Runway To Real Way: From Brrr! to Fur – Winter 2014’s Terrific Toppers

January 13, 2014 • Magazine, Runway To Real Way


For anyone who’s lived in the Midwest or the East Coast, or even traveled to either one extensively, we know that the month of January is pretty much considered ‘No Man’s Land.’ Post-holiday and pre-Fashion Week, the first month of the year subsists of little more than credit card bills and sub-zero temps. So far 2014 has outdone itself with weather-related adventures like blizzards and polar vortex cold, causing one to ask, “Do I really need to leave my house?” and if so, “What the heck am I gonna wear?!” And while the debate rages on over winter layering as fashion vs. function, we’ve found at least one must-have item to keep in your outerwear arsenal: A runway-inspired fur hat! Either faux or real, these terrific toppers can always be counted on to be both comfortable warm and chic throughout the blustery winter months.

Plenty of designers recognize and appreciate the statement that comes along with incorporating a fur hat into an ensemble. Designer Michelle Smith of Milly spared no subtlety in pairing the rich separates of her Fall/Winter collection with asymmetrical toppers.  We love the over-sized, over-stated drama of a look like this, as well the undeniable coziness factor! To convert this trend into a more everyday look, we thought a traditional trapper hat would be a suitable alternative with it’s lush finish and soft ear flaps. And luckily for us, there are plenty of flapper hat options, like this one from Dr. Jays, that will not break the bank.

When choosing a palette for your fur hat, it’s definitely key to stay neutral, but not always necessary to stay black. Donna Karan’s rich mosaic of tans, camels, and browns in her Fall/Winter collection was perfectly punctuated with some deep chocolate caps. Crafted again in non-traditional shapes, these hats amp up the fashion factor for blah and boring outerwear ensembles. We particularly loved the slouchy, sock cap shapes in this collection and figured the millinery master Albertus Swanepoel would know exactly how to duplicate the shape for everyday use.

If you insist on sticking with black (and really, we can’t blame you for that!), one style that will always be on trend is the traditionally round, Russian hat. Known best from the regality and  old world romance of the Romanovs, this fail-safe shape is still the pinnacle of cold weather glamour many generations later. Designer Nonoo knew this well, pairing the traditional shape with everything from lady coats to evening gowns. We found a slightly updated version that we just can’t live without from Yves Salomon. Chic, modern, and a little bit quirky, it’s sure to last you forever and is worth the bang for your buck.

Finally, for those who walk a little on the wild side, we had to include a raccoon cap. Inspired by none other than Davey Crockett himself, who knew the original Survivor Man would be inspiring runway collections one day? Sure enough, Veronica Beard added in the novelty headgear in her Fall/Winter collection and all of a sudden, we wanted our own. This Overland raccoon hat is sure to turn some heads (and tails!). The vision of young boys watching the Disney channel has evolved into the urban, edgy women that make a definitive statement with their winter weather accessories. And we want in! Find out which fur topper speaks to you and add on a little glam — and some much needed warmth— to your wardrobe this season!

1. Trapper Hat
Runway: Milly Fall 2013 RTW
Real Way: Dr. Jays Faux Brown Chinchilla Trapper Hat, $36.99

2. Brown Fur Hat
Runway: Donna Karan Fall 2013 RTW
Real Way: Albertus Swanepoel Micheline Faux Fur Hat, now $169

3. Black Fur Hat
Runway: Nonoo Fall 2013 RTW
Real Way: Yves Salomon Black Fur Hat, $430

4. Raccoon Cap
Runway: Veronica Beard Fall 2013 RTW
Real Way: Overland Davey Crocket Raccoon Fur Hat, $179

– Alia Rajput

Runway photos: WWD, NY Mag, and

Image Layout: Second City Style

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