THE TIME IS NOW! (To Buy a Faux Fur)

Don't wait -- or you'll be sorry.
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Alison Freer
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Don't wait -- or you'll be sorry.

Three (or maybe more???) years ago, I splashed out $19 for a slightly hideous fake leopard fur coat that was on super clearance at Forever 21 due to all the buttons being missing. I had some vague idea I'd replace them with some awesome vintage ones, but of course I never did -- so I've just been wearing it flapping open this whole time. No matter, it's still crazy cool:

The babe behind me at the San Antonio, Texas airport clearly agrees. 

The babe behind me at the San Antonio, Texas airport clearly agrees. 

This coat was a half-hearted attempt at replacing a truly glorious, glossy faux leopard fur coat I scored while working for Todd Oldham in the 1990s, which I wore until it was totally and completely threadbare. (I'm talking bald spots in the fur and holes in the lining big enough to put your fist through.) I held on to that coat as long as I possibly could -- and cried big fat tears as I threw it away, because working for Todd was like living in a dream world. We had dance parties in the shop almost every single day, and must have burned through at least $10,000 worth of film while taking the original selfies: Polaroids!

Polaroid cameras and fake fur, a few of my favorite things.

Polaroid cameras and fake fur, a few of my favorite things.

Whenever he happened to be in town and working at the store, Todd would do hilarious stuff like draw perfect tiger stripes on staff members and their dogs -- and we constantly played dress-up with his amazing clothes. I wore many, many ensembles that foxy ladies such as Amber, Linda, and Cindy had previously modeled.

I don't think there is anything more 90s than this Todd Oldham mosaic collection!

I don't think there is anything more 90s than this Todd Oldham mosaic collection!

Our little store on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles saw lots of laughter and just as much crying. We weathered endless breakups and makeups together, hosted at least a dozen rescued chihuahuas, witnessed a birth and even spawned a wedding, which I somehow ended up making the cake for. Todd is the one who introduced me to the greatness of "Grey Gardens," the film that taught me it was okay -- cool even, to be an eccentric ol' broad. It was a blissful time in my life that kind of died forever with the death of that leopard coat. 

This is Doug, the official Todd Oldham Los Angeles shop dog. (One of his teeth is actually taped to the back of this Polaroid!) And yes, that's a floor we made with shellac and old book pages. You can find out how to do it yourself right here. 

This is Doug, the official Todd Oldham Los Angeles shop dog. (One of his teeth is actually taped to the back of this Polaroid!) And yes, that's a floor we made with shellac and old book pages. You can find out how to do it yourself right here

Anyway, this wasn't meant to be a trip down memory lane -- it's supposed to be a roundup of the very best faux-fur coats a girl can buy at every single price point. But if you're looking to score one, don't dawdle! Because by the time it's actually cold enough to rock these coats, they'll be long gone from the stores. Once Thanksgiving rolls around, it's almost impossible to find a fake fur that's worth buying (unless it happens to be missing every single button.) So be sure to strike while the iron -- and the weather -- is still hot. Whatever you want to spend, there's a fake fur out there with your name on it.

COATS UNDER $50 FOR BUDGET BABES

EVEN MORE COATS, $130 AND UNDER

Clockwise from top left: Mango leopard print coat, $129.99. Chicwish brown faux fur coat, $76.42. 'Fairy Floss' fur, $88.00. Tipped fur coat, $115.00 US. H&M cream curly fur jacket, $59.95.

Clockwise from top left: Mango leopard print coat, $129.99. Chicwish brown faux fur coat, $76.42. 'Fairy Floss' fur, $88.00. Tipped fur coat, $115.00 US. H&M cream curly fur jacket, $59.95.

$150+ COATS FOR BIG BAD BALLERS

Clockwise from top left: Pepe Jeans leopard coat, $380.86. (This coat is so close to my OG Todd Oldham coat that I just might have to snap it up.) Urban Outfitters Ecote 'Mountain' coat, $229.00. Victoria's Secret long faux-fur, $158.00. 'Fabulous Furs' Russian lynx faux fur jacket, $179.00. (Available in sizes XS-3X.) Nasty Gal 'Fur Candy' coat, $298.00.

Clockwise from top left: Pepe Jeans leopard coat, $380.86. (This coat is so close to my OG Todd Oldham coat that I just might have to snap it up.) Urban Outfitters Ecote 'Mountain' coat, $229.00. Victoria's Secret long faux-fur, $158.00. 'Fabulous Furs' Russian lynx faux fur jacket, $179.00. (Available in sizes XS-3X.) Nasty Gal 'Fur Candy' coat, $298.00.

The only problem with faux fur coats is that they are almost impossible to clean yourself, so it's dry cleaner or bust. Sure, you COULD wash them at home in the washing machine, but you're likely going to wind up with a terribly matted mess. To stretch the time between professional cleanings, I suggest just spot cleaning them using a baby wipe (like my beloved Wet Ones.)

But if your coat is really grimy, you can absorb any oil, dirt or grime by sprinkling a healthy amount of dry, ground cornmeal onto the soiled areas, working it into the fabric well and allowing it to sit for several hours, taking it outdoors and shaking vigorously to remove any excess. Then brush your coat carefully with a slicker brush (like the kind you use to groom your cats!) to fluff up matted areas and remove any lingering cornmeal. Wait, why are you still here reading this? Go grab yourself a fake fur before they're all gone!

I'm on Twitter: @IveyAlison