I Spy Shearling


Shearling moves from main attraction to accent in menswear trends for Fall 12

Words and Photography by Justin Bridges

It seems that the absence of full shearling pieces became the norm for Fall 2012 runway collections this year, with designers accentuating looks in a less-is-more style. American and European designers alike, used shearling and heavy fabrics to trim the collars on oversized coats and tailored jackets. As we've seen gradually over the seasons, fall aesthetics have become bolder and more overstated with regards to fabric choices and styling on the runway. The one thing that is certain about shearling: men are not waiting for fall to get their hands on the trend. Now that shearling has become the eye-catching accent rather than the full staple piece, men have been able to incorporate it into their wardrobes with a very stream-lined approach.

Shearling was most commonly used in the past as an entire coat, which restricted the silhouette and structure of coats making them less than flattering. The shapeless lines were incredibly contrary to the slim-trend that hit menswear within the past 4-6 years. Using shearling as a collar has torn down the obstacles to creating an outerwear piece that communicates warmth through shearling but is careful not to go on shearling overload, limiting it to specific areas of the coat. In fact, we are also seeing quite a few pieces that use a shearling lining with an entirely different shell. This kind of lining allows for more structure in the design of a coat, which is on trend for slim look men want. We are also starting to see shearling in different colorways as we redefine how it should be used--a move that truly demonstrate the beauty of change and innovation.