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Surviving the Arctic Cold With the Right Fur  

The oncoming Arctic weather hitting North America from the Pacific coastline to the Atlantic is bringing record snowfalls, low temperatures and gusty winds. This year fall is the season that never happened….winter is here!  And, it looks to be a rough one.  But we’re here to help with tips for dressing to stay warm, fashionable and surviving the Arctic cold with the right fur!

Morning commuters are seen bundled up Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, in Chicago. The National Weather Service is reporting the air temperature dropped to 11 degrees below zero at O'Hare International Airport and Midway International Airports on Tuesday morning. Cold temperatures have forced the cancellation of about 625 flights at Chicago's major airports. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

Morning commuters are seen bundled up Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, in Chicago. The National Weather Service is reporting the air temperature dropped to 11 degrees below zero at O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airports on Tuesday morning. Cold temperatures have forced the cancellation of about 625 flights at Chicago’s major airports. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

When it comes to cold weather survival we’ll take some cues from our arctic friends to the North, may they be from North America, Europe or Asia. These cultures know a thing or two about beating the elements and have engineered, over centuries, the most efficient wardrobe to fight the deadly cold.

Inuit elder Qappik Attagutsiak in her traditional caribou and sealskin clothes. Arctic Bay, Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canadian high Arctic. Photo by Sue Flood.

Inuit elder Qappik Attagutsiak in her traditional caribou and sealskin clothes. Arctic Bay, Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canadian high Arctic. Photo by Sue Flood.

A group of Dolgan women in traditional winter reindeer skin clothing. Taymyr, Northern Siberia, Russia.

A group of Dolgan women in traditional winter reindeer skin clothing. Taymyr, Northern Siberia, Russia.

Boy dressed up in traditonal White reindeer fur for Jokkmokk's winter fair, Finland.

Boy dressed up in traditional White reindeer fur for Jokkmokk’s winter fair, Finland.

Fur is their secret weapon, providing two key advantages.  The leather acts as a windshield to protect from the impact of the cold winds while the fur itself traps your body heat.    In the harshest climates two  garments are often paired and worn together with one having the fur against the wearer’s body and the other with the fur facing outwards to act as a windbreaker.

Inuit woman and baby. In many Arctic regions, a pouch is sewn onto the back of a woman's parka to hold her child

Inuit woman and baby. In many Arctic regions, a pouch is sewn onto the back of a woman’s parka to hold her child

The traditional parka is a heavy outer jacket with the fur facing outwards worn with a second jacket of the same fur (the ATIGI), worn beneath it with the fur facing inwards. (JohnTyman)

The traditional parka is a heavy outer jacket with the fur facing outwards worn with a second jacket of the same fur (the ATIGI), worn beneath it with the fur facing inwards. (JohnTyman)

Short knee-length trousers of caribou skin –two layers traditionally covered the legs. These are made for young boy and have elastic braces. (JohnTyman)

Short knee-length trousers of caribou skin –two layers traditionally covered the legs. These are made for young boy and have elastic braces. (JohnTyman)

Updated traditional Inuit style, photo by Charlene Paterson.

Updated traditional Inuit style, photo by Charlene Paterson.

This combination is the inspiration behind today’s fur-lined down parkas that combine feathers and fur for maximum warmth and lightness. The latest fur designs, too, are very conscious about the garment’s weight and adaptability to the current lifestyle and offer looks that embrace style and practicality.  Outerwear must allow for easy movement and be versatile and wearable.

Dennis Basso - Fall 2014 - Winter 2015

Dennis Basso – Fall 2014 – Winter 2015

Dior Homme - Fall 2014-Winter 2014

Dior Homme – Fall 2014-Winter 2014

Fendi - Fall 2014-Winter 2015

Fendi – Fall 2014-Winter 2015

Moncler Gamme Rouge - Fall 2013-Winter 2014 photographed by Steven Meisel

Moncler Gamme Rouge – Fall 2013-Winter 2014 photographed by Steven Meisel

Many silhouettes developed by arctic cultures are dominating the current collections, providing warmth and establishing fashion trends.  From hoodies to pullovers to boots, we are seeing fur used in creative, beautiful and functional designs.

Traditional Greenlandic clothing, Itillimut, southwest Greenland.

Traditional Greenlandic clothing, Itillimut, southwest Greenland.

Arctic style - Fur pullover jacket with hood

Arctic style – Fur pullover jacket with hood

A traditional Nganasan woman's combination reindeer skin under garment worn together with knee length boots. Taymyr, Northern Siberia, Russia.

A traditional Nganasan woman’s combination reindeer skin under garment worn together with knee length boots. Taymyr, Northern Siberia, Russia.

Arctic Clothing from Igloolik

Arctic Clothing from Igloolik

When it comes to beating the cold, nothing comes close to fur. There are plenty of great options in stores right now. So stay with us as we bring you more fashionable tips for beating the chill!

Rihanna's epic "wilderness inspired" spread in September 2014's  W magazine

Rihanna’s epic “wilderness inspired” spread in September 2014’s W magazine

Emilio Pucci - Fall/Winter  2014-15

Emilio Pucci – Fall/Winter 2014-15

Valentino Men-Fall/Winter 2014-15

Valentino Men-Fall/Winter 2014-15

Balmain Fall/Winter 2014-15

Balmain Fall/Winter 2014-15

Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2014-15

Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2014-15