Lizz’s Latest Thing: Beaver Trapping

Remember that time that Santana wore a fur vest and we all laughed about it and then reader Vikki said she was dressed like a beaver trapper? Except then Santana realized she was totes born that way and wore another fur vest and made some hilarious comment about razor blades in her hair and we were like “Oh maybe this is a thing?” Remember that time?

Yeah.  That time.  Well guess what.  Fur vests are a thing.  I know, it’s a shocker, I didn’t believe it at first either.  But then, as the ice cap over Boston started to melt, I noticed more and more women downtown rocking full blown fur shrugs.  Like young women.  Hot women. Read: not your grandma’s fur. After a bit of hunting I realized that fashion magazines are pushing it and Diane Von Furstenburg and Tory Burch both put fur vests in the Fall 2011 lines. So this is real (maybe? I think?? I hope.) and we should probs start getting our Santana on ASAP.

But the truth is, well, I’m mortified.  Not only am I legit not a runway model, I also have no idea how to even begin putting together an outfit with a fur vest.  Also, fur is kind of icky so I’d really rather just wear faux-fur.  I suspect you guys feel similarly, so I’m just going to do what we all want—pick apart Santana’s best fur vest outfits and show you where you can buy basically exactly the same thing.

First of all you’re going to need a cropped fur vest.  Don’t get all scared and get a leather vest with a fur collar.  Actually that might be kind of cute but that’s not what we’re talking about here.  Go for a brown with gray undertones that hits you just at your ribs.

L: McAuley’s Short Grey Faux Fur Vest

R: CatWorld Cropped Faux-Fur Vest


A fur shrug will also work. Shrugs are basically just vests’ richer cousin, no?

French Connection Gem Fur Jacket

I like all of these, but this is also a time when you can go to the thrift store and cut the arms off a full fur coat. If they’re all too big, check out the children’s section. (Do they make children’s fur coats? I guess they must, right?)

Now that you have your vest, it’s time to get the rest of the outfit.  You’re going to need a very tight dress with sleeves.  As usual, American Apparel has the hook up.

American Apparel Cotton Spandex Jersey Double U-Neck Dress

Get this dress sized big or you will be so uncomfortable forever.  Pair it with some heeled booties and people will be all like, “ZOMG, I loved your performance of “Blame It On The Alcohol!”

If wearing dresses is not your thing and/or you have to look remotely appropriate, you can schrunch up that shirt a bit and wear it with some black skinny jeans (I know you have them).   You could also go for this suspiciously similar shirt (also from American Apparel).

I guess all you need now is the hat.


Check out Shopstyles’ whole collection of fur vests!

Really, one of them is bound to speak to that special part of yourself that wants to wear a fake dead animal around your torso. And remember, when you buy something from Amazon or Shopstyle through a link from Autostraddle, part of the proceeds go towards keeping us afloat.


Lizz is a consumer, lover and writer of all things pop culture and the Fashion/Style Editor at She is also full time medical student at Brown University in Providence, RI. You can find her on the twitter, the tumblr or even on the instagram.

Lizz has written 276 articles for us.


  1. I don’t think fur vests and summer go very well together, I don’t think fur vests and I got very well together either.

    I do think that men’s flannel shirts with the sleeves cut off (homemade vests! cheap and gay!)and cold blue moon go well together.

  2. Faux fur in 100+ plus weather (or 80+ with humidity) doesn’t sound like an awesome summer fashion. Sounds all sweaty.

    Summer fashion according to moi-
    Canvas shoes
    Bikini top
    Hoodie with the sleeves pushed up or cut off.

  3. heres the logic:

    1) its hot out, what would make me feel better/more comfortable right now.

    2) oh yeah! a fuzzy fur/faux-fur vest. i need some insulation right now.

    3) dehydrate and pass out

    4)invest in fur vest with water concealment device

  4. My roommate from this past year had the last name of Beaver so reading “Beaver Trapping” mostly just made me think of trying to capture her in her native environment (i.e., the library).

  5. i really want to be behind autostraddle having fashion stories. i really really really do considering i heart autostraddle and i heart fashion and i work in fashion and and i heart lesbians and i date lesbians and all of those things together would be PERFECT.


    fur vests have been a trend for like four seasons, kids. like, since 2009 at least. buying a fur vest now is superfluous; i’ve actually retired mine since last year. but maybe i’m just a bitchy new yorker and in other places this is still cool? sort of like uggs are still cool in chicago’s suburbs for teenagers? i dont know.


  6. Every time I see a woman in fur, no matter how young and/or cute she is, I can’t help but think about those old rich ladies who wear huge fur coats and smell like expensive perfume and baby powder at the same time.

    But the tiny-vest-over-tight-dress thing looks great and sounds like an awesome way for femmes to queer up their style, with leather or plaid or jean or a sleeveless mini-hoodie instead of the fur. OMG I need a sleeveless mini-hoodie now. Is it actually a thing? If not I’ll have to learn how to sew.

  7. I get that fur vests have become a style thing, but can someone explain to me why they are a good style thing? To me the impractical combination of hot weather and fur just makes them appear kind of silly.

    I have lived through some very hot summers, though, I guess not everyone has had to dress for 113 degrees heat.

    • This post aside, do people seriously wear fur vests in the summer, though? I have never seen them.

      And I’m from Michigan. Even up there, we have summers that are too hot for fur vests.

  8. On the topic of fashionable [if possibly ‘out there’] furs, has anyone seen ? It’s apparently gaining steam on the west coast [or so my friends in SF tell me] and though it’s all faux fur, you might find a beaver anyway.

  9. With regard to everyone’s “ZOMG it’s hot out” feelings:
    I live in Boston and therefore when I wrote this it was early spring, still in the low 40s and full blown vest weather. Currently, it is pouring rain and about 49 degrees out. I for one would love to wrap myself in a fake dead animal right now.

    However, I’ll make sure to post these sort of seasonally pertinent things sooner so that anyone else who doesn’t live in the “land of eternal winter” doesn’t completely miss out.

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