coat became a popular garment on university campuses. Today many different types of fur are used, including beaver and raccoon on the value end, and sable or mink on the high end. Each type of fur has its own unique color, texture, and insulating properties.

    While different styles have come and gone, the following three have withstood the test of time, and are guaranteed to help you make a statement in any weather.

    All-Fur Coat

    An all-fur coat is probably the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the words ‘fur coat’. These are typically worn when it is very cold outside because they insulate so well. Due to the naturally full texture of fur, these coats often appear very bulky and may cause the wearer to look larger and more imposing. Typically, the full fur style is considered the boldest.

    Fur-Lined Coat

    If an all fur coat is a little too much for you, it is still possible to take advantage of the luxury of fur by opting for a coat with a fur liner. These coats use fur on the inside and another material (typically wool) to keep the wearer warm with a more casual and conservative style. A shearling coat is a great example of a fur-lined coat, as it features a suede leather exterior and a soft woolly lining. Many of these coats also feature a removable liner so it can be worn in a variety of seasons.

    Fur-Collared Coats

    For the perfect medium between the two, choose a coat with a fur collar. These are very common styles that blend conservative elements with the timelessness and rugged beauty of fur. The benefit of the fur collar is that it can be paired with any material you can imagine. Polar explorers prefer a fur collar or hood with synthetic materials, while denim and wool coats can be updated with fur finishes as well.

    No matter what type of men’s fur coat style works best for your wardrobe, you are bound to find it at Aspen Fashions.

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  • Altering the Sleeves on Fur Coats or Jackets

    For many people, the fur jacket is a symbol of wealth and stately elegance. However, for many of us the high price tag placed on fur garments can be prohibitive. This leads many to seek out used furs that have been donated to thrift shops or consignment stores. Others are fortunate enough to inherit a fur from one of their relatives. In either of these cases, the likelihood that the jacket or coat will be ready to wear is often quite slim. In most cases, the jacket is a poor fit, or has dried out or been attacked by moths after years or months in storage. Here is your guide to altering furs to restore their former glory, or for a completely new redesign.

    When the Coat Does not Fit

    Whether you inherited a coat or found one in a consignment shop, it is likely that the coat will not fit perfectly at first. If the coat is too small, there may not be much you can do save re-purposing the material for a different garment. If the coat is too large, it is not difficult to take the coat in to make it fit your frame perfectly. Whenever altering fur or leather, it helps to have a special leather needle, needle-nose pliers, heavy gauge thread, scissors and a thimble.

    If the coat is slightly long in the sleeves, start by using a seam ripper to remove the hem in each of the sleeves. While wearing the coat, have a friend pin the sleeves up where you want them to fall on your wrist. Finally, straight stitch the hem to keep it in place before using a sewing machine to create a zigzag stitch to establish the new hem.

    If the entire coat is too large, you may be best served by visiting a professional furrier or seamstress who has experience working with fur, as this will likely be a very large project for a layman. If you are sure you want to alter the coat yourself, be sure to use the right tools, and cut the fabric or pelt beneath the fur rather than the fur fibers.

    If the Seams are Coming Apart or Ripping

    It is common to see an older fur jacket with loose seams, or even rips, especially if it has dried out due to being stored improperly. Whenever this is the case, use your fingers to part the fur around the damaged area, and whip stitch the seam or rip back together. You may also want to reinforce the area with a leather patch on the other side of the garment.

    Getting Rid of Mothball Odors

    Nothing is more common than the vintage fur coat whose owner thought they could forego professional storage by storing the garment in their closet at home with nothing but mothballs for protection. If this is the case, place the fur right side up in the sun for 1-2 hours, and then hang it up on a clothesline to allow it to air dry fully. This should remove the mothball odor completely.

    For a complete selection of new women’s shearling coats, check out Aspen Fashions.

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  • How To Prevent Your Fur Coat From Shedding

    When you buy a fur coat, you expect it to last for a long time. After all, it’s a pretty substantial investment. Fur coats can hold onto their value very well, so you want it to remain at a level of quality that is as close to that of its original state as possible. But one of the natural occurrences of owning a fur coat is shedding – it’s inevitable. Just as easily as hair falls out of your head, so it does with a fur coat. However, the good news is there are ways to prevent it from happening so frequently.

    Fur coats are made up of pelts consisting of a top layer of longer, guard hair, and a second layer of shorter under fur, which is closer to the animal’s body and keeps it warm. When a fur coat starts to shed a lot, it could be a sign that the leather underneath the pelt is starting to dry out, allowing the fur to more easily detach. Therefore it’s best to be mindful of where your fur is stored in order for this to be minimized. In order to prevent your fur coat from shedding, take your fur to a furrier for storage during warmer months. They are able to closely monitor and control temperature and humidity in their facilities, which will keep your coat in top condition until the cooler months arrive. If you decide to keep your fur coat at home, do not store it in the basement as temperatures are more susceptible to fluctuate there.

    Have your fur coat cleaned periodically by a furrier in order to make sure it is properly conditioned. This will keep the fur from becoming brittle and dry. Be sure to put in in a cloth bag when taking it to get cleaned. Never use a plastic bag as this can trap in heat and damage the fur. And do not leave the coat hanging in bright light, as again, these conditions dry out the fur.

    One of the easiest things you can do to prevent your fur coat from shedding is to cause as little friction with the coat as possible. If you carry a purse, try not to let it continuously rub against the fur as this induces it to shed. Continuous friction can also cause the fur to wear down. Also refrain from pinning jewelry to the coat or sitting in it for long lengths of time as these activities can crush the fur. And always hang the coat on a broad-shouldered hanger so that it has ample storage space in your closet.

    See Aspen Fashion’s selection of women’s fur coats and mens fur coats.

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