Seasons change, and so do trends; which more often than not change more frequently with so much passing in and out of fashion. What’s refreshing and already quite well received, is the shearling trend that has been around for eons but has been placed in the spotlight once again. This time, with new and interesting flavours that add a cool yet cozy vibe to ‘the’ look.
While many who may readily embrace any fad or fashion without wanting to know anything about it or its origin is a matter of opinion, I’d say it can’t hurt to know just a little bit of history or brief info behind a trend or product you are about to use, especially if you plan on putting it on your back. Below you will find interesting info on what is shearling, some benefits and style tips for incorporating shearling jackets or shearling coats into your wardrobe.
What is Shearling?
The term shearling refers to the skin of the lamb or sheep that has been shorn once (most recently) which results in the skin being tanned, processed and dyed with the wool still intact. Ultimately leading to this material that has a suede surface on one side and a fur surface on the other. The suede side is often worn on the outside and the woolen area on the inside, but that too is subject to change based on personal taste and requirements.
What’s really cool is that shearling can be made from real sheepskin or synthetic fibers. However, real shearling has breathability and flexibility which is not found in its synthetic alternative. Outerwear made of sheepskin goes back a long way, dating back to prehistoric times when fur based apparel was vital to survival. In recent times though, a rugged, super warm version was introduced around World War I and continued strongly in World War II to protect pilots in uninsulated planes in under 0 temperatures.
From warzones to ramps and runways, sheepskin shearling made a trendy transition that transformed modern fashion through streetwear moving upwards into the ranks of luxury leather outerwear. Anything from coats, gloves, jackets and hats, soft and furry lined boots sheepskin shearling is at the top of the textile industry as well. Making its mark on rugs and blankets being used in some of the most stylish interiors in the world.
As mentioned above, shearling is the tanned, processed and dyed skin with the wool intact. The reason for repeating this is to point out the misuse of this word as shearling has no other variants other than that which is mentioned above. No! Stitching on a wool layer into a jacket, coat or other product does not qualify as shearling. This is where many people are confused and often get the wrong product due to this misconception. A layer of wool that is stitched into a product whether genuine or even faux isn’t truly shearling at all.
Warm and Furry…
Many often ask whether shearling is actually as warm as is said to be, as millions across the world use shearling for functional purposes as well. Who would want to look good but go blue in the face like Bella from charmed … let it go… let it go! There’s no point in going for shearling purely for the style element. Function does and is a key ingredient that is found in this type of material use. So yes, shearling would be a great style as well as functional investment that can get you through the bone-chilling months.
It is also important to point out at this time that while shearling protects you from the cold it is not advisable to expose any type of shearling surface to rain at least not regularly. While shearling can repel water and has the ability to dry naturally in-doors, it cannot withstand too much exposure to rain as it will get damaged at some point. For easy maintenance, store shearling in dry areas to prevent mildew and leave the washing and caring to leather cleaning professionals.
Furry Benefits of Shearling
- Many sheepskin products are by-products of the meat industry, using these materials prevents wastage.
- Shearling like any type of real leather ages beautifully and with proper care and maintenance has a soft and supple feel over time.
- It is breathable, durable and is resistant to damage (rip, snags, stains)
- It is flame resistant, static resistant and anti-bacterial.
- It insulates and retains heat evenly and naturally in very cold temperatures.
- It has a good reputation as a luxury item that many consider a wardrobe staple.
- It is hypoallergenic.
- Shearling is not gender specific, anyone can wear it.
Styling with Shearling in Three
Shearling has been spotted everywhere, from runways to streetwear serving style and function that many enjoy. We’ve already covered the background and benefits of shearling now how about a few style tips.
Shearling for Work
You can totally wear shearling to work especially if the office vibe is creative, smart casual/ semi-formal in nature. Wearing muted colours or earth tones paired with a shearling jacket or coat can add style and visual interest to your daily work wear. Try pairing your shearling with khakis and a shirt, over a skirt or printed dress. Depending on the colour and style of your shearling you could perhaps even add an accessory such as a scarf to up your style game.
Shearling for Play
The awesomeness of shearling also has to do with the fact that it is versatile enough to be worn in many different ways and for various places and situations. A basic shearling jacket can get you through holiday shopping in winter or to work or playing in the snow. Throw it over leggings, pants, jumpsuits and style it up using complimenting tops and accessories. What’s more, shearling also works best in minimalist looks so minimalists out there you can get in on the action as well.
Shearling Any time
If it’s real shearling you needn’t worry about anything other than enjoying the moment and having fun with whatever it is you’re doing, as shearling can be great for active-wear as well.
Team your shearling with denims or chinos, long skirts or over dresses, there’s so much you do with this one ‘must have’ wardrobe essential.
Furry Finishing Thoughts
What can easily be drawn and recalled from what we’ve learned so far is that shearling is one of those inclusive materials that gels well with every lifestyle and individuality. It is gender friendly, super functional and ever so stylish at the same time.
Shearling is typically sheep or lambskin that has been shorn once before the skin is tanned, processed and dyed with the wool intact. Often used with the wool on the inside and the suede surface on the outside. Many products out there, have wool sewn into the interior of the product which isn’t shearling at all but which is loosely used to confuse people. Shearling products have great insulation properties and have more benefits than one.
Even though many have been using shearling in some way or the other to keep warm, now there are twice or more stylish shearling pieces available, that have contributed to shearling being the style staple of the season.
Gath is a creative maverick and aspiring writer who loves guest posting on fashion and lifestyle.
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