The Friday after Thanksgiving may be a “Black” one for retailers and shoppers, but it has another meaning to those who advocate for animals—foes of fur one might say. 

It is celebrated as Fur-Free Friday—a tongue twister AND an opportunity to get the message out to all those shoppers (and the retailers they frequent) that they should skip the skins. Whether on the hunt for holiday gifts or fabulous fashions to ring in the New Year, faux is the way to go! 

Just take a look at everyone’s favorite jolly and generous ol’ elf, Mr. Kringle, himself. When Santa Claus is coming to town and hurrying down the chimney, he does it in a red velvet suit with white faux fur trim. Why…his boots are probably even PLEATHER! (If your life and livelihood rested on hooves of eight tiny reindeer, would you REALLY want to be sporting cowhide from knees to heels? I don’t think so!)

Inspired by the Claus family fashions is this adorable and even affordable (if you choose wisely) holiday outfit—featuring snow and faux accessories…and even a little evergreen. 

At the base of this outstanding outfit is a vintage-inspired red dress with white Peter Pan collar available from Modcloth. The dress can be paired with nude hoses or, better yet, colored tights. Complement snow-white tights with a dramatic pair of red lace-trimmed velvet high heels by Charlotte Russe and grab a clutch in matching material. (Is it just me or does this handbag remind anyone else of the bonnet worn by Mrs. Claus?) 

If you want to go more “ho-ho-ho” with the ensemble, go for the red tights and an all man-made black boot. These, by Naturalizer, are available at Famous Footwear (and I can personally attest to their style AND comfort). Next, say “good night” to the thin white belt and “good evening” for this wide, stretchy black belt with imitation leather panels and gold “stone” closure. Finish off your list of Santa-like accessories with a pair of synthetic leather gloves. Not only are they kind to critters, they balance out the black donned elsewhere in this gay apparel. 

Speaking of accessories…Mrs. Claus will be green with envy over this handsome handbag (100% polyurethane). Reminiscent of Santa’s sack, even the name of this evergreen purse -- “Let’s Fly” -- seems ideal to pay homage to the head elf (and his reindeer). Fanciful and festive hair accessories are IN…so leave the stocking cap to Kris Kringle! Choose this headband by Tarina Tarantino instead -- it’s completely feather-free. Tulle is used to create its fluffy flowers, and Swarovski crystals add just the right amount of twinkle. 

Baby, did you hear? It’s cold outside...this time of year. So you better bundle up. 

For outerwear that’s fun to wear, there are several fabulous and faux options. The first is this adorable “Icing on the Coat in Red Velvet” with white piping detailed. By Knitted Dove, this is also available on Modcloth.com. Layer on a fuzzy fake fur hat and scarf for cozy cuteness and slip on knit gloves (made from acrylic yarns) in either long and short versions. Both red and white options can be seen in this Santa set. If warmth isn’t too much of a worry where you live, you could choose a faux fur shrug -- a thing of beauty that doesn’t harm any beasts.

Well, that wraps up the faux, so now…let it snow, let it snow, let it SNOW! Add sparkle to your seasonal attire and shine to your New Year with snowflake jewelry in silver…and GOOOOOOOLD! (Well, if you can find gold.) Earrings, pendants or pins add that little something special to a winter wardrobe and give Mother Nature (or is it Jack Frost?) a nod for fashioning frozen and fabulous designs. 

Finally, while the mention of evergreen originally referred only to the great green accessories, it seemed only natural (and I couldn't resist taking this opportunity) to converse on conifers at this time of year. In other words, let’s get real now and take a minute to talk trees! 

As your pining for and pondering whether to choose a spruce or fir (NOT FUR) this season, consider giving a gift to planet earth (and future generations) as well. Plant a tree. You can do it, literally, in your own backyard, or, there are several charitable organizations that will plant a tree when you make a donation. The Nature Conservancy and the Arbor Day Foundation are two that immediately come to mind.
 
Ho-ho-hopefully you’ve enjoyed this Claus collection, and my merry musings (and didn’t mind my plentiful puns…well, too much).
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