Faux Fur Outerwear
Full disclosure: this is not the first time we've suggested cozying up to faux fur vests and jacketsÂ--nor will it be the last! As true WhoWhatWear.com devotees know, we got fired up for la forrure last October, but since there are even more amazing options this season, we had to revisit this wardrobe essential. So what, you may ask, is the difference this year? Well, the fashion industry advanced their faux-tastic efforts and produced sleeker pieces with even more luxurious looks, resulting in loads of sartorially savvy outerwear items. As seen on the runways of trailblazing brands such as Chanel and Marc Jacobs, faux fur has expanded its repertoire from its lowly origins to become a high-concept material with the ability to complement everything from a demure mid-calf skirt for day to a high-impact metallic dress come night.
In order to further examine the evolution of this swanky piece, we'd like to take a closer peek at one of our favorite designers who has a knack for styling the foxy fuzz: Rebecca Taylor. For her F/W 10 collection, the city-girl outfitter sent models down the runway in silk dresses, leather shorts, cropped jackets, tights, and bootsÂ--all accented with leopard print coats or cinched furry vests for an artfully layered look like the one featured today. For the particular ensemble above, Taylor grounded the wispy Sweet Dreams Tuxedo Dress ($350) with a belted Cream Fab Faux Vest ($395), and then toughened up her trademark femininity with the Drake Ruffle Zip Booties ($450). The resulting outfit is simultaneously directional and refined, which is why we could easily see the unfailingly put-together Olivia Palermo wearing it!
So now that you know what we think of faux fur and one wonderful way to wear it, let's move on to the good stuff: the exact items themselves! When it comes to faux fur toppers, we promise that these snazzy selects are items you absolutely must Go Buy Now! You won't want to spend your autumn without these six stylish pieces, so make sure you snap one up soon...
1. Rachel Zoe Pieced Faux Fur Jacket ($141.50) in Red Fox
Any avid watcher of The Rachel Zoe Project knows that the super stylist goes bananas for her furs. So we're thrilled that the mastermind behind the most celebrated red-carpet looks included a few faux pieces in her newest QVC collection, which launches mid-month. And while we'd bet Zoe would pair this vintage-inspired faux red fox jacket (totally channels our grandmothers' closets!) with an equally amaaazing designer gown, we'd also crib notes from Roberto Cavalli's F/W 10 show and wear it with a floaty patina-colored frock for an upscale bohemian night out on the town.
2. Kimchi Blue Lady Bird Faux Fur Coat ($148)
Nearly identical to the covetable coats seen at both Lanvin and Proenza Schouler for F/W 10, this Kimchi Blue feathery fur number is quite a stealÂ--and enticingly versatile. Going to an event where a champagne flute will serve as the night's must-have accessory? Borrow inspiration from Lanvin's runway and pair your Lady Bird with a lace pencil skirt or play up textural contrast with a dazzling, metallic dress. However, if you're looking to push the sartorial envelope, emulate Proenza Schouler's cutting-edge schoolgirls and wear it with a plaid, pleated skirt, thigh highs, and oxblood-hued lips.
3. Anna Sui Checkerboard Long Haired Faux Fur Coat ($832)
Anna Sui has made a career out of fashioning colorful, bohemian clothing and her F/W 10 runway show was no exception to this whimsical rule. This year, the collection was inspired by the American Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th century, and hippie princesses strutted down the catwalk in Art Nouveau patterned tights, bell-sleeved dresses, and bags in a richly autumnal palette. Included in that sea of festive fare was this oversized checkerboard coat from Look 45. Styled with a silky blue dress and black patent knee-high boots, the outfit was texturally sophisticated, yet inherently playful, and spot-on for a Girls' Night Out.
4. Topshop Petit Leopard Fur Coat ($190)
By now, we're sure you're more than aware that leopard is a staple print for fall. Not only has it been spotted on everything from platform booties to cozy scarves, but it also popped up on the Dries van Noten, Gucci, and Rebecca Taylor runways. We particularly admire Topshop's version for its rounded collar and cropped sleeves, which give it a vintage vibe that just purrs for a Bridget Bardot-influenced ensemble. As such, we'd style it with red cropped pants, nude kitten heels, and an of-the-moment cat-eye for a modern iteration of that iconic fifties femme.
5. BB Dakota Ashland Faux Fur Vest ($90)
This toggle-closure vest is a perfect way to dabble in this revamped trend without diving too far inÂ--ideal for anyone feeling a little fuzzy about rocking faux fur. The stud detailing toughens up the wild fur so it has a more urban feel, and we find it to be the perfect hip-hitting length. Try taking a page from Rebecca Taylor's lookbook and wearing it over a long-sleeve silk dress, or leather shorts and suede over-the-knee boots for a fashion-forward date night look.
6. Stella & Jamie Sierra Long Vest ($245, 213.747.0356)
Perhaps our most festive fur of the bunch, this Stella & Jamie hooded vest channels the sophisticated ski bunnies seen at both the Chanel and D&G F/W 10 runway shows. At Chanel, models were clad in abominable snowman-style furs and mukluks all in a muted palette, while D&G had a more colorful take that included red and green Fair Isle prints. For a similar dose of arctic cool, opt for black leather shorts and some opaque tights with this eye-catching outerwear. Just remember, the trick to looking cold-weather chic as opposed to just bunny-hill ready, is to stick with shorter hemlines, like skirts and shorts, and leave the denim to the aprĂ¨s ski crowd at Hotel Jerome.Â--Liza Kaplan