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Faux fur for staying warm in the chill

Faux fur is coming on stronger than ever this season, and it isn’t playing shy. With an emphasis on outerwear, designers are turning out furry, oversized coats that bear more of a resemblance to Muppets (think Cookie Monster) than to traditional fur coats, along with vests and accessories in new textures, wild patterns and brilliant, eye-popping hues. 
At Spirithoods, a hip, faux-fur fashion company based in Los Angeles, co-owner and CEO Latif Hamilton says he thinks people are excited about the “uniqueness and versatility” faux fur affords. Here, fantastical fauxs are the norm inspired by everything from flamingos to unicorns to butterflies. “There’s an infinite array of colorways and compositions that you could never achieve with real fur,” Hamilton says. 
There’s a faux movement at department stores, too. Ali Hilzer, vice president of editorial content for Macy’s fashion office, says the retailer “really went after faux fur this season.”
“I think a lot of people don’t want to wear real fur,” Hilzer says. Besides the more accessible prices, “it looks better than ever.” Macy’s offers faux in virtually every department, from handbags and shoes to outerwear. And, Hilzer says, almost everybody’s getting into the act. “It’s permeating the market, from younger, ‘impulsey’ brands like Rachel Roy and Bar III all the way up to Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren.” 
Faux-fur naysayers should know that fakes — usually made from acrylic  or polyester fibers — have improved over the years. They’re softer, more versatile and prettier. 
“It’s gotten much better,” says Eric Sauma, an owner of Mood Fabrics in the city. “Ten years ago, faux was pretty basic in construction. No one was wearing it or using it, but now there are mills in Korea, Italy and China producing really fine quality.”
Deborah Young, a textile expert and educator in Los Angeles, says the “really tacky” synthetics of the past have been upgraded with better aesthetics. That includes micro-fibers, which are getting better and better at mimicking actual hair, says Kenneth King, a couture eveningwear designer and adjunct professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
It helps that the broader fur trend has shifted into fun territory. “Having something that looks like your mother’s mink is not what we want now,” King says.
One thing faux fur is not faking is warmth. It’s toasty. The thick fabric “traps air, creating an insulating quality,” says Young. “And the fibers themselves are a thermal retainer. They don’t add heat, they just keep heat.” 
A good thing on these frosty days, faux sure. 

Warm ears

Funky, fluffy faux fur earmuffs feature a thin
Photo Credit: Macy’s

Funky, fluffy faux fur earmuffs feature a thin headband that won’t flatten hair, $24 at select Macy’s stores and macys.com 

Muppet power

Oversized, super plush, boxy jackets in three colors
Photo Credit: Saks Fifth Avenue

Oversized, super plush, boxy jackets in three colors are selling like crazy and being compared to Sesame Street characters, which this season, is a good thing. These by Diane von Furstenberg, $598 at select Saks Fifth Avenue and saks.com 

More Muppet power

Muppet power: Oversized, super plush, boxy jackets in
Photo Credit: Saks Fifth Avenue

Oversized, super plush, boxy jackets in three colors are selling like crazy and being compared to Sesame Street characters, which this season, is a good thing. These by Diane von Furstenberg, $598 at select Saks Fifth Avenue and saks.com 

And still more Muppet power

Muppet power: Oversized, super plush, boxy jackets in
Photo Credit: Saks Fifth Avenue

Oversized, super plush, boxy jackets in three colors are selling like crazy and being compared to Sesame Street characters, which this season, is a good thing. These by Diane von Furstenberg, $598 at select Saks Fifth Avenue and saks.com

Flutter fest

Multicolor hooded fur coat moves in the wind
Photo Credit: Spirithoods

Multicolor hooded fur coat moves in the wind and can stop traffic. $259 at spirithoods.com

Go bold

Go bold: In this cushy chevron print coat
Photo Credit: Alice & Olivia

In this cushy chevron print coat in special custom colors, $695 at select Alice & Olivia stores and aliceandolivia.com 

Statement maker

Statement maker: A beaded. embellished collar adds a
Photo Credit: Free People

A beaded. embellished collar adds a touch of glam to this jacket, $398 at freepeople.com 

Roar

Roar: Into winter in this cozy leopard print
Photo Credit: Target

Into winter in this cozy leopard print faux fur topper, $39.99 by A New Day, at select Target stores and target.com 

Cape cool

Cape cool: Dramatic faux fur cape adds instant
Photo Credit: Free People

Dramatic faux fur cape adds instant panache to any wardrobe, $450 at freepeople.com 

Hearts aflutter

Hearts aflutter: This playful heart emblazoned faux fur
Photo Credit: Alice & Olivia

This playful heart emblazoned faux fur has a boxy silo and is an easy topper over most outfits, $795 at select Alice & Olivia stores and aliceandolivia.com 

Show your stripes

Show your stripes: Chevron patchwork faux fur open
Photo Credit: Macy’s

Chevron patchwork faux fur open vest is a versatile piece over almost any outfit, by Bar 111, $119.50 at select Macy’s stores. 

Brooch the subject

Brooch the subject: Cute “creature brooch” adds a
Photo Credit: Banana Republic

Cute “creature brooch” adds a bit of fluff and interest to any outfit, $38 at select Banana Republic stores and bananarepublic.com 

Fancy footwork

Fancy footwork: Slip on some fun with these
Photo Credit: JCPenney

Slip on some fun with these faux fur embellished mules, by Libby Edelman, $24.99 at select JCPenney stores and jcpenney.com

Vested interest

Vested interest: Grey, pink and blue hooded vest
Photo Credit: Spirithoods

Grey, pink and blue hooded vest is a scene stealer and can be worn indoors and out, $179 at spirithoods.com 

Funny bunny

Funny bunny: Fuzzy phone case is clever and
Photo Credit: Free People

Fuzzy phone case is clever and sooo cute, sure to elicit smiles, $58 at freepeople.com 

Magenta magic

Magenta magic: Add a hefty dose of color
Photo Credit: Kohl’s

 Add a hefty dose of color to your coat collection with this saturated shade of pink, $58.50 by k/lab at select Kohl’s stores and kohls.com 

Bag it

Bag it: Soft and sweet faux fur crossbody
Photo Credit: Baublebar

Soft and sweet faux fur crossbody is a statement maker, $64 at baublebar.com 

Feel the teal

Feel the teal: Easy toss on cropped vest
Photo Credit: JC Penney

Easy toss on cropped vest in teal and black is a wardrobe go-to, by Libby Edelman, $44.99 at select JCPenney stores and jcpenney.com 

True blue

True blue: Cozy is cool in this Periwinkle
Photo Credit: J.Crew

Cozy is cool in this Periwinkle blue, super plush faux number, $248 at select J.Crew stores and jcrew.com 

Furry drops

Furry drops: Fun and dramatic earrings feature crystal
Photo Credit: Lord & Taylor

 Fun and dramatic earrings feature crystal studs and faux fur, $68 by Kate Spade New York at select Lord & Taylor stores and lordandtaylor.com 

Howl

Howl: In this unisex black wolf faux fur
Photo Credit: Spirithoods

In this unisex black faux fur that features wolf ears on the hood, $209 at spirithoods.com 

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