I may have bought my vintage shearling coat from an upstate thrift store back in 2011, but for some reason it seems like fall 2018 is really the season of the teddy coat. I see them as soon as I leave my apartment, on the subway and on Instagram. I’ve seen it on Kim Kardashian, Hailey Baldwin (above), and Rita Ora, among others. It makes me wonder: Where did it all come from? “Carine Roitfeld put her stamp of approval on it back in 2013. She wore the coat straight off the Max Mara runway,” says Amanda Murray, a private stylist at Farfetch. “It usually starts with European editors and eventually filters its way down to celebrities, then to the masses, which is clearly apparent now, with every brand pushing its iteration of the teddy bear coat.”
The teddy coat got its start in postwar Britain, when upper-class motorists wore them to keep warm. First designed for men, the versions worn by Salvador Dalí on his 1936 transatlantic trip to New York, and in the 1960s by Mick Jagger were made of cotton-backed alpaca wool woven by the German stuffed-toy brand Steiff (hence the teddy bear name). These days you’ll see them on the fall/winter 2019 runways of Christian Dior, Isabel Marant, Acne, and Chloé, and then of course, on the street, though those are likely faux-fur instead. (Max Mara’s teddy bear coat is also faux.) “We’re living in a new era of all-encompassing social consciousness,” says Murray, “and there’s always been a stigma attached to fur. Plus, faux-fur looks amazing these days.”
Even beyond runway trends, there’s another reason the coat feels particularly appropriate right now, when the world is a little uncertain and the weather is cusping on brutal. Stylish as it may be, the coat really is just an excuse to wear a stuffed animal. The current faux-fur versions are light and fuzzy and accessible (much more so than my fuzzy full-length vintage shearling). It might be high fashion, but it’s pretty low concept. “It has an almost no-fuss opulence about it,” says Murray. “It’s easy, chic, feels like you’re wrapped in a duvet yet it looks straight off of a runway in Paris.” To help weed through the tons of options out there, here are a bunch of teddy bear coats we love that you can buy right now in both luxurious shearling and cozy faux fur, plus, as a bonus, two standout teddy-ish accessories we’re currently coveting.
The 2018 version of Max Mara’s faux-fur teddy bear coat.