Are you drooling over the mink fur coat that I found at a thrift store for $39.99 that I featured in my last post here?
Are you now thinking about going thrifting to hunt down your own fur coat? What should you look for?
OMG. When I googled “what to look for when buying a fur coat,” I found half a dozen articles – all long & confusing. When you’re at a thrift store or resale shop, it’s not like you’re making a HUGE investment, and you just want to know 5 quick & easy tips – who wants to read an encyclopedia – right? So, here are my
5 Quick Tips: What To Look For When Buying a Thrifted/Used Fur Coat
- Cleanliness – is the fur soft & clean? If it’s sticky or matted the previous owner didn’t take good care of the coat – and there will likely be other problems – see below.
- Look for holes in the seams – especially the underarms, the top of the shoulders and around the pockets – if there are pockets. Those are the spots where holes in the seams are most likely to happen.
- Look for “bald spots” in the fur. These are areas where the fur may have been rubbed consistently and may have caused it to “go bald.” The most common areas are the elbows, under the arms, the top of the shoulder (from a purse strap), and if there is a belt on the fur, the area where the belt would be tied. These are areas that get the most wear/tear/rubbing.
- Check for shedding. If you’re at a thrift store, use a shirt in a contrasting color to rub on the shirt. For instance, since my fur is a dark fur, I used a white shirt and rubbed the shirt to see if any fur came off too easily. If a lot of fur comes off – this coat will be bald soon, so don’t bother! If very little to no fur comes off, then the fur is in great condition.
- Read the label to see what kind of fur it is. Rabbit is the most popular – it’s super soft and the most affordable. However, I tend to shy aware from rabbit fur because it usually sheds (even when it’s new at a department store!) and tends to “go bald” pretty quickly. My favorites are fox & mink. Both soft, but much more durable than the more popular rabbit! Beaver is somewhere in between for me. It’s such a stiff and thick fur, that I have a hard time wearing it without looking like a chubby eskimo since I’m short! I would definitely consider sheared beaver though – but haven’t ever found one yet!
UPDATE: Tips from other readers left in the comments or emailed to me since I wrote this:
7. The smell test – the smell test. If it smells musty it was probably kept in a damp area and you shouldn’t go for that one. From Debi@SheAccessorizesWell
8. Another clue is to gentley pull the skins to see if they stretch or tear. If the skins are dry they are old and will tear very easily. Another gross tip-the wiff test!~sniff sniff From Cynthia Rae@CynthiaRaeDesigns
Did I miss any easy tips? What do you look for when buying a thrifted/used fur coat? Leave me comment and I will add it to this list!
Fashion Blogger in Minneapolis, Minnesota
PS – I’m TOTALLY BANANAS over this thrifted mink fur coat!
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