Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Beautiful, Plush, Pink & Unethical

First off: thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone's encouraging comments after my last post. I really enjoyed reading them and will use them as sort of a mantra as a I work toward my goal of moving to Chicago. I really do appreciate them, especially because I'm still fightin the "No Chicago for now" blues.
But onto new problems eh? I'm in the middle of a huge dilemma... one that fuses my love of fashion with my love of animals. Can you see where this is going?
Last Saturday, I went to the thrift store in search of an outfit that would inspire an entire costume (I found one mind you, it's super cute!). But of course while I'm there, the shopper in me will usually peer into different sections just to see if someone's trash POPS out at me and I can call it my treasure.
Something definitely did POP out to me that day... a pink, furry, poncho. Let me tell you that Ponchos have kinda been my favorite thing this Fall. For instance, this brown Michael by Michael Kors one has been on me so many times that I'm considering renting us a hotel room.
{My new boyfriend wraps his arms around me so tight}

So when I saw the pink furry, warm, poncho-esque knit I knew that I wanted it. I tried it on, confirmed my desires and headed on over to the check-out counter to ring up my latest gem. Later that night as I got ready to go out, I threw it over pleather leggings and boots, called it good and headed out the door for drinks* and nibblies with my friends.

Turns out the rain has hit Portland so parking was scarce and I ended up having to park blocks away from the restaurant. I popped open my umbrella and hunkered down for the long and boring walk. Along the way, the poncho shifted around moving the tag to the front. Realizing I had no idea what brand this was, I looked at the tag and saw this:

Shell: Rabbit Fur
Oh no, oh no! Had I really just purchased fur after all of my years of voicing how abhorrent it was? It never even occurred to me that this may have been real fur- it was just a cheap find at a thrift store! I love animals more than life and I've read so many horrible facts about the fur industry... not to mention, watched a video that certainly made me bawl and almost made me throw-up. Good thing I was there with my best friend who instantly started trying to make me feel worse about it once I told her, you Brat.
{Why me!}
Now I'm at a crossroads... keep the beautiful, warm, trendy, fun pink shell and call it an innocent mishap or sadly do-away with a rare item. Can I satisfy the Carrie Bradshaw in me without upsetting the Jane Goodall in me? I know I wouldn't have purchased it had I known so do I get any points for that?
{So pretty... so warm... so wrong}

What have you done when your morals have inadvertently been sidestepped in the name of desire?
*I have been sick so my drink orders may or may not have included copious amounts of chrysanthemum tea and hot water..watch out Saturday night!
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Anonymous said...

Oh no :( Well for some reason, I would feel better about it being thrifted. It's 2nd hand fur, YOU didn't originally purchase it, someone else did. I don't know, probably silly, but it would make m feel better. Don't bother with it if you won't enjoy it, though. Not worth it!

this free bird said...

You are one of my faves. I love your posts and your comments, and just really feel the need to let you know :)

Now about this fur. Oh.hell.

When I first saw that pink fur against your face up top I said - holy mother of pearl she got some pink fur. Then I read the sad part. I'm torn - just like you! Damn sam this is a tough one...I had a rabbit for a pet and can't even wear angora anymore.


i'm clearly of no use here. DIFFICULT because it is tres fab and thrifted...and purchased by accident. bugger. lemme know what you decide. no judgments either way from me!


the "L" spot said...

I hate to say I can relate! I've been a vegetation forever, but there's this beautiful purple leather jacket that I want sooooo bad I keep trying to convince myself its okay you know,,,its not like i'm planning on eating the jacket. Anyway, I'll never be able to wear real leather.

My advise, if you can get over the fact you're wearing a bunny then who cares, or who'll know really?!

Leia said...

Ahhhh what a dilemma! It's so pretty and looks amazing on you, but I'm anti-fur too, so I understand what you must be feeling! But at least you know you didn't cause the suffering of an animal by buying it secondhand. If I were you, I would pass this one onto a friend - but not before getting a tailor to recreate it for me with faux fur! (Tailors in this part of the world are a dime a dozen)
Let us know what you decide to do sweetie, and we won't judge you if you decide to keep it. Hugs!


Anonymous said...

First, I'm totally feeling for you and the job situation. But you should be PROUD!! Interviews (especially that many) are not easy. I believe you will get to Chicago!!

As for the fur. . . . to be honest I'm a bit of a hypocrite. I will wear leather no problem but fur is another story for me. In your case it was a totally innocent purchase and I agree with Katie, you didn't buy it first! In fact you are helping the world by buying second hand and therefore recycling instead of just tossing things out. if you like it and will wear it, then go for it. In the end it comes down to what you are comfortable with! (Just sayin, it's totally hott though!!) xx

erica said...

loving your last outfit! Its so chic and perfect. You look gorgeous as always. i wish that I was able to pull off outfits like you do!


o said...

I'm sorry to hear that you're still having the Chicago blues:( Caitlin, I really believe that you will get to Chicago soon, when the time is right:) Oh man, I'm so torn about ur fur poncho, too! Gosh, it's so cute on you and I'm with ya, I have a total cape/poncho obsession, too hehe You know, the funny thing is that I don't mind wearing leather, but I'm anti-fur. I know, I know, I'm a bit of a hypocrite. At least, this purchase was accidental:) You had no idea! At the same time, if you can't get over the guilt each time you wear it, maybe let the poncho go? It's no fun wearing something that doesn't make you feel good:( whatever you decide, no judgement here:D

Unknown said...

love the rabbit fur xx

the chirpy bird said...

Okay I hear you... this IS a dilemma... I too thrifted this RIDICULOUS white fur reversible, that's right reversible, bomber jacket... It's uber chic and has PETA tossing and turning in their sleep at night... Yikes.... I forget where I heard this, thinking maybe SATC?? but I heard that if it's thrifted, it doesn't count....crap...Either way, when I'm out and someone touches it and asks if it's real, I always lie! ahahahah
xo tash

erika sorocco said...

I (like Carrie) owned a pet rabbit for eleven years, so I would never be able to do it; also, I am unable to get excited about real fur, as I'm completely not a fan (I don't even like faux that much!).

Nevertheless, I'm not going to pass judgement either. I think it's up to you. The fact that you are questioning the purchase, however, makes me think that you might be feeling guilty about it. One thing to keep in mind is that yes, it is vintage, so it was created before a lot of knowledge about real fur was released. Ugh! I seriously have no clue what to do. Maybe you could find a faux piece that looks similar???? :/

Anonymous said...

Oh no! The four cute rabbits from my tuesday post just heard the news and collapsed!


Just kidding darling! That poncho sure looks pretty but I guess I would be too guilty to wear it!

Camila F.

Panty Buns said...

I had better apologize in advance for this mixed and self-contradictory hypocritical comment and hope it doesn't make you feel worse or uncomfortable. i'm extremely conflicted myself as you probably already knew. I'm a vegetarian, don't approve of wearing real fur, and just finished commenting on a post called <a href="http://naomemandeflores.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/bunny_love/" rel="nofollow>bunny love</a> at nao me mande flores. The little bunnies in the photos are adorable.
On the other hand i think you look <b>incredibly hot</b> in those boots outdoors and in what looks like tight leather or vinyl pants. Where i'm a hypocrite (and this might not make you feel better either) is that i am attracted to dominatrixes who use leather riding crops, straps, floggers, belts and whips and wear tall black boots.
Wouldn't you know it to that a nutty vegetarian masochist would be lean in the directions of his own self-centered inconsistent predilections and fantasies.
Answering your question is difficult. i still don't eat meat and i haven't been on a date, had a drink or gotten spanked in the last decade and a half, but desire surely clouds my judgement. i can only suggest that you be true to yourself. Where that leads only you (and any "higher power") will know.

Panty Buns said...

Oops! Left an open tag in my last comment - i should have previewed it before posting (naughty me). The link was bunny love

Unknown said...

Hey - really cute poncho. The only thing I would be worried about in our lovely city of Portland is people freaking out at you on the street or something. You know how it gets here. You're call though.

Kim Axani said...

This is how I look at it: You didn't go out shopping to a fur store specifically, looking for a fur shawl. The person before you did. You bought it without knowing, but I think the bunny that died for that shawl is happy that the loss of his life wasn't in vain .. in the end, a nice, sweet, harmless thrift shopper gets to look pretty in his fur, instead of him dying, being made into a jacket, and tossed aside unused again. May as well use the lost life.

Jess said...

UGHHH - I hate when these kinds of things happen. I guess it depends on how much you like it. If you really like it that much - I say keep it and vow to never purchase another animal fur again. But, if you aren't going to be able to wear it without feeling guilty, then you might as well get rid of it!! It's not worth the constant guilt...


Arantxa Chavarria said...

Caitlin I feel the need to tell you... PLEASE ditch your job and become a writer!!!!!!! I love every single post you write and I mean you the gift of keeping it so interesting, I always want to read more!

And about the real fur, I feel the same way about it.. I don't supposrt it at all, but in your case you had no idea which makes a little less painful but it is still fur. You look great though!

Kara said...

Oh man, that is indeed a dilemma! It looks so cute and furry and soft and comfy....

I dunno. At the end of the day, YOU didn't buy it brand new, YOU didn't slay the rabbits and YOU didn't intentionally purchase fur. I say wear it.

bananas. said...

haha for someone who is anti-fur, you are looking mighty happy in you pink rabbit fur. lol.

i thinks its cute and you know what, the purchase was unintentional so its not your fault.

Scrummys said...

Caitlin - well, you already know my views on everything and I totally know your feelings as well. You are the sweetest person in the world and would never do this knowing so.

Here's an idea for ya; Why don't you enjoy it for the rest of the winter, since you already bought it, then sell it on ebay and send the money to an animal shelter of some sort. Ehh? Win win, right?!

No worries either way ;)

Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl said...

Being Russian, I'm not sure I'll be able to ditch fur. I've been raised to love it, you know lol This pink thingy of yours is BEAUTIFUL and you look gorgeous in it. I don't think wearing fur is that wrong... People have been wearing lethers and furs since ancient historical times after all. Same goes for eating meat - we're predators. Plus I read an article on how some scientists think that plants have feelings too and that they expirience pain. S mayeb we should all stop eating anything until it's plastic... So I guess until the animal was tortured and died in suffering solely for the purpose of being made into a pretty thing, it is wrong, but if it wasn't treated badly during its life, it's kind of natural... If the point I'm tryign to make makes any sense? :)

ellinelle said...

..I agree with Julia 100 % ..I love fur ..I don't like people criticizing about that because so many things come from animals and that is exactly the same thing - meat .. leather bags , shoes , car seats , belts ..and a lot more ..

..you look gorgeous in that pink poncho , keep it , it will be wearable for years and years and years ..also that pink suits you incredibly ..