Edit Test: Faux Fur

Our editors learn how to feel

Nothing in fashion elicits more polarized opinions than fur. The debate is nuanced (leather doesn’t suffer the same stigma as mink or fox; vintage versus new), and though there is ample room for discussion, we’re saving that for later. What we can say concretely: Fur is expensive as hell and we have holiday plane tickets to buy, so let’s take a closer look at the impostors.

In this case, technology — specifically modacrylic/polyester blend fibers — is an animal’s best friend. That said, not all fake fluff is created equal, and an itchy, cheap coat is no one’s trusty companion. We set out to find the five most delightful pieces you might add to your wardrobe this winter. Winners below.

faux fur!

Softest: Zara Chinchilla Sweatshirt, $80
Three of our editors own this piece and wear it when they don’t mind a day of heavy petting. Random fact: Two of said three have owned a chinchilla (the live, volcanic ash-loving variety) and attest to the integrity of the fur’s softness and its proximity to the real deal.

Most Versatile: Eugenia Kim Collar, $145
The material itself is rabbitesque, but what landed the lapel on our list is its ability to transform an entire closet of jackets and coats. Just drape, change, repeat.

Easiest: French Connection Mika Jacket, $228
The slim-fit monochromatic faux shearling and faux leather jacket lost the softness battle by the narrowest of margins (the furry part is 100 percent polyester). It adds just enough edge and layers well for the outdoor/office transition.

Most Realistic: Helen Moore Swing Cape, $398
The mini cape is a tad difficult to arrange on your shoulders, but the fur is plush and strikingly close to an actual pelt (we did a side-by-side feel test). You’re guaranteed to look glamorous but might need additional warmth on frigid nights.

Raddest: Shrimps Clutch, $325
Technicolor fluff to carry your stuff. The zip pouch nails the candy colored-fur trend with a bit of whimsy and animal-friendly dyed fibers. The British brand also makes bright faux fur coats, but they’re not exactly in the budget (we hope Santa is reading this article).

Photos: Courtesy of Zara; Courtesy of Nasty Gal; Courtesy of French Connection; Courtesy of Helen Moore; Courtesy of Avenue 32