Since the Iron Age, shearling, otherwise known as sheepskin,, has long served as a sartorial signifier of social class rather than a purely utilitarian function. By the medieval times, the wool trade became a highly lucrative business with England securing a place as one of the textile’s main exporters.The shearling trend arguably emerged in the United States in the 1940s as pilots were frequently outfitted in sheepskin bomber jackets.
It was not until the 1950s, when Hollywood celebrities such as Marlon Brando and James Dean opted to glamourize the textile once again after wearing shearling-trimmed jackets in their popular films, On The Waterfront (1954) and Giant (1956).
Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, shearling has served as a longstanding fabric of choice among fashion-conscious consumers. In the 1990s, Ugg boots were all the rage. However, in the 2010s, aesthetic aside, many shoppers started to shy away from supporting the Australian footwear company due to its questionable treatment of the sheep they used to source the fabric for their well-selling shoes.
Similarly, with the faux fur trend dominating the fall 2018 season, many fashion brands are starting question the ethical and practical cost of using fur in their collections. Designers such as Burberry, Gucci, Maison Margiela, and most recently, Diane von Furstenberg joined the Fur Free Alliance this year.
Shearling, a combination of a sheep’s skin and fur, otherwise known as wool, sits in the middle of this industry divide. While it might take some time for designers to find ways to restructure their supply chains in a manner that makes producing truly sustainable fashions a reality, some designers already have created stylish alternative shearling options.
To stay on trend this season, here are seven of favorite faux shearling outerwear pieces to shop now.
For a sleek and sophisticated look that provides a dose of urban edge, bikers jackets offer warmth without adding unnecessary bulk to your outfit. This style of jacket sits right a few inches below the hiplines and is a great outerwear option when you need to walk around but want more insulation than a traditional shorter jacket provides.
Shop these alternative leather and shearling picks to elevate any cold weather outfit.
Serving as a unique yet equally comfortable alternative to its trending faux fur counterpart, these coats with their faux shearling outer shells add an intriguing textural element to all of your wintertime looks while simultaneously shielding you from the cold. Choose a longer length style, as shown above, for maximum protection against the natural elements.
Try out these neutral tone options for a cozy item that will pair well with many of the items already in your winter wardrobe.
A more casual, yet still cozy, alternative to a biker jacket, this shorter style is great for warmer winter days or times when you’re going from place-to-place and cannot be bothered to weighed down by the bulk that inevitably comes with wearing a longer-length coat. With its plush faux shearling lining and collar detailing, these moto jackets encompass softer elements than their furless counterparts, provide a feminine touch to your weather-appropriate look.
Check out these shorter shearling-like styles to ensure that you always have a comfortable and versatile outerwear option on hand to wear throughout the season.