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Do NOT buy a Vintage Fur Coat until you read this!

Do NOT buy a Vintage Fur Coat  until you read this!

(5 minute read)

There is no doubt about it, vintage furs are a hot item this year.  Over the past few years we have seen increasingly more vintage furs show up at vintage and consignment shops, and they are going out almost as fast as they appear on the rack.  This is a great sign for the trend towards repurposing and upcycling high quality, natural items.  


At the store, we receive calls almost daily from people who have vintage fur coats and are wondering what to do with them.  Often the furs are inherited heirlooms that are now in their second or third generation.  Sometimes people want to repurpose them so we talk about upcycling concepts under our Further by Cahill program, but sometimes they just want to sell them. 


More and more lately we have people coming in who bought a fur coat at a flea market, a second hand clothing store, or online, and believe they got a great deal and want to either clean and make small repairs, or use the fur for a full upcycle project.  In some cases they find a gem, but sometimes they are basically worthless and falling apart, or it is a type of fur completely different than the seller described.


A few things I’ve learned watching this vintage fur market develop is that the sellers often have no idea what they have in terms of fur type, the condition of the item or how it has been looked after (or neglected) over the years, so I’ve decided to write this post to help anyone looking to buy a vintage fur so you have a better chance to buying a gem that will last you for years and years.


Typically, the customer looks at the style (This is cool!) or the fur type (I love this fur!), and this will be enough for them to purchase.  However, to make sure you can get value and wear out of the new found item, you really need to pay some attention to these points below:



2. How does it fit?

  • Now try it on.  Does it fit - around your body, sleeve length and overall length.  Sometimes it is perfect and sometimes (often) it could use some alterations by a legitimate furrier.  If conditions are right in step 1, it could be resized to you by moving fasteners or removing/adding fur to get the fit right.  Go to a reputable furrier for this work, it is a particular process.

  • Is the style what you are looking for?  Only you will know if the vibe is right for you in terms of style, colour, fur type, etc.  Try them on and have fun!


3. What to Pay

  • There is a huge range of what people are paying for vintage furs.  You could get some for $34.99 at a local thrift store where the condition of the fur or even fur type is a complete crapshoot, or you could pay a couple thousand for a high quality fur that has been well looked after by a local furrier.  

  • In small towns you may get better value than a major city, but with less variety or style.  

  • If you pay attention to #1 above, you will know what is good value for a super warm coat that can last for years.





4. How to look after it, so you get the most for your investment

  • Fur coats were made to last for decades and generations.  The fact that you are buying a vintage coat that could easily be 30, 40 or 50 years old is a good start.

  • Store it over the summer - To keep it as long as possible, find a furrier or cold storage vault in your area that can help you look after it.

  • Repair it! - Fix minor repairs, like you would on your car or home.  It will continue to last years this way.

  • Clean it - If the coat is worn on a regular or semi-regular basis, have it cleaned by a reputable fur cleaner, every year if you wear it frequently, or at least every other year.

    1. DO NOT!!:

      Put the coat in a plastic bag

      Keep it over the summer in a humid house of basement

      Let the pets sleep on it

    2. DO!!:

      Look after it.

      Enjoy it

      Lend it to a friend or family member

      Wear it skating or ice-fishing



Hopefully this will help you buy vintage furs with more confidence and take those beautifully hand crafted pieces further.  If you ever have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.



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