I own a vintage mink fur short-sleeved jacket. It is quite possibly the most objectively beautiful piece in my closet. And I never wear it. I can’t with confidence because I am worried about what people think. There – I said it, and I’m coming clean about my struggle to figure out what to do about the moral meltdown I have over this controversial piece that I find so lovely.
This jacket was a gift from a friend who had worn it well for quite some time. And before that, it belonged to someone else – Karen – whose name is monogrammed in the lining. It really is special.
I’m not looking to sound off on the way that fur apparel is made. Trust me, I’ve read a lot about this over the last few days. My struggle is that, in spite of learning what I’ve learned and knowing what I know, I am still attracted to this jacket.
Here are the questions – some legitimate, some embarrassingly silly – that run through my head whenever I look longingly at this piece:
- Am I a terrible person for wearing this item for which many creatures died (and probably inhumanely)?
- Will someone attack me with spray paint? Or say something horrible about my character that will hurt my feelings?
- Does the fact that’s it’s vintage make it okay?
- If someone doesn’t read my blog but just looks at the pictures, am I okay with them potentially thinking I bought this piece brand new? And am I thereby demonstrating demand to buyers and clothing lines?
- How is this any different than the leather shoes, handbags, shirts, tops, and jackets I own?
- My man supports almost all of my outfits – he does not support this piece because he does not support fur. Should I respect that?
- My sister is vegan, and I was for a while, too. Because of her practices, she does not wear fur. Should I not wear fur in solidarity?
I went to two sources I trust to ask their opinions – my two favorite bloggers and culturalistas – Lani Love (DJ Lani Love, Sugar Rock Catwalk) and Nikia Jefferson (Chitown Fashionista). Both of these fashion trendsetters said – Yes. Wear it.
NIKIA: “I personally don’t see anything wrong with wearing vintage fur. I was just recently considering buying a vintage fur stole at Randolph Street Market. I have a few faux fur pieces, and although faux fur is starting to look and feel more like real fur, when it comes to warmth, it’s just not the same.
If you love it, you should wear it and wear it with confidence. Sure, people do focus more on the photos than the text [in blogs]. But I think people look to bloggers to discover new ways to wear and style certain things. Just because you have on real fur, doesn’t mean someone can’t recreate the same look with faux fur, if that’s what they prefer.”
LANI: “I’m okay with vintage fur…It would be a shame to let it sit and go to waste. I just don’t buy new fur because it demonstrates demand to buyers and clothing lines.”
Still, I hesitate.
If I can’t muster confidence when I wear something, I do not wear it. And I’m just not there yet with the fur. And chances are, if I’m not there now, I might not be there later.
In the meantime, while I haven’t landed on where I stand on fur, here are the options I am considering for this particular piece:
- Hold onto it for a little while longer.
- Mail it back to Carolyn – who might’ve generously given it to me because she thought I’d become her daughter-in-law one day. I didn’t.
I’ll keep you posted on what I decide.