Wednesday, 8 December 2010

leather and fur

Mongolians really know how to dress well. More importantly, Mongolians really know how to dress well in frighteningly cold weather. An average amble around Ulaanbaatar is akin to a promenade around Rome on a sunny January afternoon.

When the weather turns you will find almost everybody wearing fur. Fur coats, fur stoles, fur boots, fur scarves, fur hats. Mongolians also have fabulous boots. Boots of every conceivable shape, style and colour. Boots for macho men, boots for petite fashionistas, boots for grandmothers.

There is no room for futile political correctness when the temeperature is this low. In Ulaanbaatar fur is a necessity not a luxury. The government even offers mortgages to help people purchase furry protection against the cold. I saw a homeless person wearing a fur coat earlier this week. Anyone feeling queasy or remotely outraged by fur wearing should come and spend a week walking around Mongolia without a fur hat on - faux fur only offers false promise - get over it! People without protection from the cold die here on a regular basis.

Hot on the heels of purchasing my first fur hat (genuine fox, love it) I have just been measured up for my first pair of Mongolian boots. So normal is it to have bespoke boots made that the fitting took approximately two minutes. Choosing the style and colour took a little longer. This morning I opted for dark brown knee length tight fitters with limited fanciness. I figure they will look something between 'trendy Gestapo' and 'Jilly Cooper addict'. They will be ready on Friday and cost about the same as a pair of Converse. Fox on my head, cows on my feet.

Mongolian of the day:- leather :: savikh