Should Women Wear Fur To The Office?


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.

Some people found this fashion statement in poor taste, but others agree that so long as the heel height is reasonable, like two inches of reasonable, a bold color or print on a shoe is no big deal.  Of course, this rule does not apply when you’re young and inexperienced at the office.  Experts tend to agree that when you’re the newbie at work, it’s best not to take fashion chances.  And fur at the office is definitely a risk.
For me, the idea of wearing fur triggers images of red paint splattered across coats and naked celebrities posing in ads for PETA.  I think about my vegan friends, and how if I even bought a Marc Jacobs jacket with a fur trim hood they would surely disapprove.  While not everyone is concerned with political correctness, be prepared for a bit of negative feedback if you do choose real fur over faux fur.

“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.

(Photo:  belife2007/Shutterstock)

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    • Greg

      Wear a FULL LENGTH Blue fox or crystal fox and you will be the center of ATTENTION. My wife wears real fur and she get compliments constantly!! People, want to touch the coat especially women. I love real fur and we use it to accent our house decorations, ie: fur bedspread and pillows.

      Wear REAL FUR and don’t worry about the PETA freaks!!!

      • LoverofLife

        Thanks, Greg. I wore a vintage fur coat that my husband purchased for me
        as a Christmas gift, as boy, did I get the stink eye. At work, at the
        grocery store, at the gas station……and I live in one of the coldest
        regions, just -35 below 0 last week. I was mad – what is the stigma
        behind fur?! Is it the perceived cost? I mean it CAN’T be the animals
        life because where I live is a hunting state. Most of the looks were by
        women…..jealousy? Well, that’s what I thought or they were thinking I
        was trying to be better than them? I drive a 1990 Jeep, ok?! I just
        prefer REAL over fake, knock off junk. Someone please enlighten me. In
        reality, I don’t care, I’m strong willed and confident so I don’t care
        if I’, the only one wearing it in the entire state…….I’m gonna ROCK

      • Girls gotta have it!

        I can enlighten you. You are not the worst person in the world for wearing a fur coat. It is mere jealousy that causes people to give you the stink eye or make ignorant comments. In December PETA decided to give homeless people in Detroit, MI real fur coats that people had donated. This is truly hypocritical of them. I have encountered people who would call me an animal killer and i even had one young lady say to me I should be ashamed of myself. I took one look at her shoes and belt and leather jacket and replied “You’ve got to be kidding me!” “Seriously?” . I also explained to her until you concern yourself with the ETHICAL TREATMENT OF HUMAN BEINGS then and only then can you begin to sway people to listen to you. I do not listen to these people and more women and men compliment me on my furs than make snide remarks. I have always worn furs since a little girl, they serve more of a purpose then style, there is no other warmth in blizzard conditions like furs. So to you I say hats off for being confident enough to wear what you like when you like!

    • ClayreHuckstable

      I have been wearing my vintage possum jacket to work this week. I have received compliments on it from my manager and coworkers. I wore my silver fox to church. Only positive comments, no negative comments at all. But at any rate, I don’t care about the naysayers. I love fur, and I will wear fur.