1 Piece/3 Ways: The Genuine Fur Scarf

January 19th, 2012

Whenever my mother (my first style inspiration, as featured here and here) and I get together, which, isn’t often enough lately, we end up working on some kind of fashion related arts and crafts project. One year we made a pair of red denim gloves that I still wear once in a while in the breast pocket of an overcoat.

Over this past Christmas holiday I had my eye on my late grandmother’s leather and fur coat that was collecting dust in the back of our living room closet.

I said to my mom: “Wouldn’t it be cool if we cut that fur into a scarf?”

That night her and I are at the kitchen table until 2am cutting and sewing almost all of the coat’s fur (meme was a tiny woman) into a double-faced scarf.

The outcome was awesome and very personal to me. Not only did my mother and I hand-make it together, but it’s genuine Canadian beaver (a national symbol of Canada) and, of course, it reminds me of my grandmother.

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There are high-end stores that carry fur scarves, but knowing a thing or two about sewing (or someone that does) can save you hundreds, or more, at a local vintage store.

Here, I styled my new favorite scarf three different ways.

1. Corporate Luxury

Fur can be tough to pull-off without it looking like too much. It’s a good idea to keep the fur as the only accent on a simple, classic look. And of course, you have to wear it with confidence and own it. Fur is not for the timid.

Because it’s a luxury fabric, it will come off as dressy, elegant and rich. Therefore it’s a perfect match for a dark, sharply tailored suit. A simple ascot loop (like the first part of tying your shoes) with the front end laying flat against the chest is an easy way to tie a rectangular scarf over a suit. It’s simple, clean and keeps the suited look’s age-old symmetry.

As with any bold show of luxury, it’s important keep everything in context – especially in a corporate setting. Some things need to be “earned”. This isn’t for first year analysts, this is bossy.

I was wearing black footwear here – I think it’s the most fitting color for winter weather and I love the sharpness against a dark navy suit.

This would work just as well with chocolate brown – it may even be better to bring the whole look together because of the browns in the scarf.


Essential Worsted Suit in Navy

Textured White Broadcloth Shirt

  • Grey cashmere blend socks by Marcoliani ·
  • Beaver fur scarf handmade myself out of my late grandmother’s old fur coat ·
  • Sterling Silver tie bar by Tiffany & Co. ·
  • Black leather tassel loafers by Allen Edmonds ·
  • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic ·
  • Navy wool tie by Thom Browne ·
  • Black alligator watch band by Montblanc
  • · White hidden placket formal shirt by Boss Black
  • · Midnight navy suit

2. Business Casual

It doesn’t get much warmer than genuine fur. Lay it around the neck, wrap one end over the other across your body, and anchor it down under a jacket and you will not need a coat – at least not in the mild weather we’ve been having in NYC.


Blue & Cream Glenplaid Jacket

Pima Corduroy Trouser in Chestnut

  • Burgundy cotton cardigan by The Brooklyn Circus ·
  • Brown wool flannel pocket square by Armstrong & Wilson ·
  • Tan suede driving gloves by Cole Hann ·
  • Beaver fur scarf handmade myself out of my late grandmother’s old fur coat ·
  • Brown wool blend socks by JCrew ·
  • Brown alligator belt and silver buckle by Ralph Lauren Purple Label ·
  • Burgundy penny loafers by Bass
  • · Light blue flannel herringbone shirt
  • · Brown corduroys by H&M
  • · Gray Windowpane Jacket

3. Weekend Stroll


As I’ve written in the past, if you have a well edited wardrobe it’s easy to dress well. The brunt of your personal styling should happen while shopping.

Think about each individual piece’s investment value – how long it will last (durability and style) and how many outfits you can make with it using what you already have in your closet. If all of your pieces have a high investment value, you should be almost able to get dressed in the dark.

Combining solid pieces in neutral colors (like navy, white, and camel) keeps the attention on your face, and leaves less room for distractions or pattern-mixing errors.


This look may be considered style-forward, but it’s actually a very simple combination of classic menswear staples.

If you’re a pale guy, like me, you want to avoid beige or khaki tops and stick with the darker, more saturated camel.

  • Brown Suede Loafers by Ralph Lauren ·
  • Camel turtleneck sweater by Gucci ·
  • Tortoise shades by Matsuda Eyewear ·
  • Striped socks by Smart Turnout ·
  • Beaver fur scarf handmade myself out of my late grandmother’s old fur coat ·
  • White denim jeans by Helmut Lang ·
  • Navy trench by Brooks Brothers Black Fleece ·
  • Brown alligator belt and silver buckle by Ralph Lauren Purple Label


Thanks, as always, for reading – and special thanks again to my mom for helping my whip this thing up.

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier


Photography by Alex Crawford.