my new coat… maybe

okay, so my sister (who is vegan except for dairy & eggs, if you catch my drift) called me the other night from the mall. she and i have both been dealing with the "i really need to replace my wool dress coat, oh my GOD why can’t i find anything i like?!?" dilemma, and she happened to stumble upon a pretty good sale. she found a bunch of different faux shearling coats by esprit and jones new york, and they were all on sale for about $50, marked down from $160, $200, and so on. very good deals, for sure.

the problem is, i’m not sure how i feel about faux shearling. my sister was very jazzed; she thought the coats were really cute, and she ended up buying two different ones for herself and she really wanted to buy one for me as well. i hemmed and hawed, and tried to find them on the internet so i could see what she was looking at, and eventually i told her that i’d go to the same store tomorrow (at a location near my house) and check them out for myself.

so i did, and i found a similar selection, although the one she had "picked out" for me wasn’t available in my size. no matter; i found one that was pretty close and it seemed to fit. it’s shorter than i’d like (i was looking for "fingertip length" or so, and this one hits right at the hips), but it’s a deep chocolatey brown, which i love. still, i couldn’t decide about the shearling. is this the same thing as buying faux fur, which i really can’t see myself ever doing? or is this more like buying faux leather shoes, which i do all the time?

i am having a ridiculous debate with myself that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. on the one hand, i don’t want to wear a coat that people might overwhelmingly assume is real shearling. because, no. this is the same reason i wouldn’t wear faux fur, and the same reason i kind of adore all of my purses made out of seatbelts (not to mention my hemp shoes, and my sandals made out of wood and ribbons). i enjoy finding fashionable things that are kind of obviously not made out of animals. but on the other hand, i have several pairs of faux leather shoes, and i would have no qualms buying a faux leather belt. so am i being some kind of weird hypocrite, or what?

in case it helps you decide, here’s a picture of the coat (two links in case one of them dies soon). i can’t find a picture anywhere in chocolate brown, so you’ll have to imagine that part. anyway, right now the coat is hanging in my hallway, waiting to learn of its fate. $50 for a $160 jacket is a good deal regardless, but not so much if i feel weird wearing it.

of course there’s also the problem that i don’t have a scarf or mittens to coordinate with chocolate brown, which has me a bit paralyzed. all of my winter accessories are either black or charcoal grey. sigh.

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11 comments

  1. Go for it! It doesn’t look real, nor does it draw any obvious and immediate connections to animals, unlike fur. I don’t see the problem. That said, I’ve seen some better deals at Burlington Coat Factory lately. Stuff nicer than this for even less.

  2. I think the coat is darling and I understand your reservations about the color but not about the material. I REALLY believe in simplifying one’s wardrobe and a long time ago I read a book called Simplify Your Life. The author says that everything in your closet should go with everything else. So, I’ve picked black. Everything I own goes with black. Unfortunately, I’ve had to pass on some really great chocolate and navy bargains but in the end, it’s so much easier. The material thing is kind of silly. There was a picture of Pamela Anderson in Animal Times and she was wearing faux shearling “ugg” boots and they had the word FAKE studded in rhinestones down the side. I think that you shouldn’t worry about it. It doesn’t look real. And if people say something to you, you can use it to say, “Yes, it is amazing how great fake products are these days. It’s totally unecessary to compromise fashion as a vegan.”

  3. I’d say go for it. It took me forever to find a coat I liked and the one I ended up with actually does have faux fur around the hood. Even that doesn’t bother me, really. It’s quite obviously fake, and I don’t think of it as “fur-like” so much as just, you know, something fuzzy. And I like fuzzy things (as long as they’re acrylic.)

  4. I’d say go for it. It took me forever to find a coat I liked and the one I ended up with actually does have faux fur around the hood. Even that doesn’t bother me, really. It’s quite obviously fake, and I don’t think of it as “fur-like” so much as just, you know, something fuzzy. And I like fuzzy things (as long as they’re acrylic.)

  5. One dollar will solve your problem. I spent $500 on a Marc Jabobs jacket last year. It’s black and sort of crushed-velvety. It was one of two non-animal jackets in the store (I’m in South Florida–not many jackets around most of the year) and I needed something ASAP. I step off the plane at LaGuardia, and people are neering at me. A woman actually asks me if it’s dyed BABY SEAL! I was so not thinking in that direction, and I still don’t when I look at it, yet each time I wear it, I get a comment. UNLESS, I wear my $1 Anti-Fur pin on the lapel. It changes me from a person wearing a jacket to a person wearing a billboard, but it does solve the problem.

  6. You could argue, from the other side, that wearing a great fake leather/wool/fur piece would demonstrate to people who either love those looks or think veganism is “extreme” or “difficult” how accessible it really can be.

  7. You could argue, from the other side, that wearing a great fake leather/wool/fur piece would demonstrate to people who either love those looks or think veganism is “extreme” or “difficult” how accessible it really can be.

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