Fur is hot this fall. I’m not talking about the sort of things Richard Burton bought for Elizabeth Taylor, or the coat draped on the naked model in this photo; we are seeing fur accents all over the place, especially fur vests. Is this a look women can actually wear to the office? We decided to talk to some experts.
Fashion blogger Marion Green told The Grindstone:
“Can women wear fur to the office? Yes. Should they? Well…it depends,” she said. ”If you work in a creative field in a big city then fur is not controversial. When I worked in the event industry, fur was commonplace during the winter months. But if you work in an environment that is not as open to trends/fashion statements, then fur is probably best avoided.”
How fashion forward you can be really depends on your industry. If all the women at your office are wearing things from Ann Taylor Loft, then a pair of leather leggings are definitely inappropriate. Likewise if all the women at your office walk around in flats all day, they will probably give you the stink eye for donning a pair of three inch heels.
Last October, Business Insider reported a new trend on Wall Street: leopard print shoes at the office. Apparently they were spotted on multiple women at Goldman Sachs and other firms.
“I think that fur at the office is a dicey proposition,” said Kat Griffin, founder of Corporette. ”At best, it symbolizes that you inherited your grandmother’s fur. At worst, it opens the door to political incorrectness, or it may even be interpreted as a ‘cheap’ look (since so few people wear real fur now, and fake fur never looks great).”
Griffin’s right. Fake fur tends to looks cheap, and usually when it gets wet (think snow), it mats in weird ways, and when it dries it looks worn. Faux fur, real fur, and you know, ethics aside, how can you pull off fur at the office?
“The best way to do fur is with accents — a fur trim on your gloves or your jacket, or even a fur collar,” explained Griffin.
I’ve seen several women on the subway sporting fur vests. They usually pair them with a black pencil skirt, a black sweater, and a black pair of boots. I must say, it is a sleek look, although these women do not appear to be headed for a cubicle.
“A whisper of fur trim on your fall coat is fine,” said Green. ”But an explanation point in the form of a full-fur coat is a bit much and could be perceived negatively by your peers.”
You don’t want to be known as the Cruella de Vil of your office.