Pretty in Mink

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
    Jean Grey needed a new winter coat. She bought a fur, just because.[1]

    Delysia: "There is something so sensual about fur next to the skin, don't you think?"

    Although fur historically was worn for warmth, it's also for centuries been associated with wealth and glamour. Thus some outfits have fur, just because it makes everything's more stylish, more grand, more sexy (since some folk like how soft fur feels, and how it looks wrapped around a woman, or a guy).

    Fur worn for more than warmth alone has been around since perhaps as long as civilization. In Europe, it largely started in earnest when power shifted from Rome to Central and Northern Europe. This was around the time kings brought the Ermine Cape to the Ermine Cape Effect. That combined with Sumptuary Laws about who could wear what kind of fur made this quite the luxury, save for the least expensive, like sheepskin.

    The trope is as old as plays in the medieval era, but Film is where it's most evident. One theory is that black and white films needed more sensation and went tactile. This idea is still plausible—unless it's explicitly for warmth or to mark a character, fur in fiction is almost always used to pretty up the scene (especially as part of Costume Porn). Even today, with Fur and Loathing, fake fur is often used for glamour.

    At one point furs were so common they didn't provide characterisation 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 trends was popular for a certain demographic. The second was whatever the designer felt like.

    These days furs are less common and tend to show Conspicuous Consumption. The trope now has competition from Fur and Loathing, where a woman in a fur coat is evil—the Rich Bitch, The Vamp or worse. Other characters who wear fur tend to do it for a single special episode.

    Now since this is about gratuitous use of fur, 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, unless the parka is dwelt upon lovingly and is designed to be stylish.

    Sister Tropes include Hell-Bent for Leather, Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry, Fluffy Fashion Feathers, Opera Gloves, Gold Makes Everything Shiny, An Ice Suit, Sexy Coat Flashing.


    Examples of Pretty in Mink include:


    Anime and Manga

    Comic Books


    • The Stud and its sequel The Bitch.
    • The original The Women and its first remake The Opposite Sex.
    • Ginger in Casino wore furs for nearly half her screen time. Also, Sam and Ginger's daughter, Amy, wore a white rabbit jacket for about half her screen time.
    • Broadway Melody Of 1940 had an agent who used an ermine cape (not the royal kind) as a way to get dates. It was apparently based on a Real Life Hollywood agent, just that the real version used a silver fox wrap instead.
    • Madame Bovary(1991 adaptation): The eponymous madame wears a white mink stole. This was either a mistake or expediency by the costumer, as white mink wasn't around until the late 1940s. A white fur wrap back then would likely have been fox, rabbit, or ermine.
    • Love in The Afternoon: Borrowing an ermine coat was one of the ways Ariane gains Frank Flannigan's interest. It seems to work when in a Sexy Discretion Shot, the camera focuses on Ariane letting her coat fall to the floor.
    • Suzie Q: In the opening, the titular heroine wears a white fur wrap on the way to a dance.
    • A Muppet Family Christmas sends this one up. Kermit tells Miss Piggy he got her a mink for Christmas, and she's thrilled until she meets the mink—a live anthropomorphic mink named Maureen. Piggy is about to karate chop Kermit into next week, but then Maureen exclaims that she is Piggy's biggest fan, and Piggy quickly warms up to her.
    • That Lady in Ermine fits this trope perfectly. Despite the name, the titular character seems to be wearing an ermine coat just because. It could have been a lot of things for what the plot was about. The final scene of the movie has her descendant wear a different kind of ermine coat, that more fit that era, or at least the Hollywood Costuming version.
    • That Touch Of Mink also fits this trope perfectly. There is a mink coat, and... it has almost nothing else to do with the plot, but it's pretty.
    • In Snow White and The Three Stooges, the titular princess wears skating dresses trimmed with white fur, one as a kid and another as an adult, that includes an ermine muff.
    • Many of Sonja Henie's films.
    • In American Dreamer, Kathy, thinking she's Rebbecca Ryan, goes on a shopping spree, which includes several furs, which also get plenty of screentime later on.
    • The Bad and The Beautiful has at least one fur in each flashback. Respectively there was an ermine jacket, a dress trimmed with white fox, and a white mink wrap.
    • Gypsy: Notably 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.
    • Shirley Temple wore a white rabbit coat in a movie, and that's been the most popular real fur for girl's clothing since.
    • Both Marie Antoinette films, since the real Marie of course did wear some fur-trimmed dresses.
    • In Adventures in Babysitting a full length fur is used to hide from a gangster.
    • The opening scene of Singin in The Rain is a film premiere, and several actresses show up in fur capes.
    • In Ronin a figure skater wears a mink coat when she arrives for a show. She later gets killed, but because her friend is involved in espionage and lets her die when some hold her hostage.
    • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes had plenty.
    • The films Jayne Mansfield starred in gave her plenty of furs.
    • In the 1971 film Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, the bratty Veruca Salt wore one (of four!) to the factory. And the actress's mink coat was specially made for her, since mink coats weren't commonly made in girls' sizes.
    • A scene in Mannequin has Kim Catrall wearing a pale brown fur coat over Black Bra and Panties and stockings.
    • In the Ginger Rogers film Lady in the Dark, she wears a dress with a mink skirt.
    • The two film adaptations of Lady for a Day.
    • The comedy Easy Living begins with a banker getting tired of his wife's fur purchases and throws a sable coat out the window, accidentally falling on the main character.
    • Why Did I Get Married by Tyler Perry has plenty of furs (at least in the film version), as part of the story is about the main characters are vacationing in Aspen.
    • Hell On Heels The Battle For Mary Kay, Mary Kay wears fur, and even gives a black mink coat to the best saleswoman each year, two such presentations capping the film.
    • Songlian of Raise the Red Lantern has a few fur trimmed outfits, and a short, white rabbit cape she wears in a scene.
    • Unfaithfully Yours: Several, with Daphne even asking her sister what fur she would be wearing so Daphne wouldn't wear an identical one.
    • The Fashion Show-like scene in The Stuff
    • Roberta and the remake Lovely To Look At.
    • Easter Parade
    • All I Want for Christmas had a number of scenes of opulent people in New York at Christmastime, so there were a number of furs, including Hallie wearing a white rabbit fur muff when she goes to correct her wish to Santa.
    • 42nd Street, especially the "Young and Healty" number, where every woman in that scene wore outfits trimmed with white fox.
    • In Stage Door, Socialite Terry Randall wants to break into show business, and stays at a boarding house for actresses. She does bring a lot of her clothes, including a lot of her furs. She even lets her roommate, Jean, borrow her short ermine cape with the line "You may as well go to perdition in ermine. You're sure to come back in rags."
    • Matilda the Hun of Death Race 2000 wore a white mink jacket, and even a biker helmet covered in white mink.
    • Phyllis of Troop Beverly Hills wears a white mink coat on a camping trip, even though it turned out not to be a good idea in a place where it would rain.
    • Nika in the film of Hitman wears a silver mink coat.
    • Victoria in RED (film) wears a white mink coat, and a lynx coat.
    • Muriel in The Accidental Tourist wears a few furs, including a purple rabbit jacket.
    • The thriller Dangerous Crossing has a number of furs, including the heroine wearing a mink coat for the first hour of the film.
    • The Hebrew Hammer: A dame in a fur coat shows up at the office of the Hammer, mistaking him for Mike Hammer.
    • At the end of Johnny Dangerously, his girlfriend wore a white fox wrap at the end as part of the joke Broken Aesop.
    • The wife in the movie Of Unknown Origin wears a blue fox coat when she goes on vacation with her son. Consequently, it's one of the few luxuries they have that isn't wrecked in the film.
    • Laura has a few, including a mid length fur skirt Laura wears.
    • The eponymous Gilda has at least three worn in the movie, well two worn and one carried for a song.
    • Amidala's red dress in The Phantom Menace is trimmed with dark brown fur. Also, possibly, her capes on later costumes.
    • The trailer for the upcoming movie In Time, we see Sylvia wearing a white fox wrap.
    • In the 2008 version of Easy Virtue, Larita wears a few furs, like an ermine jacket.
    • Milo Roberts, the Idle Rich lady in An American in Paris.
    • Barbara Chapman in the film version of Hangover Square wears a few furs, including an ermine jacket and muff.
    • The eponymous The Millionaress wears a number of furs in that film.
    • In the rich man wish in the first Bedazzled, Stanley buys Margaret a mink coat to make her like him. She enjoys how it feels, but then takes it off to run around with other guys.
    • Gia had a few models wearing fur coat, and a Fashion Show had Gia wearing a wedding dress where the bouquet was a huge white fox muff with flowers bunched at the front.
    • Susan in Anchors Aweigh had a white ermine shoulder cape.


    • In CS Lewis's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the wardrobe contains fur coats, so the children conveniently take them for warmth. When spring comes, they shed them. At the end of the book, they feel obliged to explain to Professor Kirk what had happened to his coats.
    • The Widow Of Desire is a Cold War spy thriller written in The Eighties, about how a Russian furrier living in the US is murdered, and his American wife learns it was because he was involved in trying to bust apart a Soviet coup attempt. A Russian Lynx coat even ends up being a MacGuffin.
    • In Louisa May Alcott's short story A Christmas Dream, a rich girl named Effie has a dream where an angel makes a grand Christmas for poor children, including turning the show falling on her into a white fur cape and hood. When she tells her dream to her family, her mother decides to make that dream happen, right down to buying Effie a little white fur coat to wear, to look like the outfit the angel was wearing.
    • In Bride Of The Rat God by Barbara Hambly, the would-be bride is a movie star, and lets her cousin frequently borrow her furs, including a chinchilla coat. That's the clothing equivalent of loaning a Mercedes.
    • The Discworld books don't hide where fur comes from, but it accepts it as a part of life in this pseudo-medieval world. One of the most popular glamour furs is the white fur of the Vermine. There are a few digs about it for the sake of humor, such as the line, "the fur is highly prized, especially by the vermine itself", in Sourcery.
    • The Lord of the Rings books and film has nobility and royalty wearing fur occasionally.
    • Sacher-Masoch's Venus in Furs combines this trope with a heavy dose of domme and the titular character's only duty as the narrator's Mistress being to swathe herself in sumptuous furs, regardless of the temperature. Played as a kink, but referencing the historical luxury and power overtones of wearing furs.
    • Whateley Universe example: Rich Bitch Solange in her custom-made furs in "Ayla and the Great Shoulder Angel Conspiracy". Kodiak even thinks about getting her to wear her fur and nothing else that evening...
    • The eponymous Snow Queen of the Hans Christian Andersen story dressed in furs (and thus does in Fables), as does Jadis, the White Witch, who was likely inspired by her.
    • In Neuromancer, furs are grown from tissue on a bed of collagen, because most animals have died out, making them relatively widespread for a dystopia.
    • The Roald Dahl short story Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel's Coat is about an adulterous woman trying to keep the mink coat she got from her lover without raising her husband's suspicions. It was adapted into an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
    • Bobbsey Twins: In the early editions of the very first book (published 1904), Nan Bobbsey—at age eight—says that all she want for Christmas is "a set of furs ... a beautiful brown set, just like Mamma's." And she gets them.
    • In the Xanth novel Centaur Isle, Princess Irene is given a silver-lined fur by the centaurs.

    Live Action TV


    "I mean, you really think this looks good? (Sees herself in the mirror.) 'Cause I do."

      • When Phoebe and Mike get married, Mike's mother wears a white fur coat to the wedding.
    • Diana wore a fur or two in Wonder Woman, like in the episode "The Boy Who Knew Her Secret".
    • Emma Peel of The Avengers wore a few furs, as well as some other ladies.
    • Popular
    • A case in Father Dowling Mysteries involved a victim who had a lynx coat. Sister Stephanie can't resist trying it on, just for a moment.
    • Secret Diary of a Call Girl, in an episode where she wears a short white rabbit cape.
    • Maddie of Moonlighting wore quite a few furs.
    • Jennifer in Hart to Hart
    • Russell's mother in Rules of Engagement wears a chinchilla wrap when she takes him out to dinner.
    • Are You Being Served: A few times a fur was a minor plot point. One was when a lady comes in to buy a fur, and Hilarity Ensues when Mrs. Slocombe and Mr. Humphries compete for the commission.
    • Mike Hammer: Several ladies in the 1980s series.
    • Margo in The Good Life had a white fox wrap.
    • In the second episode of Happy Families, Cassie wore a white fur wrap for an autograph signing.
    • The All in The Family episode "Edith Gets a Mink".
    • Lady Morgana from Merlin wore a mink stole in several episodes, and Princess Mithian turns up in what appears to be a giant mink coat [dead link].
    • Casino Royale 1954 adaptation in Climax! has Valerie Mathis wear a particularly big mink coat.



    • "The Glamorous Life" by Sheila E

    She wears a long fur coat of mink
    Even in the summer time

    • Quite a few hip hop videos. Apple-bottom jeans, with the furs...
    • Alison Mosshart of The Dead Weather wears a brown fur jacket.
    • Nouvelle Vague's video for their cover of "Eisbär" ("Polar Bear") features the singer laying on a polar bear rug. This is a song that goes something like "I'd like to be a polar bear, at the cold pole." Hmm...yes, so she says as she strokes the fur.
    • Anne Murray wears a silver fox coat for much of the video for her song "Now & Forever".
    • The Jenny Lewis song "Rabbit Fur Coat" uses it as a metaphor when singing about her trouble past, but at the end does sing about the symbolic coat favorably.
    • Monique Van Vooren had an album "Mink in Hi-Fi", and the cover was her in a white mink wrap, surrounded by a pile of other mink clothes.
    • Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground did the musical version of Venus in Furs", where masochism goes hand-in-glove with the right sort of fetish clothing:

    Downy sins of streetlight fancies
    Chase the costumes she shall wear;
    Ermine furs adorn the imperious,
    Severin, Severin, awaits you there


    Tabletop Games

    • Some magic items in Dungeons & Dragons require fur as their material, such as the "Cloak of Lordliness", which requires ermine when made for a human royal.
    • The Folk of the Pines, in the "Ice Age" set of Magic: The Gathering, are dryads who wear coats trimmed with white fur, that actually merges with the snow on their trees.


    Video Games


    Leopard Couture: Don't be concerned for the leopard. His license said he was a donor.


    Web Comics

    Western Animation

    Real Life

    • Queen Elizabeth II got a mink wrap as a gift for her wedding. She wore it, and other fur wraps, quite often going out (probably because they were light compared to all the regalia she wore). This might have influenced how the fur wrap became such a common style of fur in The Fifties.
      • Princess Diana even had a white mink jacket she wore a few times.
    • Is a common decoration for a Pimped-Out Dress throughout history.
      • Take this description of a dress from 1742:

    My lady 2 ' was in dark green velvet trimmed with ermine, and an ermine petticoat — a present from her son, but it would have better suited the slender-waisted daughter Fanny, who had a scarlet damask...

      • Ermine petticoats, as well as other fur petticoats, were actually a popular accessory for centuries, like in this picture from 1694, or this outfit from 1957.
      • Catherine the Great of Russia was born in Germany, and for when it was really cold, she also had an outfit with an ermine skirt.
    • When Kim Richards attended the LA premiere of the first film adaptation of Escape to Witch Mountain, she wore a "little white rabbit jacket", and when she saw lots of fans on the street, she recalled:

    "I remember being a little girl, so scared... My mom said, 'Kimmy, what do you think they want?' 'I think they want to get my coat,' I didn't realize it was me."

    • So many red carpet events, even today, are visited by wealthy celebrities in mink and fur.
    • Tara Reid has worn a few furs, including a white mink jacket during her infamous Wardrobe Malfunction (that ironically could have covered it up).
    • Celine Dion has worn a couple, like a white fox wrap for a magazine shoot, and a white mink jacket to go with her wedding dress.
    • John Morrison wears a furry coat... jacket... thing, upon his entrance.
    • NFL Quarterback Joe Namath was (in)famous for wearing one on the sidelines.
    • Joan Rivers did a comedy album called "What Becomes a Semi-Legend Most", as a take on the Blackglama campaign, and she wore a black mink on the cover.
      • Her daughter Melissa Rivers wore a sable muff as part of her wedding outfit.
    • Vanessa Hudgens has worn some furs, like a white mink jacket to the Paris premiere of The Mysterious Island.
    1. And she enjoyed a look the salesman gave her when she said she was going to wear it right out of the store.