Fur Sure: One of This Season's Hottest Trends

"Un-fur-gettable... that's what you are." Well, those aren't Nat King Cole's exact words, but you get the idea: Anyone '- yes, even you '- can look like a glamazon this fall. Fall is full of fur and shearling. Regardless of how you may feel about it, prepare yourself to see a virtual zoo of fur or fur-trimmed coats, jackets and accessories.

If your immediate reaction is, "I don't have the lifestyle that warrants fur," then think again. Trends are supposed to be fun '- not taken too seriously. While a full-blown fur jacket may not be appropriate for school carpooling duties, why not up your glam quotient, and pair your everyday winter coat with a faux or real fur scarf? Every fashion trend, no matter how unrealistic it may seem, can be translated into something wearable for everyone. Here's what you need to know.


Do your homework

. The stores will be packed with fur and shearling galore, that we can promise you. Rather than have a pushy salesperson sweet talk you into a purchase that you aren't comfortable with, browse Websites and magazines to get an idea of what you are looking for and what you want to spend before you go shopping. Bring printouts and magazine pages to remind yourself of what you need. It's very easy to get carried away and overwhelmed when you go shopping, especially when your choices are endless.


Buying faux fuzz

. If wearing authentic animal makes you uncomfortable, or if it is too expensive, then go for faux. Unless you are related to Fred the furrier, you probably won't be able to tell the difference in the look or touch of it '- and nobody else will either. All you know is that it's warm, it's cozy, and it makes you feel like a million bucks. Bebe.com has soft and sexy faux fur and faux shearling jackets for as little as $119.


Splurging on the real deal

. If your motto for the season is "think mink," and you don't mean the fake kind, then so be it. But you might be wearing it to the early bird special for a looooong time before you recover from the cost. The opening price for a mink jacket starts at about $2,500 and goes up from there. Raccoon jackets can run upwards of $1,500. A fur is a major investment. You will have it for the rest of your life, so research, research, research before you plunk down the dough. A good place to start is FurFashionGuide.com. One last note about real fur '- take care of it! Ask your local dry cleaner or furrier about storing your fur during hot weather to keep it looking new.


Look for the trend in trim

If a full-on fur coat makes you feel a bit too Grizzly Adams, then fur-trimmed clothing and accessories are the perfect solution. Sweaters with fur collars for example are all the rage this season. They offer the chic look of fur without going overboard. Additionally, sweaters can be worn indoors and outdoors so you get more bang for your buck. Same goes for fur- and shearling-trimmed bags, boots, jackets and hats. SaksFifthAvenue.com has an amazing selection of all of the above.


Fur -- it isn't just for evening anymore

Wearing fur shouldn't be limited to evening galas and dressy affairs. As with the rest of the fall trends, dressing up is in style again. Or in this case, don't be afraid to mix high with low. In other words, you can wear a fur jacket with khakis and tennis shoes for a casual chic look. Pair a fur vest with a wooly turtleneck, khakis and sporty moccasins for a fall foliage weekend. It's a shame this cozy trend can't be worn year round.

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