November 17, 2006 9:18 AM   Subscribe

How paranoid do I need to be about wearing fur in public?

I own a knee length champagne mink coat. I love it, and think it's lovely, but I end up not wearing it as much as I'd like due to worries about attracting criminals.
I'm not particularly worried about PETA splashing paint on me. The coat was bought used, from someone who did not wear it anymore. I know that animals raised for fur live horrible lives, but so do animals raised for leather, meat, and laboratory experiments. I eat meat, wear leather, and use animal-tested products, like most other people. I know all of these things are very bad things; but I don't think wearing fur is automatically much worse than the others.
My biggest worry is that it broadcasts "I'm a rich high roller" to anyone who sees me, and that it puts me at a higher risk of being targeted for robbery. I live in a nice neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio, near Ohio State University. I don't drive and most of the times I'd be wearing the coat I would be on foot, traversing both good neighborhoods and moderately worse neighborhoods. I generally try to follow most of the "don't rob me" rules when I'm out walking alone; I wear purses with cross-body straps under my coat, I don't carry lots of cash, I try to stick to main streets, and I'm never in any genuinely shitty neighborhoods. I just want to know if wearing fur breaks the rules.
Here's a picture of the coat, if anyone is interested.
posted by Juliet Banana to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total)
That doesn't look like a rich high roller coat. It's cute though.
posted by sweetkid at 9:25 AM on November 17, 2006

I don't know about Columbus, Ohio, but here in Toronto you'd have different experiences in different areas, as in any city, I'd imagine: You'd be fine in the richer shopping areas; in the 'artsy,' trendy areas you'd be fine but people would most likely silently view you as tacky and pretentious; and in downtown alleys late at night you'd probably get robbed.
posted by chococat at 9:32 AM on November 17, 2006

What, over by High Street?

How to put this nicely: the coat looks (to me, anyway) kinda frumpy, and if I saw it on a student I'd think thrift store, not cash. (Maybe that's just a artefact of the photo.)
posted by orthogonality at 9:36 AM on November 17, 2006

I think most people will think it is fake, unless they have a discerning eye. You'll be fine everywhere there isn't a self-satisified sense of smugness.
posted by geoff. at 9:37 AM on November 17, 2006

Not to be insulting to your purchase, but I have a friend that has a similarly cut coat but in faux fur. We went to college in a slightly dicey area and she never had a problem.
posted by spec80 at 9:37 AM on November 17, 2006

I don't think you're at any risk. If you're getting out of a Rolls Royce, maybe. But if you're getting out of a Hyundai, you're probably gonna be ok. It looks like a fairly average coat. No feather boa to go with it, no fur cap, and you're not walking around with a perfectly manicured poodle.

You oughta be ok. :)
posted by drstein at 9:39 AM on November 17, 2006

Response by poster: Yeah, I am completely the opposite of a high roller. I'm glad to see that I'm not going to be disappointing anyone when they open up my wallet to find a library card and a fiver.
posted by Juliet Banana at 9:45 AM on November 17, 2006

I would not be concerned at all. It certainly does not look like an extremely high-value coat. It looks comfortable but not elegant. So, I cannot imagine it drawing attention for robbery, etc.
posted by JayRwv at 9:48 AM on November 17, 2006

Yeah, I love the coat, but I would never, in a million years, think it was real. It's too casual a cut. I would think it was a thrift store fake as well.
posted by mckenney at 9:54 AM on November 17, 2006

It's an adorable retro coat, but nothing about it screams "Look at the 50K fur!". Unless someone really knows their furs, or gets close enough to blow it to see lay pattern, most people will assume that cut is faux fur because real fur hasn't been cut in that style for at least 20 years.

All that said, it's fabulous, and I would wear it everywhere if I owned it. :)
posted by dejah420 at 9:59 AM on November 17, 2006

Totally cute and though it totally looks real to my (discerning?) eye, since the cut is kinda vintage-y, as is the fur style/color, I don't think it's much of a problem. I wear vintage fur a lot and it never entered my mind to worry about it making me a crime target. Truthfully, I would be more worried about the PETA crowd.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 10:11 AM on November 17, 2006

Yeah, it looks good but not automatically expensive. I think that as long as you don't root for Michagan, your chances of being mugged are minimized.
posted by |n$eCur3 at 10:11 AM on November 17, 2006

The coat was bought used, from someone who did not wear it anymore.

The mink?

The average thug criminal will be unable to appraise a fur coat or resell one for some fast cash. With fur on the way out, pawn shops and vintage clothing stores would be less likely to take a chance buying stolen coats because many are "one of a kind" within the local area. You're more likely to be mugged for something with an easily identifiable value, universal desirability, and where ownership is more difficult to assert; like cash, a trendy mass marketed coat (think North Face), or jewelry. That's my guess.
posted by peeedro at 10:50 AM on November 17, 2006 [2 favorites]

Honestly, carrying around your new video iPod will make your more of a target than a fur coat.

With fur on the way out...

Unfortunately (IMO), fur has become fashionable in Brooklyn and New York, especially on collars and cuffs. But I grew up in Ohio and predict that the OP will have a good three more years before C-bus catches on to that trend. /misdirected snark at people who think wearing fur is not the creepiest and cruellest fashion trend ever.
posted by zoomorphic at 5:01 PM on November 17, 2006

Yeah, especially on a student, it looks thrift-store to me. Near a college campus, I'd say you're more in danger from activists than muggers.

The best thing you can do is tell everyone it's fake. If you can't bring yourself to do that, say you got it from great-granny and aren't sure if it's real or fake, but she was a known skinflint.
posted by booksandlibretti at 7:05 PM on November 18, 2006

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