4 of the Best Movie Costumes That Have Ever Graced the Silver Screen

To make a memorable film, it’s not enough to just have a great script. 

The words only tell a portion of the story. To bring the whole project to life, you need a great score, set decorating, even lighting.

And what’s one of the most important parts of any film? The wardrobe!

For a movie to be truly effective, attention must be paid to the costume of every character, even the extras. That’s especially true for period films, musicals, and prestige dramas. 

Sometimes the best part of movies is what the characters are wearing. To get some serious fashion inspiration, check out these best movie costumes!

1. Marie Antoinette 

This movie starring Kirsten Dunst premiered in 2006. The reviews for the film were mixed. But, one thing was agreed upon by critics: the wardrobe was magnificent. 

In fact, Milena Canonero won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design at the 2007 Oscars. 

The costumes in “Marie Antoinette” aren’t just from your run of the mill, French period piece. Directed by Sofia Coppola, the wardrobe reflects her signature girly flare.  

One stand out is a dress Marie Antoinette wears in the pattern of a flowery wallpaper. In the scene, she stands in front of a matching wall. It makes for a show-stopping scene and costume moment.

2. Moulin Rouge!

“Moulin Rouge!”, starring Nicole Kidman, is known for its flashy costumes. At the 2002 Academy Awards, Catherine Martin and Angus Strathie won for Best Costume Design.

One of the most “spectacular-spectacular” costumes in the film is worn by the Courtesan herself. In the rehearsal scene, Kidman wears a Hindi inspired dress. A beautifully beaded headdress makes the whole look come together. 

When you’re finished with the movie, you might be inspired to get some Parisian couture of your own. Check out the French fashion line CELINE for some chic looks.

3. Phantom Thread 

The plot of this film centers around a genius dressmaker, so you know the costumes are going to be amazing. “Phantom Thread” had dazzling, chic costumes for the male and female characters alike. 

Costume designer Mark Bridges made over 50 costumes for the film. He cites his favorite as the lavender gown worn by the lead character, Alma. 

4. Chicago 

The Broadway musical “Chicago” was adapted for the silver screen in 2002. Set in the 1920s, the costumes in the movie are dark, sparkly, and sexy.

Its costume designer, Colleen Atwood garnered an Academy Award for the film. Atwood had the added challenge of creating a wardrobe that could be worn while dancing.

She said that prior to designing the costumes, she watched every musical number. Each piece was tailored exactly to the dancing the actor would be doing while wearing it.

That’s why in Roxie’s big solo number her silver, beaded tassel leotard moves so effortlessly.

These Are the 4 Best Movie Costumes

Of course, you won’t go to work in a corset and powdered wig. But, these 4 best movie costumes can be a source of fashion inspiration. 

Love a film with a fabulous wardrobe? Bollywood has some of the most opulent costumes in cinema. Check out this article for some Bollywood movie recommendations.