This season's trendiest accessory may be the coziest too. Fur, whether faux or sheared, is fall's go-to piece, according to local style watchers.
"It's one of the most popular accessories I've seen in years," said Terri Holley, owner of Embellish, an upscale shoe store in Warehouse Row. Holley is also a consultant for Carlisle, a line of high-quality clothing showcased in periodical trunk shows. A Per Se fur collar, made from a sheared goat, was highlighted in her most recent show.
"The fur collar, called a 'smoke ring,' is a vintage-inspired piece that is very popular this year," Holley said. "It can be worn with a sweater, dress, jacket or coat."
Chattanooga businesswoman Robin Derryberry said she likes the accessory.
"For people like me who are usually in a rush to get out the door, having something so easy that completes a look makes great sense," she said. "I love this look and hope it has staying power."
Kohl's spokeswoman Ashley Thill said faux fur and shearling details are the season's must-have accessories. Faux fur is made of synthetic fibers made to resemble real fur. Shearling has a sheepskin appearance.
"Kohl's offers a variety of accented apparel, boots, handbags and cold-weather accessories with this fashion-forward detail to help create a chic, standout look for less," Thill said.
The faux-fur pieces come in head-to-toe styles, from boots and purses to hats and earmuffs. Statement pieces include the faux-fur ribbed sweater coat from the new Jennifer Lopez line and a faux-fur picket vest from Apt. 9.
Chattanoogan Becky Browder said she wouldn't want to wear real fur but would certainly consider wearing a fake-fur collar. The accessory has a certain nostalgic vibe, she said, reminding her of "the fuzzy hand warmers that we all used to have, especially the white ones that were popular when we were children."
"I love the '30s and '40s look and think it is fun to add a vintage accessory to any outfit," she said. "I have been shopping in my closet more lately and have rediscovered [that] some 'old' things, when paired with something more current, still look good."
According to fashion-allure.com, the faux-fur accessory will help you stay stylish whether on the slopes or in the city and, importantly, won't provoke PETA sympathizers.
Fashion stylist Natalie Del Monaco, manager of Level 10 Salon at Warehouse Row, said she is a big fan of faux fur.
"[I] love it," she said. "In fact, I just ordered the Rachel Zoe vest from QVC and one from JCPenney, and I am always on the lookout for the vintage jackets from the '70s at Goodwill or [other] thrift shops. It's a fantastic look, and it's awesome dressed up or casual - like boho - with jeans, a tee and some boots, which is how I prefer it."