In fiction, as in real life, many people wear fur garments just because it's luxurious and glamorous, whether worn for warmth or for style. If you see characters wear a stylish fur, it usually means they either have enough wealth to buy it (either on a whim or saving up for one), or they have found other ways to get one, because in many cultures these are status symbols.
Even when those not in the upper classes wear furs this way, it still indicates that the aggregate wealth of a society is higher than normal.
In Europe, certain furs were so prized that for a time there were Sumptuary Laws about who could wear what kind of fur. Ermine was among the most prized, used to trim and line royal robes and capes (hence the reason the trope Ermine Cape Effect is named so). While the poor also wore furs, it was for utility instead of decoration, so their clothes were made with common pelts like sheepskin and rabbit, and weren't stylized and tailored.
So this trope is also as old in fiction, but visual media like film is where it's clearly evident. It was used extensively in The Golden Age of Hollywood just for the visual splendor it brought. At one point furs were so common they didn't provide characterization the way they do today under the Hollywood Dress Code. The exceptions were very specific outfits, like the classic pimp coat. What fur was worn was generally chosen one of two ways. The first was reflecting whatever Conspicuous Consumption style trends were popular for a certain demographic. The second was whatever the designer felt like.
Also, fur can be a dual purpose luxury. When worn in cold weather, it's a utility luxury (as in the picture), and when worn otherwise, it's a sybaritic luxury.
These days furs are less common in media and now has competition from Fur and Loathing, where a woman in a fur coat is either the Rich Bitch, The Vamp or downright evil, although some savvy costumers can do both if the character is wearing real fur (and expect some commentary on either trope). Other characters who wear fur tend to do it for a single episode or two.
Fashion Magazines, in at least one issue in (usually) an Autumn month, will have a spread about fur fashion. Any ads for furs would count as Up Marketing, as would ads for other luxury products that also feature models wearing fur.
Now since this is about use of fur to pretty up a scene, it's not just any instance of wearing fur. Even if a fur is worn for warmth, it also has to be an excuse to have a nice fur in the scene to count for this trope. Thus an Inuit parka usually doesn't count; it would have to be a designer parka (even if made in Inuit style).
A Super-Trope to:
A Sister Trope to: Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry, Fluffy Fashion Feathers, Gold Makes Everything Shiny (all involve materials to show off wealth in a glamorous way), Pelts of the Barbarian (furs and hides that are rough instead of luxurious), Hell-Bent for Leather.
- Anime & Manga
- Comic Books
- Fan Works
- Films - Animated
- Films - Live Action
- Live-Action TV
- Video Games
- Web Comics
- Western Animation
- Real Life
- In The Perry Bible Fellowship a redheaded lady goes to point out a guy at a Police Lineup, and she wanted to look her best, as she wears a gray fur wrap when she arrives.
- Muffy Ainsworth in the newspaper Spider-Man wears a white fur jacket in her flashback to when Spider-Man saved her from an (apparent) vampire who kidnaped and hypnotized her.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- Some magic items require fur as their material, such as the "Cloak of Lordliness", which requires "the finest ermine", sewed with silver thread, when made for a human princes or princess to wear.
- In the "Advanced 2nd Edition" monster manual, the picture for vampire showed a wealthy noble lady wearing a Simple, yet Opulent dress and a fur-lined cape◊ (that also had a High Collar of Doom).
- That same manual also had the picture for Drow showing a warrior lady, who is high born given her spider-shaped tiara (their patron goddess is a spider god). She wears a cape of white fur and her dress and boots are fur trimmed◊.
- Exalted: The demon Janequin, Fortune's Fool likes to wear, if not outright Costume Porn, but very expensive fabrics and items, including furs.
- Magic: The Gathering:
- In the Classic Mystery Date the formal dance outfit includes a white fur shoulder wrap.
- In Born Yesterday, Billie says all she ever wanted was a mink coat, and a radio that could fit in her purse. She thinks she's happy because she now has two. In The '90s remake, she says she's fine because her old coat was just rabbit fur.
- In Cactus Flower, Julian presents Toni with a mink stole. She's stunned at the generosity of his gift, though she would have rather received black leather slacks. She decides to send the mink to "Mrs. Winston" along with the original card, whose only words are, "As ever, Julian." Stephanie is so taken with the stole that she buys an expensive evening gown to wear with it to the April in Paris Ball.
- One act in Guys and Dolls starts with the number "Take Back Your Mink", which is the trope namer of Take Back Your Gift, as it's about a lady refusing to be a slut just for gifts like furs.
- Gypsy: In most versions, there is a white rabbit coat and hat June wears for one of the acts, and a mink coat Gypsy wears that she lets her mother wear at the end. The first film version even had Gypsy wear a dress with a skirt covered entirely with white fox.
- Rachel Felix was a successful French actress in the mid 19th century. There is a portrait of her in costume, an ermine-trimmed dress and cape◊.
- Samantha from the American Girls Collection has a skating dress trimmed with white fur, and in one of the books she has an outfit with a white fur hat and muff.
- Anastasia had a doll of her in a skating dress (based on a Deleted Scene), and she's wearing a white fur hat and muff.
- Many of Barbie's outfits have fur, from the white fur wrap on the "Enchanted Evening" outfit, to holiday dresses having fur trim◊.
- Some of the Bratz outfits have fur trim.
- Wany variants of the Disney Princesses' dresses have fur, in the merch, website, and magazines, such as a set of winter merchandise in 2005 and 2006 which showed the princesses in dresses trimmed with white fur, and carrying white fur muffs.
- This picture◊ by Anand Duncan is a winter princess in an outfit where not only is her Pimped-Out Dress decorated with white fur, but also her Parasol of Prettiness.
- In Idiotsitter, Billie and Gene don oversized fur coats during "Happy Birthday", while they are also whacked out on peyote. The image of them in their coats and sunglasses, in-doors, is also a promo image for the series.
- The short-lived series Mis-Directed starts with a brother and sister trying to film a Torture Porn, with the sister Julianna playing (sort of) the victim while wearing a purple rabbit fur jacket, which she seems to wear specifically to pretty herself up, given she acts like The Prima Donna.