Mariah Kaiser

River Falls, WI

I’m an animal lover, plain and simple, and I have been since I was a child. Growing up in a home of hippies has made me love animals not for their meat or their fur, but for their personalities, whether it’s dogs, cats, horses, or Lovey, our pet lizard who ran away after my kid brother accidently ran his bike into his cage.

You might understand the strain I have experienced throughout my life when I confess to you another major part of my spiritual and psychological makeup: I’m obsessed with wearing fur – vests, hats, coats, jackets, bags, socks, mittens, everything. I love the way fur feels on my skin, the smoothness of the hairs under my fingers, but I also love how I look and feel when I wear fur. A good fur vest is like a suit of armor, something that protects me from the forbidding outside world, builds me up into something bigger and better than I actually am, and generally helps me to feel marvelous. Nothing is more marvelous than a fur vest.

As an ardent lover of animals and an equally ardent lover of wearing furs, you could imagine my peculiar predicament. In middle school, when I saw some extremely graphic clips of how fur is gathered from live animals, I was so viscerally repelled and disturbed that I vowed to make sure the fur I buy is 100% faux. Luckily, there are tons of super-stylish faux fur options. Another fun fact about faux fur? It is significantly more affordable than the real deal.

The obvious reason why I love my sangria-boysenberry colored faux fur vest is the comfort factor–it’s like wearing your most favorite blanket while looking cool. This vest can be hard to pull off, but paired with the right colors and accessories, it can give look both laid back as well as polished. The less obvious factor about why I love this vest is that it’s very becoming. It is one of those items in my wardrobe that I am able to call my “fat outfit.” I can wear it to my favorite restaurant where I plan to eat the entire menu and look and feel stuffed afterwards. This vest is loose enough that I do not have to worry about eating a huge dinner, where I can cover up under the fur and still look like I ran a marathon after eating my weight in food.

This year, I started working for a very prestigious retailer, which required a more professional look. I absolutely had to add this prized item to my fall wardrobe, a dazzlingly colorful and irresistibly fluffy vest that my co-workers and customers could do a double-take when seeing me in it. I wore it to the very first day of work. Because it was so unique, everyone commented on it.

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