After reading Justine’s reevaluation of the blazer trend, I began to question the cool factor of another one of my winter weather staples: the fur vest. Sure, it still seems hip and trendy, but when KMart, home of the blue light special, sells a version, it’s time to reassess. And so, a (recent) history:
2008: Fur Vests Dominate The Runways
Dormant since the ’70s, fur vests of all kinds dominate the Fall/Winter 2008 runways. Designers like Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Marni and more display the look, leading Style.com to proclaim “The Fur Vest Takes Top Billing This Fall.” Though popular on the catwalk, the trend doesn’t land in wardrobes until the following year.
2009: A Trend Is Born
The Rachel Zoe Project returns to Bravo for its second season and rises in popularity. So, too, does Zoe’s signature piece: The fur vest. In fact, she and her fur vests are so popular she creates a line of collared, waist-length faux fur vests for QVC and the world goes ba-nanas for the trend.
2010: Bigger Than Ever
By 2010, this trend is major. Designers of all aesthetics feature it during their fall/winter fashion shows including, Rebecca Taylor, Yves Saint Laurent, and Carlos Miele. The styles of the vests are a little more adventurous this year, with added embellishments, like bows, belts and color treatments. We even name the fur vest as our #1 trend of 2010 that we just can’t live without.
2011: It Hits Below The Belt
The fur vest is definitely still in, but this time around, the longer the better. DVF sends a knee length vest down the runway, while The Row takes it to the extreme with a floor length number. We feature a knee-length fur vest on our Going Going Gone holiday gift guide.
2012: Back Again, But Losing Steam
The fur vest isn’t spotted much on the runway, but it’s definitely still being worn and purchased. The vest does get a makeover, with tufted details, color treatments, and leather detailing.
2013: It’s A Runway Darling
Flash forward to present day. It’s NYFW and praise the Lord, the fur vest is BACK. There’s a catch, though. It’s either extra zany with mixed prints and colors, like what BCBG showed, or it’s evolving into more a shawl-vest combo, like we saw at Carolina Herrera and Michael Kors.
Bottom line: The fur vest you bought in 2010 is still OK to wear, but don’t expect any “OMG! You’re so stylish!” comments. For those, you’ll need to upgrade to the 2013 version, and in the interest of wearability, we’d opt for one similar to Carolina Herrera’s.