Yes, we damn well can.
One of my obsessions this winter season has been fur. Soon into my fervor my mom suggested that we could have one of her fur coats re-cut for a man to wear; ie. for me to wear. But Mother’s coats will one day be my daughter’s coats, if I have one; or my wife’s, if she is lucky enough. So that idea, as appreciated as it was, was vetoed. Now, I have not gone full on into wearing fur. That is, I have not acquired a fur coat, yet. But perhaps something lined in rabbit or with beaver on the outside when the time is right. But I have been making a few small acquisitions. Like many other experiments in style I think the best way to try something is on a small scale, like through accessories. My first venture was to have a custom collar made of coyote fur for a Yigal Azrouel jacket, then I came across a shearling jacket from Paley that I could not in good faith pass on purchasing and most recently I acquired two rabbit fur scarfs from Beretta.
The primary practical benefits of fur are its warmth and softness. However, this is a blog about style so our focus will rest on the style aspect of wearing fur. But first a man has to decide if he has any ethical qualms with wearing fur, and that is for each of you to decide. Aside from the practical, what fur affords the wearer are a few additional benefits. Fur differs in texture from everything else in a man’s wardrobe and there are many types of fur and each has its own texture and feel. Furs also often have volume to them (especially fox and coyote) that is not offered by any textiles that I know of. Fur also comes in a myriad of colors which is a result of the dying process. Although I would stick to the basics as a man (navy, black, brown, burgundy and white). And lastly, and most notably, it is a statement; which depending on how you wear it can be a good or bad thing.
To carry forward along this line of thought; it seems that when a man is seen wearing fur he is classified as a boss, an asshole or both (which would be the ‘bad thing’ mentioned above). There does not seem to be much in between; but there should be. And I think a majority of that gray area rests with wearing fur as an accessory or accentuating item; like a scarf or collar. You know, that whole start small but dream big type of thing. By changing the collar of my jacket from a faux shearling to coyote the entire dynamic of the jacket was changed, for the better. The rabbit fur scarfs offer a total change of pace from the normal adornment around my neck. They do it without making too much of a statement. And damn, they are the softest and warmest things I have ever put around my neck. I don’t know what I’ve been doing wearing wool and cashmere the past few years…
Justin L Jeffers