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Are fur coats acceptable in Europe?

I will be traveling in Austria, Italy and Czech Republic in Jan.. Are fur coats acceptable? Thanks

Posted by
5280 posts

Saw LOTS of elegant fur coats in Vienna last winter (New Year) but I couldn't tell if they were artificial -- looked really to me!

Posted by
10860 posts

What appeared to be real fur, and what I would bet money was real fur, wasn't terribly uncommon when I visited the theaters in Prague, Vienna, Moscow and Budapest over the past six years.

Posted by
20597 posts

Since you posted this question under Tourist Scams, are you asking about the fur coat scam out of the trunk of a BMW?

Posted by
3973 posts

It's been a long time, but when I lived in Poland, fur coats and hats were common. But these are more enlightened times...

Posted by
7123 posts

Real fur is not acceptable anywhere imo.

Posted by
6 posts

Sorry it was late when I posted this question, I didn't mean for it to be in Tourist Scams. Thanks everyone for your input.

Posted by
10860 posts

I took your question to be seeking a general cultural context and not one meant to elicit humble personal opinions of those cultures. If I am correct in the intent, then the votes are in:

EDITED: Three vote yes, it appears to be acceptable by observation in two of the countries mentioned.

No comments stating it is culturally inappropriate.

My wife once took hers to the region you are visiting for a special evening event and the only problems we had is the embarrassment of those being worn by others were much, much more beautiful than anything I can afford.

But, like a lot of things in life it only takes one nut to wreck a nice day out. There, like here, are lawless radicals that will try and impose their values through verbal intimidation and acts of violence. You have to decide if you want to give into it or refuse to let it shape your life.

Posted by
11613 posts

The only real fur coats I have seen in Europe are worn by older women.

Posted by
5817 posts

The use of fur is certainly quite common in major Italian clothing brands so I would imagine it is not that unusual to wear it over there.
If it is practical and appropriate is another matter. A fur coat would probably look a bit odd if you are planning on sight seeing etc. Perfectly normal if you planning on attending the opera! I would also imagine fur is a bit unpractical to travel in especially if there is a danger of it getting wet?

Whether it would be viewed as "acceptable" is a whole other issue. A few years ago action against people wearing fur wasn't that unusual, certainly in London. In recent years trends in fashion mean it is a little less of a hot topic but many people still feel quite strongly about it.

Posted by
6027 posts

I think some of the newest faux furs are so real looking that you won't know if they are or aren't unless you see the label. You can't tell by looking. I'm sure there are some people who think they can tell the difference just by seeing them on someone but I doubt it. I know someone who has dealt in furs for years and sometimes even he can't tell without seeing the inside or by feeling it, which most of us aren't going to be doing.

I think real fur is getting rarer all the time and, if not totally unacceptable, is at least discouraged. As well it should be.

Posted by
10860 posts

emma, absolutely. My wife wears hers to special events; the sort of things I have to pack my dinner jacket for. It would look pretty out of place on the metro. Unless maybe a tasteful goose down filled jacket with a coyote fur collar. That would work most anytime or place.

EDIT: Zoe: I am "older" but my wife refuses to reveal her age. But I suspect you are correct. Then again, things are relative. My son would call these older women, while I tend to see much younger women: http://csanyiszorme.com/en/furever-products/fur-coats That is if my wife would allow me to see such things..........

Nancy, quite possibly so. Being no expert maybe I may have been deceived; especially believable when worn by younger people. The older folks I think the possibility of real fur is more likely.........but that's only a guess. I tried to do a little research and came across several fashion articles from 2013 in which it was proclaimed that real fur as well as faux fur, was back in style.

If as Nancy suggests, that the faux fur is that realistic then I guess by all means bring your mink. No one will know anyway. Just say its faux.

Off Topic (and I apologize) I sort of prefer the idea of real fur because the faux furs are petrochemical derivations and purchasing them encourages drilling in pristine environments. We need to get big daddy Exxon off our backs, literally. And, the byproducts from fur production make their way into the food chain as protein meal freeing up more desirable protein sources for human consumption in impoverished cultures. I see it as a win - win resource. But I understand different points of view. One compromise that might be harder to argue is wild Nutria. They are an invasive species of rodent like animal that is destroying the environment of Louisiana. They have to be removed before they too completely alter the native balance in the state. And the fur is wonderful.

Posted by
7 posts

It's certainly not illegal. I wear mine with a smile here at home and if I went over in winter I would definitely take it with him if it was cold enough. I also wear real leather shoes and handbags and eat meat. So I guess I'm a radical :-)

Posted by
2404 posts

There's nothing warmer than a good fur coat, so if you have one you wear here, wear it in Europe. People eat meat, wear leather, but seem to judge women who wear fur coats. Fur coats last for decades, which is something no one thinks about. Fur coats make cold so enjoyable. I ditto James's thoughts. I think Europe might be more enlightened than here, at least the further north east one travels as it gets colder and colder so the benefit of fur should be valued.

Posted by
10860 posts

Totally off Topic. Again my apologies.......

Apparently the best place to purchase good furs is Greece. BUT if you want a marvelous hat from an old world craftsman you need to visit this gentleman in Budapest: https://www.facebook.com/hadvarisapka/timeline?ref=page_internal You know those incrediabe hats the women work in the old Fred Astaire movies? You can still get them here.

As for warmth? There is nothing warmer than good goose or duck down. Thankfully Hungary (and Central / Eastern Europe) has one high per capita consumptions of duck & goose so, as one would expect, there is a lot of down left over and the prices are amazing; especially when considering down comforters. Oh and the foie gras is cheap and plentiful as well.

EDIT: alaskadiver, Leather and fur are renewable resources that aren't dependent on pollutant petrochemicals. Local resourcing is another advantage. Sort of like the concepts behind locally resourced food stuffs at neighborhood markets. All in all i believe that the production of leather and fur fabrics leaves behind a much smaller carbon trail than the production of synthetic fabrics.

Posted by
13927 posts

This question brought me to review my photos from a Christmas market trip 3 years ago. Thanks for that, I had a lovely time remembering. I generally don't take photos of people, but I found that I had snapped a fur coat nearly every day, in France, Germany and Austria. I also found photos (that I remembered taking) of lovely furs in Venice and Ravenna. These are all photos taken during the day, some of the women are obviously running errands. As long as I was doing it, I uploaded them here.

I can think of several reasons why it's only older women who are fur-clad . . . Furs are heavy and bulky. You are more mobile and agile in a down jacket, and if you're young and active, you probably aren't feeling the cold as much. Furs are expensive, out of budget-range for most younger people and if you're going to stop for lunch, where are you going to leave it? I once bought a fake fur coat on a visit to New York. When I visited the Met (museum) I had to sign a waiver to check it in the cloak room, even though I insisted it was a $100 coat. By the way, fake fur is not very warm at all. Maybe some of the furs at the opera are fake (for show), but on a snowy day in Munich it sure ain't gonna keep the cold out.

Posted by
6542 posts

A number of years ago, we went skiing in Austria. We saw a number of mink coats in the mountains and in Venice as it was very cold at the time.
We were walking in front of the Rathaus in Munich and there were a bunch of booths setup on the mall on a Saturday. I looked closely and saw a rabbit in a trap with a spike through its head. We walked into a very large animal rights demonstration with my wife wearing a long mahogany mink coat. I grabbed her arm and exited the area immediately. Some of the demonstrators were throwing blood onto those wearing furs of any kind.
Fashion is now more casual and temperatures are more moderate now. And my wife seldom, if ever, wears her long mink coat. A good down coat is better to travel in. No reason to risk having an incident with a mink coat.

Posted by
2700 posts

Coming from a cold part of the US where furs are not worn, I'm questioning the "furs are so warm" statement.

Posted by
10860 posts

Tom-MN, now that I do agree with. For warmth I wear down filled jackets. And so I can know that I am being part of the full utilization of the natural resources that go into a down jacket I eat as much pate as I possibly can. However, having never personally worn a fur coat I defer to those that have.

Posted by
8293 posts

As to the " furs are warm" debate, many, many, maybe a million years ago, I had a sheared beaver coat. It was heavy and it was incredibly warm, and we have very cold winters where I live. Beaver is a warm fur and I think mink and raccoon are as well ... whether we still need the warmth they provide is another matter.

Posted by
2404 posts

For Tom_MN, I come from what used to be cold New England so I have some experience. As I said earlier, I have never found anything warmer than the fur coats I inherited and was gifted. The last time I wore a fur coat was about 1991 when I was accosted by an aggressive man who threw his cup of coffee on me for wearing a fur and he threw some rough language at me as well. I'm sure he wore leather and ate meat. I had worn it because I was sick but had to go to work, and it was so warm. As I was a single mother I decided it was safer not to wear it again. Later, when I realized I was a vegetarian who owned a fur coat, I got rid of it. LOL. I gave one coat to the homeless and one to my friend. I now wear down, but find it no replacement in many ways to a fur coat, including warmth. I've never found a material that kept me so warm or made me feel so good, and I have no qualms about saying that.

Posted by
10860 posts

wray, since you are a vegetarian wearing down, consider it my honor and privilege to suffer to eat the pate on your behalf.

And now I feel it my obligation to report us all to the webmaster for bein OFF TOPIC and POLITICAL

WEBMASTER: Merry Christmas and a Joyful New Year.

Posted by
2404 posts

James, haha. I'm not a vegetarian now! But you can still have my pate! Beliefs change with time. Or mine do. But fur coats are still warm. LOL

Posted by
11480 posts

Without getting into the ethical debate over real fur, I might question how practical it is? We don't know if you've traveled with this coat before or what sort of travel style you have.

My husband and I fly coach, take a lot of trains around Europe, and we do not book first-class seats on either. While perfectly fine for us, our mode of travel involves some cramped quarters and not exactly pristine conditions. We almost never take cabs, walk as much as possible, and occasionally use public transport - which can also be cramped and less than pristine. We don't eat at upscale places, participate in activities where 'dress' clothes are involved, and are more comfortable dressing inconspicuously for various reasons.

That said, I wouldn't personally take an item of clothing which I had to worry about keeping clean and/or which required a lot of expense to clean if it became soiled.

But you may travel differently than we do? If so, that's perfectly fine but I think how you intend to get around and what you intend to do on your trip may determine whether the coat - depending on the style, weight, bulk and cost - is a good choice or not?

Posted by
6 posts

I love these forums, it's interesting reading how everyone thinks and makes me think how to make the decision on the FUR! I have decided not to take it, we have one dress up event which we won't even leave the hotel for, the weather isn't going to be extremely cold (much) and traveling casual is definitely our style. Thanks to you all and happy traveling!

Posted by
10860 posts

This was a fun one. We had lots of disagreement with out any bitterness. I enjoy that. As for not too cold? Where you are going it could be -10 or 45F and there is no way to know till just days before. I have a feeling my wife will still be bringing hers on our trip in February, but we have an event to attend where it will be pretty much right in line with what is expected. We've carried it before for a similar event, and yes it is a pain in the ............

Posted by
1037 posts

we didn't touch much on the theft aspect........if many on this forum don't feel that a hotel room is a safe place to hide a passport.....however could a fur coat be hidden amongst the toiletries , dirty socks and clothesline? :)

Posted by
1 posts

Thank you for this frank and balanced discussion. I started to wear fur after I moved to Asia. The kind of cold here gets into the bone. And I found nothing beats a fur coat. We are having a cold spell of around 4-8C here which is very unusual (normally it is around 15C). I actually enjoy walking around in this ‘cold’ weather because my fur coat keeps me so warm. Down jacket is perfect for wet weather but on a dry and sunny day, nothing beats a fur coat. Fur coat is actually more resilient than most people think. I wear my short one to go to the gym and run errands among other things.

Posted by
10860 posts

Someone a little further up made the comment that then new fakes were pretty real looking. I sort of doubted it but what do I know. Well, I saw a pretty expensive fake yesterday and, yup, it was pretty darn real in appearance and only a little off in feel. I'll have to admit that if I were a Peta Person I would have thrown paint on it.

We are off to Central Europe on Saturday with a mink packed in the luggage. But true to RS philosophy my wife and I only take carry on luggage. Our man Chester deals with the trunk.

Posted by
516 posts

With regards to the comments further up about wearing down, keep in mind that clothing tags will indicate whether it is 100% goose down or other water foul feathers (i.e., duck) or a mixture of different types of feathers. I've not worn enough down to know if there is a noticeable difference in warmth between the different types. I can say though, that clothing with 100% goose down is more expensive than any other feathers or blends.

Posted by
10860 posts

I've been wearing down coats to Europe for a number of years because of their warmth, extreme light weight and the fact that they compress so much they fit in the luggage.

As for furs, yesterday afternoon on a fairly warm February day (55F) I spotted 3 real fur coats on the strees of Budapest. Pretty sure at least 2 were real because they appeared to be a bit dated in style.