Fur for men remains contentious in the fur fashion world, particularly when looking at where the role of fur clothes has been in male societies and where it may possibly be going.
“A man does not buy his wife a fur coat to keep her warm,” wrote British playwright and actor Seymour Hicks, “but to keep her pleasant.” Although this comment was intended to be facetious, it actually reveals a massive dichotomy that exists in popular imagination concerning acceptance and the expected attitudes towards real fur fashion between the opposite sexes. To women, real fur clothes have become a symbol of prominence, opulence, and elegance. Fur for women creates a perfect marriage in giving them shape, comfort, and physical appeal to those who model them. By contrast, fur for men has increasingly become viewed as a crime against fashion humanity. Since the prehistoric time of Neanderthal man, the practical function of fur clothes has evolved concurrent with cultural attitudes towards the importance of clothes. Today, fur clothes have taken on a whole new meaning from the days when real fur was used for means of protection and warmth for humans. Today, fur fashion for men has largely been ignored by the fashion brands under the pretext that it does not – nor should it – sell. Fur for men thus remains a source of contention in the fur fashion world, particularly when looking at where the role of fur clothes has been, where it currently is, and where it may possibly be going.
It is important to stress that these ostracizing views towards fur clothes and men are a more honest reflection on the period that propagates them than it is about the fur clothes themselves. From a sociological perspective, it is impossible to dismiss that this rejection that men may fill a possible niche fur fashion is reinforced by popular stereotypes about gender identity. This is particularly true when looking at the historical function of fur clothes in civilization. The first known humans to make clothing were the Neanderthal man whose hunting skills in this prehistoric period became handy when they used their tools for hunting to scrape animal hides to cover their bodies to provide warmth, protection, and dryness. Voila! The practical function of fur for men and fur for women was developed because their individual survival depended on it. Even today, in indigenous communities in arctic climates, fur clothes remain popular in both men and women as a means of providing insulation in the harsh and cold climates. However, in much of the fashion capitals of the world – from New York to Paris to London – these attitudes towards fur fashion has profoundly changed. Today, fur clothes are less a means to enhancing the internal warmth and more concerning itself with elevating their external appearance.
This is where this cultural dichotomy is created between attitudes towards fur for men and fur for women. Considering the pricey tag attached to fur clothes, fur for women promotes openly flaunting fur clothes women own, whether through fur coats or fur accessories such as handbags or fur boots. Although historically fur has shared the sign of wealth and status in both sexes, as many kings have worn fur clothes to reflect their power, today fur clothes in men is viewed differently. Whereas fur fashion promotes ostentatious promotion of fur clothes in females, fur clothes in men employs a more subtle and less flamboyant approach. Today, mens fur hat is one of the few items of fur fashion that has maintained its masculine tradition. For example, the mink fur hat that Russian society has immortalized as an important part of its culture or the Coonskin caps in North America remain a symbol of hunting masculinity in popular imagination. Overall, the importance of fur for men as opposed to fur for women could not be any more different.
Fashion designers often add elements of fur clothes for their female customers, and rarely target the male demographics to fashion their fur clothes after. This cultural and attitude shift towards real fur clothes in men really became entrenched in the fashion world in the 20th century for three reasons: greater accessibility to fur clothes, greater wealth in much of the world, and the elevation of fashion with Hollywood becoming an important source of wardrobe inspiration to many. Marilyn Monroe with her fur cuffs was more visually appealing than seeing men in fur coats. The strategy towards real fur clothes today is that it welcomes the openness in women and minimalism when designing fur for men.
Although the wheels of fashion never stop turning, these gender attitudes towards real fur clothes remain. This feminization of fur clothes has only been exacerbated by the rise of metrosexuality. Media pundits often welcome men wearing fur coats as a commentary of ‘metrosexuality.’ In other words, the fur coat acts as a compromise of their masculine character. Although fur for men in the fashion world is designed, a simple Google search will suffice in revealing the disproportionate number of items of fur clothes available for women as opposed to their male counterparts. Fur for women is celebrated, whereas fur for men is largely ignored. However, fashion is often characterized to be a cyclical industry: if this is true, then perhaps the value of fur clothes may be restored in the masculine world.
Mens fur hat. You can cover your ears with the leather flaps. A perfect gift idea for men. Made of genuine leather and Denmark origined mink fur.
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