Going full pelt for style
You don't really need me to tell you that fur and faux fur are having yet another fashion moment since you can hardly turn round in any store, from Harvey Nicks to H&M without seeing a real or fake pelt adorning a coat, sweater or jacket.
Fur paced the catwalks in London, New York, Paris and Milan, with fur stoles, collars, trims or entire jackets, gilets or coats seen at Fendi, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Lanvin, Marc Jacobs, Diane von Furstenberg, Burberry, Gucci et al. Not to be outdone, the High Street has produced its own take on fur, though, unlike the designer versions which often use real fur, the pelt is exclusively fake or faux, to give it its more aspirational nomenclature.
For fur to look right this season, it has to have a distinctly retro feel, alluding to the 1940s, 50s and early 60s, or have a harder-edged, 1970s feel. Anything else looks merely functional, which is fine if you are wearing fur merely to keep warm, but not so good if you want to be seen to be rocking a trend.
Two disparate fashion eras are evoked by the short fur jackets around now: there's the 1950s/early 1960s style short fur jackets - the kind your mother or grandma wore to barmitzvahs and weddings in 1958 - in which you can work the still hot Mad Men/Marilyn Monroe vibe. These are available in M&S's Per Una and Autograph ranges, and in every vintage shop. And then there are the altogether funkier 1970s-style fur jackets. These are cropped, collarless and fastening-free and therefore wildly impractical, but the distillation of rock-chick glamour.
A coat with a fur collar or fur spilling down the front will also demonstrate your fashion savvy. At Topshop, which has gone, ahem, full pelt for fur, the best fur-trimmed coats include a a fitted, porridge-colour coat with fur collar (£110); a black evening coat with faux fur cuffs (£220) and a fur-trimmed "coatigan" at £120 and a tweed, faux fur collar baby it calls a "boyfriend" coat, though quite how a "boyfriend coat" can be lavished with fur is unclear.
Notably beautiful fur-trimmed coats for those on "minted" budgets include a trench with fur collar from Marc by Marc Jacobs (£475) at Matches, and a Dolce & Gabbana knit coat with Mongolian fur (£1,465 at Browns).
Fur also works well as a trim on cardis and sweaters: East has a shapely little cardi with detachable faux fur collar at £79, but the definitively divine - if ruinously pricey - piece of fur-trimmed knitwear, is a black ribbed cardi with lavish fox fur trim by Lanvin (£3,650 at Browns).
If you prefer the versatility of a tippet or stole, River Island vies with Topshop for best selection, most under £28. Oasis and M&S have them, too, and Fenwick, W1 has them in brights at £79.