Stylistically speaking, shearling has had a troubled history. Older generations will remember it draped over Del Boy Trotter’s shoulders, or sported by local market traders and radio DJs; earning the shearling coat a place alongside shoulderpads and mullets in the list of ‘things we’d rather leave in the 1980s.’ In the early noughties it was hard to avoid shearling, which reappeared en masse in the form of Ugg boots – a shoe that many would prefer to forget ever existed in the first place.
However, a few seasons ago, the unthinkable happened: the 70s made a comeback, and the way for its glorious return was paved with shearling. Starting in menswear in AW15, helped along by the likes of Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent, shearling soon filtered into womenswear, where it looks set to remain for another few Winters at least. With trendsetters such as Alexa Chung and Karlie Kloss proudly sporting their sheepskin for all to see, now is the time to shop for shearling.
Karlie Kloss – 2017 – Vogue
And why shouldn’t we give shearling a second chance? It’s the perfect textile for Winter: warm, durable, naturally water-resistant (the woollen core can absorb up to 30% of its weight without getting muggy), and – as proven by Alexa and Karlie – extremely fashionable when styled properly. This is how we’ll be wearing it.
For (almost) as long as there has been Winter, there have been Winter dresses. And for as long as there have been Winter dresses, women have sought ways to keep warm in them. To stay cosy this Christmas, pair yours with this classic style of shearling jacket from Acne, whose nutty brown colour is evocative of chestnuts roasting on an open fire.
Velocite – AW2017 – Acne
All black everything
The monochrome, all-black look is timelessly trendy and can of course be worn all year round (except perhaps the height of summer), but is especially fun to wear in Winter, the season which affords the most layering opportunities. We recommend simple but striking high-waisted, wide-legged black trousers and a plain black, close-fitting sweater (,we suggest breton stripes to put a Parisian slant on things) to go with this boxy number from AllSaints. Keep the underlying fabrics simple to let the clash of textiles pop. Wear over the shoulder with dark, round sunglasses to emanate editorial gravitas.
Hawley Oversized Shearling Jacket – A/W2017 – AllSaints
Admittedly the ice queen look is harder to pull off than time-honoured black. But neither Harper nor Blake is ever one to shy away from a challenge. Take inspiration from Proenza Schouler’s AW17 collection and opt for a longer coat – bring Winter wonderland with you wherever you go. Wear with understated tailoring for an ultra-chic outfit.
Proenza Schouler – AW/2017 – Elle
Veronika Heilbrunnen, Santa, Rudolph… All your favourite Christmas style icons are wearing red this Winter. A coloured shearling collar is a subtle way to impress with your out wear, and will definitely be featuring in Harper’s minimalist Winter wardrobe. Matched with neutral grey or off-white underlayers. Alternatively, if like Blake you prefer to maximise with your materials, make a bold statement in a full colour look. Be brave and wear with other colours for controlled clashing.
Veronika Heilbrunner – 2017 – Elle
Harper: A/W2017 – Sandro
Blake: Desa – A/W2017 – Farfetch
Do things differently this year. Shearling is seldom seen in any form other than that of the shearling coat or jacket (perhaps with good reason – need we refresh your memory of ugg boots again?). But for the woman who is willing to take risks, there is a world of options available. For example, throw a trench coat over this gilet style vest from Chloe and wear with black skinnies, or pair this Monse vest with boyfriend jeans and (not ugg) boots.
Monse – Hooded Shearling Vest – AW/2017 – net-a-porter
Chloe – A/W2017 – 24severes
*When you wear your shearling this Winter, remember to avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight (if we should be so lucky as to have it) and to take care when cleaning.*
Article Written By: Desmond Huthwaite
Featured Image: Max Mara – A/W2017 – Matches Fashion