by Ivana Markotic

It’s -13°C in Toronto today and in the frigid temperatures of a Canadian winter, we need to keep warm, yet we don’t want to sacrifice style. The biggest trend for Winter 2009 will help us solve the dilemma of warmth vs. fashion: fur, both real and fake. Chapkas, scarves, coats, vests, wraps and even handbags are all taking a fuzzy form.

Uptown chic for the downtown crowd, fur is featured in many runway looks and available for considerably cheaper prices as faux fur in local stores. Fur has a history of being associated with luxury and sophistication. Europeans often level a person’s wealth depending on the type of fur one wears.

Carolina Herrera, Gucci and Louis Vuitton Fall 2008 are some of the notable fashion houses featuring many different styles of wearing fur to prepare us for the winter.

But real fur doesn’t go without its controversy. The Olsen twins and Jennifer Lopez are heavily hounded by PETA for their desires to attire in real fur. Meanwhile, Lindsay Lohan faced a lawsuit for stealing a $10,000 mink coat from a New York City party.

A solution for someone who doesn’t want to sacrifice style, but wants to wear fur is faux fur. Designers are mimicking real fur with great results; H&M and Urban Outfitters feature some stunning knock-offs.

Whether you are for faux or for real, wrap yourself this winter in a fur trend.