Archive for December, 2009

So you got a new fur coat for Christmas

December 29, 2009

The word “new” in the title is meant to mean “new to you” – with today’s economy many Santas picked a beautiful gently used fur coat for their loved ones.  The important thing when you get a fur (or any clothing) as a gift is to be sure it is well suited for you. Santa wants you to enjoy your gift and may not know exactly what style or size is best for you.

Before deciding whether or not you are going to keep the fur Santa brought down the chimney, you should ask yourself a few questions:

1) Do I want to wear this garment all the time or is it strictly dressy or casual? (A full length coat is great for dressy occasions, but not practical for running around and getting in and out of your car.)

2) Are the sleeves long enough?  (The sleeve should come down to the knuckle of your thumb when your arm is straight down.  The bottom of the sleeve should cover your wrist when you bend your arm.)

3) Is the fur the right color for me? I suggest you read my previous blog-Your Fur Coat Must Compliment Your Hair, Not Match It, So You Look Great!

Most important thing to remember is Santa wants you to wear and enjoy your gift.  He doesn’t want it sitting in the closet! If you decide to keep the coat, take it to your local furrier to make sure the closures are in the correct place and to have it monogrammed.

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Recycle Your Old Fur Coat Into a New Fur Throw

December 13, 2009

Someone in Napa California is my new best friend and doesn’t even know it. I had three different people from that area call me about our used furs and making them into throws or pillows. They said there was something on the news about recycling old furs. First we sold a lynx jacket that we turned into five beautiful throw pillows. The next day I spoke to a few people who wanted throws made from older coats.

A mink throw made from a used mink coat

I sold one a lunaraine mink coat $650 and made it into the pictured throw for an additional $600. Just this morning, I sold a beautiful ranch mink coat which we are making into a throw. It is costing the customer a total of $1600.00. This is the cost for the coat and the labor to remake it into a gorgeous full pelt throw. If he were to buy a new full pelt mink throw it would cost about $6500.00.

There are so many things that can be done to refurbish used furs that you already own or you can find gently used furs for sale!

Some words of caution are in order. When buying a used fur be sure that the pelts are soft and subtle. It is important that the leather side is in good condition. If at all possible buy it from a furrier and ask if it is in good enough condition to be remodeled.

If you are buying the garment from a private party or a consignment shop make sure it can be returned after you have it checked out by your local furrier. I have had many people come in with a coat they bought on E-bay that began ripping as soon as they wore it. I hate having to tell them it isn’t repairable. I hate to sound like my father – but his old saying “a penny saved a pound foolish” can happen if you are not careful when buying used furs.

Cold Weather- Fur Care Hint

December 10, 2009

The cold weather arrived in the Chicago area with vengeance and the customers have been running in with emergency repairs on their furs. The most common repair being a rip in the armhole of the coat.

My tip for avoiding this repair:   when you get in the car lift the coat before sitting down on it…DO NOT smooth it under you.
If this tip came too late take your fur to your furrier and have it repaired properly. Following this tip you should be able to avoid those pesky armhole rips in the future!

Bridal Gowns for Budget Weddings – Consider Used Formal Wear at Consignment Shops

December 2, 2009

I was searching the web this weekend in order to get an idea what to price two gently worn wedding gowns that were brought in for consignment at our new consignment formal wear store. During my search I came across the site Top-wedding-dresses and their blog post of November 29th, 2009 titled Ten Ways to Cut Wedding Costs.

The author starts the blog “There are two types of wedding couples: Those who have unlimited finances to throw the party of their choice and those who have to remain within a budget. If you are the latter, there are ways to have the wedding you desire without going way into debt to do so. But it will take a bit of compromise. Here are 10 ways where you can cut costs in certain areas to free up money to put elsewhere into something you really want for your wedding ceremony or reception.”
Consignment Bridal Gown with Sleeves
This blog has some great hints for everything from the invitations, to the food and beverage. I encourage you to read her other hints. Of course what caught my eye was the part about wedding gowns. She suggests renting the bridal gown and those for the bride’s maids and flower girl. This sent me on a quest to find costs for renting bridal dresses. I found the range for renting between $300 and $800. I suggest looking at consignment shops and buying a once loved gown. At our store the gowns that we currently have are priced from $300 to a never worn one at $800.