Fur Fashion

Fur has been used as clothing since the dawn of humanity. It has been revealed that early humans used fur clothing to survive the elements. Due to the lack of shelters in pre-societal times it is likely that these furs were used as a necessary tool of survival. Staying warm at night and during winters is made easier with fur clothing. At this period the “fashion” element of the garments were not considered, as it was merely a necessity.

After the development of civilizations fur increasingly became a luxury item.

Fur fashion experienced a resurgence following the establishment of the North American fur trade. Beaver pelts were sold in significant numbers to the British. The animal was used primarily in the making of hats. This trend maintained its popularity until the mid nineteenth century when a preference developed for sealskin suits among Victorian men. Often worn with the skin inwards men’s suits contrasted the women’s fashion trends. Women in the Victorian and Edwardian periods wore visible fur linings and accents.

Following WWI and WWII fur was seen, once again as the ultimate luxury for women. The use of sealskin in men’s fashion declined, however mink coats became the epitome of fashionable for women. Film stars of the 1900’s popularized the look.  While considered fashionable in the southern parts of North America fur is still a fashion necessity for the native peoples of the Arctic regions. Inuit people are known to wear fur pants and coats as protection from the harsh climate.

Today fur is still a dramatic fashion statement. It can be seen on runways around the world.


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