Perhaps most well-known for their sueded style with exposed wool seams, the best shearling coats are made from buttery leather with a natural deep-pile lambswool lining for a look that reads luxe at any elevation. A shearling coat oozes a sort of just-left-the-chalet charm that will always be in style. But there are plenty of imitation options for people who don’t wear fur for personal reasons. In fact, some of the bestselling shearling coats aren’t made from shearling at all, since (as you’ll see) the real deal can be cost-prohibitive.
To determine whether you want to go all-in, it's helpful to know what makes a shearling coat so uniquely warm and sumptuous-feeling. Shearling is leather taken from sheep that retains its wool on one side; it’s usually clipped to create a velvety surface but sometimes has a curly finish. True shearling is taken from young lambskin, but you’ll often find sturdier coats made from thicker sheepskin. When shearling is properly cared for, it's a have-it-forever piece that's well worth the investment. It's hypoallergenic, breathable, exceptionally heat-retaining, and it only gets softer over time.
You’ll also find plenty of faux shearling called sherpa, which is made from a blend of synthetic fibers (and sometimes cotton) to imitate the feel of the real thing in cruelty-free fashion. In fact, it’s sometimes a little bit easier to find fashion-inspired coats in faux shearling since the vegan materials have gotten so good you can pick up cruelty-free riffs on designer leather styles. That said, sherpa will not last as long as the real deal.
From the quintessential shearling bomber to a retro number that's nothing short of stunning, here are six fabulous shearling (and sherpa) coats you’ll wear on repeat. To help find the right jacket for you, they're organized into the real and faux categories.
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