Lights, camera, wardrobe! Creating the perfect costumes for a movie is like a well-choreographed dance involving numerous talented individuals. It all starts with thorough research to ensure historical accuracy. Once the costumes are crafted, the director takes the stage, giving their final nod of approval and adding their creative touch.
Then it’s showtime for the actors, who must don their outfits with finesse, while the hair and makeup team works their magic. But wait, there’s more! A dedicated team ensures consistent looks throughout the film, and eagle-eyed editors catch any missed details in post-production. With so many moving parts, it’s no wonder that movie costume mishaps happen more frequently than you’d imagine!
Have you come across any other epic costume fails in film? Share your stories with us on Facebook, and make sure to spread the love by sharing this article with your fellow cinephiles! Let’s keep the conversation buzzing and celebrate the quirks of movie fashion together!
‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’: Jeans on a Local
Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones saga is undeniably a cinematic gem, but even the greatest works have their imperfections. There’s a small hiccup that eagle-eyed viewers may catch. During that heart-wrenching moment when Indy seeks solace in a drink, an anachronistic figure nonchalantly strolls by in jeans and a T-shirt, an outfit far from what Cairo locals sported in the 1930s. Thankfully, the scene’s raw emotional power often eclipses this noticeable costume blunder, allowing most viewers to remain blissfully unaware.
‘Glory’: Soldier Wears a Watch
Glory’ stands tall as one of the most poignant films ever crafted around the backdrop of the Civil War. However, as history comes alive on the screen, a modern intruder sneaks its way into the meticulously recreated 1863 setting. Amidst the battlefields and brave soldiers, a digital wristwatch—a device far ahead of its time—unexpectedly makes an appearance. Perhaps an extra’s fleeting oversight, but its persistence in the final cut is undeniably surprising.
‘Braveheart’: Kilts Not Invented for Centuries
Braveheart, has left a mark on cinematic history. However, amidst the grandeur and valor, surprise awaits those with a keen eye. The Scottish kilt, symbolizing national pride, sashays onto the screen. But here’s the twist—the kilt didn’t grace the fashion scene until the 16th century, well beyond the film’s 13th-century setting. Nevertheless, the Scottish warriors’ historically accurate face paint adds an authentic touch.
‘Dirty Dancing’: Short Shorts Weren’t Fashionable
Nobody puts Baby in a corner, and it seems historical accuracy in clothing is no exception. Jennifer Grey, the leading lady of Dirty Dancing, dons a pair of jean shorts. Interestingly, these iconic cutoff shorts didn’t gain widespread popularity until the 1970s. It was the rebellious flair of rock legends like Patti Smith and Debbie Harry that propelled this fashion trend into the spotlight.
‘The Last Samurai’: Tom Cruise’s Armor Was Out of Style
The Last Samurai, Tom Cruise takes on the role of a retired U.S. officer who finds himself immersed alongside Japanese samurai warriors during the year 1870. It seems the costume department decided to take a creative twist. Instead of adorning Cruise and his companions in the armor of 19th-century samurai, they opted for armor dating back two centuries earlier. Who knew time travel could be so fashionable?
‘The Other Boleyn Girl’: Natalie Portman’s Hair Style was Inaccurate
With Natalie Portman’s attire in the 16th century French setting, there’s a mix of accuracy and a touch of scandal. While she wears the correct hood for that era, known as the French hood, tradition dictates that it should be accompanied by a veil and the lady’s hair neatly tucked away. Allowing one’s hair to be visible in public was considered quite scandalous, especially for women of high rank.
‘Schindler’s List’: No Razors for Women in Concentration Camps
In the powerful film “Schindler’s List,” the portrayal of women in the concentration camps brings to light an important detail that often goes unnoticed. While the women on screen are depicted with smooth legs and armpits, it’s worth noting that such a luxury would have been unimaginable for those enduring the hardships of the camps. Access to razors or any means of personal grooming would have been denied to them.
‘Back to the Future’: Time Traveling Guitar
In the time-traveling adventure featuring the incomparable Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, we witness a truly iconic moment as he rocks the stage, belting out “Johnny B. Goode.” However, sharp-eyed enthusiasts may have noticed a small musical anachronism. Marty wields an ES-345 model Gibson guitar, which, while undeniably cool, wasn’t manufactured until 1958. Given the film’s emphasis on accuracy, this minor hiccup stands out. Nonetheless, Marty’s electrifying performance remains etched in cinematic history.
‘Pirates of the Caribbean’: Uniforms of Navy Are Wrong Color
In the swashbuckling world of Pirates of the Caribbean, it seems the timeline has taken a curious turn. While the film is set in the 1720s, the iconic red coats make an appearance—a few decades earlier than historically accurate. These famous red coats were not officially issued to the British military until 1747. The vibrant scarlet coats were exclusively reserved for officers and sergeants.
Pirates of the Caribbean’: Pirates Don’t Wear Cowboy Hats
Arr, matey! In the vast sea of movie-making, sometimes unexpected sightings appear on the horizon. In Pirates of the Caribbean film, an extra unwittingly wandered onto the wrong film set or perhaps simply forgot to don the appropriate attire. Ye can spot him in the background, proudly sporting a cowboy hat and a plain white T-shirt. Now, unless he be wrangling sea cows unknown to us landlubbers, it seems he be misplaced.
The Empire Strikes Back’: Wardrobe Malfunctions Galore
In one famous romantic scene in the Empire Strikes Back our beloved Han Solo experiences a curious case of shackle confusion. Shackled, then unshackled, and once more shackled in alternating scenes, it’s as if he’s caught in a cosmic dance. Finally in the cut to the scene where he’s frozen, he manages to escape the shackles once more.
‘The Wizard of Oz’: Dorothy’s Magical Haircut
Amidst the wonder, one cannot help but notice a peculiar phenomenon in The Wizard of Oz. Dorothy’s lovely locks seem to possess a shape-shifting quality, changing lengths with a mind of their own. From medium to incredibly long, the inconsistency can be a tad bothersome. The nature of film production rarely follows a linear path, and reshoots and rearranged scenes contribute to this bewitching hair transformation.
‘Django Unchained’: Sunglasses Wouldn’t Be Invented for Decades
In Django Unchained, our hero dons a striking pair of sunglasses. Now, historically speaking, such sunglasses were not part of the fashion landscape in 1858 America, the film’s setting. However, this delightful deviation from reality was no mere mistake but a deliberate artistic choice by Tarantino himself. Known for his penchant for creative liberties, he weaves a tapestry of style that transcends the confines of historical accuracy, making Django’s eyewear an iconic symbol of his unique vision.
‘Pompeii’: Only Nobility Wore Purple
In this historical depiction, keen-eyed viewers might notice a striking fashion choice among the more affluent characters – their regal purple robes. However, during the time the film is set, wearing such robes would have been considered audacious and perilous. Purple was a color reserved for nobility due to the costly process of creating the dye. Emperor Nero himself had outlawed its use by anyone except him, decreeing death as the punishment for those who dared to defy the law.
‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’: Crew Member in Shot
During the epic duel scene in the second Harry Potter movie, keen-eyed fans might spot an unexpected presence amidst Harry’s classmates. No, it’s not a magical creature or a hidden Easter egg—it’s actually a crew member! To avoid reshooting the entire scene, the editor strategically darkened the background. Although they thought they had successfully concealed the crew member, a sharp observer can still catch a glimpse if they know where to look.
‘Jurassic Park’: Alan Grant’s Hair is Perfect
In Jurassic Park meticulous attention to detail is evident in every frame, especially when it comes to the awe-inspiring T-Rex. However, even the most careful productions can have tiny slip-ups. A keen-eyed viewer might notice a slight inconsistency: the lead actor’s hair miraculously transforms from perfectly groomed to slightly disheveled within seconds. Nevertheless, such minor blunders are like finding a single pebble on a pristine beach—proof that the editing department truly deserves gold stars for their exceptional work.
‘The Untouchables’: Kevin Costner’s Style is All Wrong
The Untouchables perfectly captures the essence of the 1930s. However, enthusiasts may notice a subtle inconsistency. Kevin Costner’s impeccably tailored suit bears the unmistakable mark of the 1980s. While suits of the day did indeed feature lapels, they were typically more voluminous, extending generously to cover half the chest and boasting distinctive pointed tips. Additionally, during the Depression era, double-breasted coats were the norm.
The Mummy: Teleportation Trouble
In the climax of The Mummy, our heroes find themselves facing a horde of vengeful mummies emerging from the sandy depths. Amidst the chaos, sharp-eyed viewers couldn’t help but notice a hilarious blunder. Jonathan and Ardeth inexplicably switch positions around Rick, as if they possessed magical teleportation abilities. The director candidly admitted the oversight, explaining that the omission of certain scenes during editing inadvertently created the illusion of their sudden teleportation.
‘Gladiator’: Out of Place Jeans
In the world of Indiana Jones, while the inclusion of jeans is somewhat forgivable as they did exist during the film’s time period, we stumble upon a more amusing oversight in the days of ancient Rome. You see, dear viewers, denim was but a distant dream in those times, and the notion of turning it into pants was yet to be conceived. In fact, our Roman friends weren’t particularly keen on wearing pants altogether!
While the jeans-wearing extra wasn’t the only slip-up in the Oscar-winning epic Gladiator, there’s another amusing blunder that eagle-eyed fans spotted. During the intense colosseum battle, our beloved protagonist Maximus finds himself momentarily losing his footing and taking an unintended tumble in the dirt. As he rolls over, a keen observer will notice that actor Russell Crowe, beneath his blue slave attire, dons none other than modern-day black sporting shorts.
Fast & Furious 7: Dress in a Fight
Michelle Rodriguez, the epitome of an action-ready actress, is no stranger to adrenaline-pumping fight scenes. However, in the highly anticipated Furious 7, an unexpected twist occurred when she found herself engaging in a fierce battle alongside the formidable Ronda Rousey—all while donning a dress. Alas, the dress, not designed for such vigorous action, succumbed to the intensity of the scene and swiftly fell apart, mirroring the high-octane nature of the film itself.
‘The Wedding Singer’: Drew Barrymore’s Haircut is an Out of Place 90s Style
In the world of The Wedding Singer, where the 1980s reign supreme, there’s a hair-related quirk that hints at the film’s true era of production—the 1990s. Amidst the era of the 1980s where “the bigger, the better” was the reigning philosophy, Drew Barrymore’s short, bob stands out as a telltale sign of the film’s actual period. The style might have been a fashion-forward choice in the ’90s, it would have been quite the opposite during the movie’s ’80s setting.
‘Troy’: Orlando Bloom Fixes His Tunic
Orlando’s big curly locks are impressive, but they can’t hide the fact that he fixed his slipping shoulder strap between takes here. One second: plentiful shoulder. Next second: shoulder covered. Maybe he thought nobody would notice if he were showing a little less skin? Ohhh no. Think again.
Troy: Umbrellas Weren’t Invented Yet
The 2004 epic Troy, while a massive box office success, encountered a mixed reception from critics. Perhaps, had the writers delved deeper into their research, the film’s reception would have been more favorable. In a noticeable blunder, we witness Paris and Helen strolling through the streets beneath an umbrella, seeking refuge from the scorching sun. The catch? This particular type of umbrella didn’t come into existence until the 5th century BCE, around 800 years after the fall of Troy.
Jonah Hex: Megan Fox’s Clothing
The ill-fated 2010 DC Comics adaptation, Jonah Hex, didn’t fare well at the box office, and while the costume department isn’t solely responsible for its shortcomings, there’s an undeniable misstep that stands out. Megan Fox’s character, Lilah Black, portraying a prostitute, is dressed in a manner that aligns with our perception of how a sex worker might attire herself. However, the revealing corset she wears deviates significantly from the attire worn by women of that particular time period, even in that profession.
Almost Famous: Time Traveling Shirt
The critically acclaimed and beloved Cameron Crowe film Almost Famous is a treasure trove of nostalgic charm. While it’s challenging to find many flaws in this cinematic gem, occasionally, even the most meticulous productions encounter a minor oversight. In one backstage scene, a Black Sabbath t-shirt steals the spotlight. Now, you might think this is fitting given the time period. Keen-eyed fans would be surprised to learn that this tee wasn’t manufactured until 1997, hree years before the film’s production.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: Medals
In The Last Crusade, astute viewers may notice a historical inconsistency pertaining to the German officers’ uniforms. Throughout the film, these officers are adorned with various medals. However, since the story takes place in 1938, before the commencement of the actual war, the officers should not have been decorated with medals associated with events that occurred later in the war.
Pearl Harbor: Bare Legs
The Michael Bay-directed Pearl Harbor has often been criticized for prioritizing a love triangle of “stunning banality” over historical accuracy, as famously quipped by critic Roger Ebert. This lack of attention to detail extends to the costumes as well. In the film, women are frequently shown without stockings, baring their legs—a serious social faux pas during the time period. While some supporters argue that this might be more historically accurate due to the scarcity of nylon stockings during wartime.
Captain America: The First Avenger: Hair Styles
In The First Avenger, it’s Peggy Carter, portrayed by the talented Hayley Atwell, who becomes the subject of scrutiny. While it was certainly acceptable for women to wear their hair down in the time period depicted, women serving in the Armed Services would have been expected to keep their hair neatly tied up while in uniform. It’s a small historical inaccuracy that catches the attention of eagle-eyed viewers, reminding us that even superheroes can occasionally overlook the finer details.
Pride and Prejudice: Rubber Boots
The 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel, Pride and Prejudice, garnered critical acclaim for its stellar cast and stirring performances, notably Kiera Knightley’s Oscar-nominated portrayal. Even in the midst of such accolades, not every aspect hits the mark. One notable inconsistency lies in the choice of footwear—rubber boots—that the characters don in certain scenes. Here’s where history interjects: the world-renowned Wellington boots, synonymous with British countryside fashion, were not invented until 40 years after the film’s setting.
Saving Private Ryan: Dark Boots
While Saving Private Ryan immerses viewers in the harrowing reality of war, even this acclaimed production is not immune to the occasional costume mishap. Observant eyes may have noticed a discrepancy when it comes to the footwear worn by the characters. Some don light brown boots while others sport black jump boots. Interestingly, reports indicate that the black boots did not come into existence until the 1950s, at least five years after the war had concluded.
The King’s Speech: A Kilt Mistake
Colin Firth’s award-winning portrayal of King George VI in the captivating film about his struggle with a speech impediment during World War II is truly remarkable. However, even amidst the brilliance, a notable wardrobe malfunction emerges. In a particular scene, the king is depicted wearing a kilt with a design clearly reminiscent of Irish heritage, whereas a royal figure of his stature should have been adorned in the Scottish Balmoral design.
Captain America: The First Avenger: Advanced Technology
The first Captain America film makes another appearance on our list of costume blunders, this time concerning the headset worn by Kenneth Choi’s character, Jim Morita, a trusted ally of Captain America in the Howling Commandos. During a pivotal military raid, Morita is spotted sporting a headset that appears far too advanced for the 1940s setting, even considering the sci-fi influence within the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of the era.
Gone With the Wind: Electricity
The epic film Gone With the Wind, known for its sweeping storytelling, does encounter a historical inconsistency that keen-eyed viewers have spotted. Throughout numerous scenes, the presence of electric bulbs and visible cords plugged into walls becomes apparent. However, this poses a problem as the story is set during the American Civil War, a time well before controlled electricity was invented.
Julius Cesar: Out of Place Underwear
The 1953 film adaptation of Julius Caesar showcases a wardrobe choice that caught the attention of viewers. In several instances, cast members can be seen wearing “bullet bras,” which were popular during the early 1950s. While the presence of these pointed bras can be attributed to the fashion trends of the time the film was made, it does present a historical inconsistency. The movie is set centuries before the invention of such undergarments, creating a curious juxtaposition between fashion eras.
Catch Me If You Can: Metal Braces
In the captivating film Catch Me If You Can from 2002, future Oscar winner Amy Adams delivers a memorable performance. However, even in the midst of her compelling portrayal, a notable costuming foible comes to light. Her character is seen wearing wired-metal braces, a style that didn’t come into use until the 1970s. Although braces did exist in the 1960s, the specific wired-metal design seen in the film is historically inaccurate for the time period.
American Hustle: Rolex from Future
The critically acclaimed 2013 film American Hustle transported audiences back to the stylish era of the 1970s, capturing its essence with great attention to detail. However the occasional wardrobe mistake can slip through the cracks. Louis C.K.’s character, Stoddard Thorsen, is seen sporting a prominently featured giant Rolex watch. While the choice aligns with the character’s attitude, the specific model of Rolex worn in the film was not produced until 2010, nearly four decades after the film’s intended time period.
Amadeus, the highly acclaimed film from 1984, has rightfully earned its place as one of the greatest films of all time. Renowned for its exceptional script and meticulous recreation of 18th century Vienna, it stands as a cinematic masterpiece. However, even within such a remarkable production, a notable mistake emerges. Keen-eyed viewers have pointed out that several of the film’s high-profile costumes feature noticeable zippers, which were not invented until 1913—approximately 60 years after the film’s intended time period.
My Girl: Special Ring
My Girl, the emotionally resonant film of 1991, holds a special place in the hearts of many, evoking both tears and nostalgia. Amidst the heartfelt story, a keen eye can spot a notable historical anachronism. Vada, portrayed by Anna Chlumsky, wears a mood ring, which becomes a pivotal element of the plot. However, the film is set in 1973, while mood rings were not introduced until 1975. This small inconsistency reminds us of the intricate details that can occasionally slip through the cracks.
Gangs of New York: Firefighter Gear
Martin Scorsese’s epic film Gangs of New York, released in 2002, transports viewers to the gritty streets of 19th-century New York City. While the film immerses us in the historical setting, there is one puzzling inconsistency that stands out. In a particular scene, firefighters are depicted wearing gear and uniforms that more closely resemble modern firefighting attire.
Singin’ in the Rain: Color of Dress
In the beloved 1952 musical Singin’ in the Rain, there is a memorable segment showcasing Kathy Selden (played by Debbie Reynolds) wearing a stunning pink dress adorned with a tulle skirt. While the outfit perfectly captures the fashion of the 1950s, it does present a slight historical inaccuracy considering the film is set in the 1920s. During that era, such a dress with a tulle skirt would have been considered quite out of place.
The Color Purple: Clip-On Tie
In the acclaimed 1983 film The Color Purple, set in 1916, there is a notable anachronism that catches the attention of keen-eyed viewers. Danny Glover’s character, Albert, is seen wearing a clip-on tie throughout the film. However, it is worth noting that clip-on ties were not invented until 1928, a full twelve years after the film’s setting.
Pretty Woman: Edward’s Neck Piece
In the iconic film Pretty Woman, there is a memorable scene where Julia Roberts’ character, Vivian, playfully undoes the tie worn by Edward, portrayed by Richard Gere. However, an amusing continuity mistake occurs in the following frames. In one shot, Edward’s tie is knotted again, only to be magically undone once more. This minor oversight by the film’s continuity manager certainly didn’t go unnoticed by attentive viewers.
Legends of the Fall: Brad Pitt’s Hair Style
In the sweeping 1994 film Legends of the Fall, Brad Pitt captivates audiences with his charismatic portrayal, complete with his signature 1990s heartthrob look. However, keen observers may note that his character’s style, featuring long hair reminiscent of the 1960s and a carefully groomed five o’clock shadow, doesn’t align with the sensibilities of 1910, the film’s historical setting.
Seabiscuit: Jockey’s Helmet
In the captivating period drama Seabiscuit, Tobey Maguire delivers a compelling performance as the skilled jockey John “Red” Pollard, who forms an incredible bond with the legendary racehorse. While the film beautifully captures the excitement and intensity of horse racing during the Great Depression, eagle-eyed viewers may notice a minor inconsistency. During the racing scenes, including those featuring Maguire, the jockeys are seen wearing helmets with chin straps. However, historically accurate helmets of that era did not include chin straps, which were introduced in the mid-1950s. While this discrepancy may stand out to keen observers, it doesn’t detract from the overall emotional impact and inspiring story that Seabiscuit brings to the screen.
John Carter of Mars: Too Much Clothing?
In the science fiction adventure film John Carter, Lynn Collins portrays the fierce Martian warrior Princess Dejah Thoris. While her costume in the film is visually appealing and reflects the character’s strength and dignity, some fans of the original books may argue that it doesn’t fully capture the more revealing and exotic nature of the costumes described in the source material.
The Tudors: Puffy Necks
In the historical drama series The Tudors, which is set in the 16th century, many characters wear neck ruffs. However, these ruffs were considered uncouth during this time period.
Good Night and Good Luck: Non-Standard Name Tags
In the film Good Night and Good Luck there is a costume inconsistency involving the members of the Air Force wearing name tags. It is true that name tags did not become a standard part of Air Force uniforms until 1967. This is indeed a historical inaccuracy. Such mistakes can occur in film productions, and while they may be noticeable to keen observers, they do not diminish the overall impact or the critical success of the film.
Sense and Sensibility: Modern Diaper
In the 1995 film Sense and Sensibility, which is set in the Victorian era, there is a noticeable costume inaccuracy involving a baby wearing a modern-day diaper. Diapers as we know them today were not available during the 1800s, and it is indeed an anachronism in terms of historical accuracy. Sense and Sensibility is still widely regarded as a faithful adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel, and the presence of a modern diaper does not detract significantly from its overall quality.
The Informant!: Golf Spikes
In the 2009 film The Informant!, there is a notable costume inaccuracy related to golf spikes. During a golf scene, characters are shown wearing Nike golf spikes. However, Nike did not begin producing golf spikes until 1996, which is after the time period depicted in the film. This discrepancy can be seen as a minor oversight in terms of historical accuracy.