The Faux Fur Trim

As anyone who knows me knows, I’m not one for fur. It’s vulgar and unnecessary overkill, literally. But I do enjoy a good piece of faux.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a piece about my snorkel parka from J.Crew. It’s still in fine shape, and I’m still wearing it. Snorkel jackets are, for me, the definitive outerwear when the weather gets bitchy.

I wash my jacket at least once each season. As per the instructions, I would remove the detachable faux fur hood trim before putting the jacket into the washer and dryer. Usually, I would hand wash the faux fur trim and let it drip dry, which worked just fine. But last month, I did something stupid: when the faux fur trim was still slightly damp, I put it in the dryer.

Mistake.

Even after a mere 10 minutes on the lowest heat setting, the faux coyote “crisped” on the ends, making the trim look like matted Labradoodle fur. Not the look I was going for. The faux fur trim was ruined.

These jackets are perfectly wearable without the hood trim. In fact, I always detach the trim if I’m going out into a cold rain. But I like the iconic look of the faux fur hood trim and the extra warmth it adds, especially when I put the hood up. The texture of the trim “catches” the cold wind and dulls shock of an icy breeze. I needed a Plan B.

I did a quick search on Amazon and found tons of faux fur hood trims. Some were nicer than others, with options that were much more plush than the original faux coyote that came with the jacket. They were available in a huge assortment of colors, also.

Another thing to consider was the size. I measured my ruined pelt and the snap-button strip that fastened it to the hood. The trims I found on Amazon were all within the same general length and width, give or take a quarter inch. So I pulled the trigger on one in “chocolate” with lowlights and highlights, which gave it a nice depth.

$25 and five days later, it arrived. The texture and feel were very dense and extremely soft. With a little shake, it fluffed out beautifully. It was actually much better than I expected it to be.

From there, I brought the new faux fur strip and the ruined original to a tailor. The assignment was to remove the old faux fur from the snap-button mounting strip, and sew the new one onto it. She wasn’t sure if it would work, but she said she’d call if there was a problem. Three days later, she called me to tell me it was ready.

Voila. Not totally perfect, but a pretty damn good workaround. And it’s pretty luxe. At the end of the day, this wasn’t a mere replacement. It was an upgrade. And I love it.

The full kit, with the new faux fur hood trim.

6 comments

  1. Right on the edge of gay/straight aesthetic…. maybe. Unless one is in the high mountains or deep tundra. I guess it depends on the “trim” – har. I’ll stick with my red wool billed cap from Maine, a-ye-uh.

  2. In my eyes this makes your parka custom and unique. There are many J.Crew parkas out there but probably none like yours 🙂 On a side note George, I have really missed your podcast…I was thinking one about your transition from NYC to Cleveland would be an interesting listen. Just a thought. Take care.

  3. When I was in the military as a young man, some soldiers would always look for a sneaky way to make their uniform unique without obviously breaking the rules. This would qualify as one of those hacks. Good job.

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