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A woman tries a fur coat on October 25, 2008 at Hotel Drouot in Paris

LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images

Fur has become more casual since your grandmother donned her mink coat. To get the right effect, choose clingier, shorter silhouettes over long, boxy coats. Pair fur pieces with soft, warm wools or knits instead of more formal silks.

Feel free to wear more than one fur piece at a time - just make sure not to overpower the most substantial item. To this end, play with different fabrications, partnering a fur-trimmed sweater, say, with a knitted-pelt hat or scarf.

When piling fur on, keep to similar tones. Wearing dark brown with black or white with creamy beige eases up on the flash. Believe it or not, fur can be demure.

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