How To Wear It: Shearling

04/10/2010 18:23 | Updated 22 May 2015

Once the domain of Del Boy and second division football managers, the people behind sheepskin clearly invested in some serious rebranding and a huge PR push for autumn/winter.

For a start, the name has changed: forget dull old sheepskin – it's been replaced by the infinitely more elegant and front row-friendly "shearling".

Burberry Prorsum, Celine and Miu Miu (L-R). Photos: PA,Wire Image, Imaxtree

You've got your head around the terminology? Great – but the next challenge is styling it. Once confined to coat lining, designers like Christopher Bailey, Miuccia Prada and Phoebe Philo gave it centre stage on the autumn/winter runway – and it cropped up as sweeping capes, car coats, trimmed booties, and, of course, the aviator.

Done well, the promised land of super-cool, super-cosy outdoorwear awaits you. Done badly, and you'll look like you belong in the cave, or worse, rallying members of Grimsby Town FC.

Bailey's creations for Burberry Prorsum are a great place to start for inspiration. His autumn/winter show was a veritable homage to shearling's nubby fleece texture, and in his hands it looked terribly sophisticated.

The triumph of shearling is that it doesn't have the inherent lah-di-dah snobbishness of fur, so you can wear it with jeans and a jumper. And just like your favourite leather biker jacket, it is also the perfect partner in crime for a frothy, floaty dress.

When buying shearling, look out for a peachy feel on a supple lightweight pelt, ensuring the skin doesn't have cracks or feel dry, unless of course it's been treated with a glaze effect (see Acne's biker jacket in our selection of favourites below). Shearling doesn't come cheap, but buy the best you can afford as this will be an investment piece to have and to hold.

And if your bank manager won't let you invest in a coat, you can add a touch of luxe cosiness to your outerwear with shearling accessories or a pair of shearling-trimmed boots.

Take a look at our gallery for affordable inspiration, and lust-worthy designer splurges.,feedConfig,localizationConfig,entry&id=938111&pid=938110&uts=1286213315

How to wear it: Shearling

We love the cracked glaze effect on Acne's biker-style jacket, £1135 from Acne

How to wear it: Shearling

Jigsaw's collarless cropped jacket has a 60s feel that we adore – and it provides a chic alternative to the more masculine shearling styles around.

£425 in store at Jigsaw

How to wear it: Shearling

Expensive, yes, but you'll love it forever. And anyway, what's the harm in dreaming? Shearling military jacket by Balmain, £4890 in store at Harvey Nichols

How to wear it: Shearling

Rick Owens takes his iconic asymmetric draping leather jacket, and reworks it in shearling – and with very pleasing results.

£1920 from Net-a-Porter

and Harvey Nichols

How to wear it: Shearling

Get cosy with these shearling mittens, £36 from Asos

How to wear it: Shearling

More lightweight than an aviator, this gilet by Helmut Lang is a perfect trans-seasonal piece, £745 Selfridges

How to wear it: Shearling

This is our only concession to faux shearling, but Autograph by Marks & Spencer get it right with this satchel-style suede bag. £89 from Marks & Spencer

How to wear it: Shearling

Erdem Moralioglu is one of London Fashion Week's brightest stars, and we love the easy chic of his trimmed duffle coat.

£1725 in store at Harvey Nichols London and Colette

How to wear it: Shearling

These killer heels prove that shearling needn't been warm and fuzzy – it can also be pretty fierce. £695 from Burberry

How to wear it: Shearling

This classic black leather aviator with cream shearling trim is truly timeless. £325, in store at Reiss

How to wear it: Shearling


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