The directors, designers, and even the actors playing the characters were asked time and time again to defend their choices. Read on to find out the rationale behind some of Hollywood’s most controversial costumes.
Sandy - Grease
The "Grease" cast made a statement with the clothes they wore throughout the whole film. Perhaps the character that made the biggest impact and sparked the design of modern fashion was Sandy.
The biker girl look at the end of the film, the high-waisted pants, paired with the off-the-shoulder top was quite a memorable outfit. Many of today's designs were based on Sandy's outfit. Talk about influence!
Cher Horowitz - Clueless
When we think of "Clueless," the yellow, checkered suit Cher Horowitz wore in the movie is the first thing that comes to mind. It was also a great fashion statement. The design team made a strong but risky statement when it came to costume design.
The knee-high socks, the plaid, it could have been awful for the costume design team, but at the end of the day, it paid off well. Costume design on the set of "Clueless" managed to take something controversial in fashion and turn it into a fashion statement.
Django - Django Unchained
Fans and critics alike will agree that "Django Unchained" was a success, but one part of the film had people raising their eyebrows. There was one accessory that garnered a little undesired attention. Django wore pretty cool sunglasses — shade lenses with gold rims.
It doesn't sound like too much of a problem, now does it? But that's when we understand that they weren't accurate to the time period the movie took place. Not being realistic is something director Quentin Tarantino is known and praised for, so the controversy died out as fast as it had begun.
Harley Quinn - Suicide Squad
Harley Quinn has been an iconic member of the DC Universe for as long as we can remember. So, when "Suicide Squad" announced that she was coming to life, fans were ecstatic. But with their joy became sorrow because when the costume was released, the controversy hit hard.
Not only was the character missing her iconic jester costume, but there was something about the costume that seemed a bit revealing. That's when the designers defended their choices by saying that they were based on the character's personality. Actress Margot Robie said that she didn't enjoy wearing the costume as it made her feel self-conscious.
The Girl - The Seven Year Itch
There isn't a more iconic image than the one of Marilyn Monroe standing over a subway grate in that white dress. The 1955 scene stirred up a dispute between Monroe and her then-husband, Joe DiMaggio.
Monroe's dress blows up before she hastily adjusts it back down, a scene we know was filmed on a working city street surrounded by photographers. The risque shot may have been the thing that ended Monroe and DiMaggio's already rocky marriage.
Captain Marvel - Captain Marvel
Marvel fans waited for Captain Marvel to be introduced into the MCU for a long time. After all, she is one of the most dominant superheroes in the Marvel world. But when actress Brie Larson was seen in a green costume, fans were quick to make sure they disapproved of the costume choice.
Ultimately, Captain Marvel would wear the classic blue, red, and gold costume. To calm Marvel fans down, filmmakers quickly explained the green costume seen in the behind-the-scenes photo. The character was first in a green uniform like the one seen, and later switched colors.
Green Lantern - Green Lantern
There is a lot to be said about the controversy in "Green Lantern." As you may have already guessed, one of the biggest issues was with the hero's costume. The filmmakers wanted to try something groundbreaking, but quickly realized they might have made a mistake.
The film's design team decided to go full CGI (computer-graphics imagery), and it was undeniable from the moment we set eyes on Ryan Reynolds on-screen. Reynolds even discussed the issue, saying he hated wearing the bodysuit that made his costume so famous.
The Whole Cast - Inception
"Inception" is the kind of movie you needed to devote your undivided attention to keep up with. With so much going on, many people missed the carefully chosen costumes. Each outfit was chosen by the design team for the specific character, with the intention of highlighting the character's personality.
Some of these costumes even had clues to help viewers understand what was going on, but with so much going on, these choices were overlooked.
Catwoman - Batman Returns
Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman is widely thought of as one of the best-ever portrayals of the character. Years later, she explained that it was the most uncomfortable costume she had ever worn. The process of getting her in the suit was a hard one; they had to powder her down, help her inside, and then vacuum-pack the suit.
For all future actresses portraying Catwoman, she advises them to make sure that while designing the costume, they consider how the actresses will be able to access the bathroom.
Rachel Chu - Crazy Rich Asians
This film may not have focused on costume design, considering it was a comedy, but it managed to produce some serious fashion moments. One of the most stand-out moments was seeing Rachel Chu's blue gown. The dress looked like it was out of a Disney fairytale, and made quite an impression in the fashion world.
The gown caused minor controversy with its see-through chest area but managed to inspire many around the world.
Superman - Man of Steel
With the revival of Superman in "Man of Steel," everyone's favorite superhero took on a darker vibe. Costume designers made a few unexpected tweaks to the iconic costume. Muting the colors and getting rid of Superman's famous underwear left some fans feeling upset.
The filmmakers had a good reason for these changes; they wanted the uniform to be cohesive with Superman's new image, and to stir up a little controversy on the way!
Black Widow - The Avengers
During the press tour for "The Avengers," Scarlett Johansson spilled details about her super-tight suit. She explained that it was boiling inside the costume and that she had nothing underneath it. She was straightforward about hating the Black Widow costume from the get-go.
She spoke of the costume, "I mean, who wants to get into something like that? You just think, ‘Oh God, really? Couldn’t it have, like, I don’t know, some sort of a peplum skirt or something?’"
Aladdin & Jasmine - Aladdin
To change iconic costumes that millions of people grew up with was a bold move. For some reason, Disney keeps making the same old mistake, and "Aladdin" was no different. The costume designers decided to more appropriately clothe each of the main characters for a 2019 film.
This meant that Aladdin wasn't running around with a vest and no shirt, and Jasmine would cover up her midriff, and the audiences were upset. You don't mess with classical Disney!
Judge Dredd - Judge Dredd
There were many reasons why "Judge Dredd" wasn't a successful film. From the casting to the script and direction, there was something off about the movie. For comic book fans, the inability of the costumes to stick to the original plot was the straw that broke the camel's back and may have been the most controversial thing about the film.
Judge Dredd never takes his helmet off in the comic book, but lo and behold, in the film, the helmet came off very quickly. Most blame Sylvester Stallone, known for being a demanding actor, who asked for all these changes, including the costume.
Cinderella - Cinderella
One of the first live-action renditions of Disney classics, the ever-so-innocent "Cinderella," got some backlash when it came to the costumes. Critics and fans slammed the film for slimming Lily James's waist. The filmmakers were quick to respond, letting everyone know nothing of the sort had been done; the actress simply had a very slim waist.
That, and the fact that she wore a corset throughout filming, made James's waist look extremely thin.
Rachel - The Bodyguard
One of the most talked-about costumes that weren't in a movie about superheroes was Whitney Houston's in the film "The Bodyguard." The silver headpiece, the fringed skirt, and the beady necklace were all a part of Rachel's costume and were all something to admire.
Then, there was the wet-looking garment that made her look like a character from "X-Men," and was just as controversial as the movie's theme song.
Ozymandias - Watchmen
Unlike other superhero movies, "Watchmen" made an extreme effort to stay true to the source material, except for one character — Ozymandias. For a reason beyond our understanding, the movie decided to adjust this costume from the purple fabric and jewelry of the original character and go with a more modern superhero look.
The suit was molded with muscles, and the director, Zack Snyder, shrugged off the criticism, explaining that the look was more in line with the character's personality.
The X-Men - The X-Men
The comic book community isn't shy about expressing their disapproval when it comes to costumes. One of the most serious costume offenses took place in the 2000 blockbuster, "X-Men." In the comic book, the X-Men flew around the world, saving people in blue and yellow uniforms.
Yet in the movie version, Bryan Singer opted to go with an all-black uniform, which infuriated many devoted fans. He explained that the choice was made to keep the team hidden.
Jane - Tarzan and His Mate
The 1934 release of "Tarzan and His Mate" brought quite a bit of controversy with it. It wasn't Tarzan's costume that sparked controversy, which was surprising because he was swinging through the jungle with practically nothing covering himself. Of course, it was Jane's costume that was under scrutiny.
Maureen O’Sullivan wore a very revealing top and skirt. It turns out; this was the less revealing of the two costumes suggested. In fact, the original costume had O'Sullivan completely naked with well-placed props to cover her privates.
The Creature - The Shape of Water
"The Shape of Water" won the Academy Award for best film, and it's obvious why. Everything about the film was outstanding, with one exception - the creature's suit.
The "dreamy" Amphibian Man's costume was ridiculous, to say the least! Guillermo del Toro, the film's director, explained that the creature's suit was an attempt to create an amphibian version of Michelangelo's David. To most, this was an attempt that didn't translate on-screen.
Wasp - Ant-Man and the Wasp
Marvel can't seem to get it right, can they? This costume design mishap was worn in the Marvel blockbuster, "Ant-Man and the Wasp." Wasp's costume in the film was less colorful and bright than originally drawn by Jack Kirby.
The designers explained that functionality won out over appearance. The actress tried on over 30 different modifications of the costume, but in the end, the filmmakers ended up going with the one that moved best and allowed her to breathe.
Fat Amy - Pitch Perfect 3
The cast of "Pitch Perfect" managed to capture fans' hearts with their upbeat musical trilogy. But, when Rebel Wilson published images of her and her castmates, controversy emerged.
The costume worn on her castmates was far less revealing on Wilson, which led many to feel that it was a form of body discrimination, as Wilson was the curviest of the crew. The film's costume designer spoke up, explaining that there were two costumes, and each actress was given the choice of which one they wanted to wear.
Emma Frost - X-Men: First Class
There's something about the "X-Men" movies' costume designers — they just can't seem to get it right. This costume blunder was Emma Frost's, played by January Jones. Jones wore some revealing outfits, including low-cut tops and lingerie.
One of the writers explained that there were many scenes cut that would have explained this aspect of the film, though they were cut from the film.
Rose DeWitt Bukater - Titanic
Though there is debate about whether there was room for Jack on the raft or not, there was no debate about Rose's dress. It was an exquisite gown that was unforgettable; the square neckline and white gloves made this part of the film memorable.
If the public's adoration for the dress wasn't enough to convince you, the film's designer won an Academy Award for Best Costume Design.
Nakia - Black Panther
Unlike most costumes on this list, we have to give this one credit for its traditional, beautiful effort. Nakia's costume was influenced by African tradition; the red symbolizes the fierceness of the African warrior. The colors have many earthy tones to them and suggest the leaves of plants and water.
The warrior’s red armor draws the most attention as it follows the traditional African design of metal rings around the wrists, neck, and lower arms.
Carrie Bradshaw - Sex and the City the Movie
Carrie Bradshaw was known for her outlandish fashion statements; her wedding dress, of course, was no different.
The "Sex and the City" film was a mediocre film, as was the dress Bradshaw wore. Though many people seemed to love the dress, there was something about it that sparked negative comments.
Psylocke - X-Men: Apocalypse
Though comic book enthusiasts weren’t outraged by this costume, those who had only been introduced to the X-Men through the films, were. In "X-Men: Apocalypse," we were introduced to some new mutants, one of which was the strong Psylocke.
Many fans felt that the costume was too provocative. Olivia Munn, who plays the infamous Psylocke, spoke out in support of the costume, explaining that it doesn’t matter what she wears because she is still an influential and powerful woman.
Andy - The Devil Wears Prada
As the fashion flick for the ages, "The Devil Wears Prada" does not shy away from high-fashion and at times highly unwearable outfits. Take for example the main protagonist Andy's (played by Anne Hathaway) outfit post-transformation from plain Jane to ferocious fashionista.
Andy struts into the Runway offices wearing what can only be described as "boot-pants?" The iconic Chanel boots cover so much leg that they double-up as pants! Kicks like those are reserved for only the fearlessly fashionable which is exactly why Patricia Field, the film's costume designer, decided to put Andy in those shoes. It conveys to the audience that Andy has (literally) stepped up her fashion game.
Claire - Jurassic World
The long-awaited "Jurassic World" left fans with some questions. Was the film even about dinosaurs? Why didn't Claire (played by Bryce Dallas Howard) ever take off her very impractical shoes throughout the movie? Even when running away from danger, she manages never to fall or twist her ankle, which was somewhat silly considering she was wearing heels.
The actress herself disagreed with the criticism; she explained that from a logical standpoint, she doesn't think Claire would have taken her heels off and that she would have been better equipped to run in them instead of barefoot.
The Redcoats - Pirates of the Caribbean
What's there not to love about the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise? There is this one thing that history lovers surely noticed — the uniforms designed for the British Soldiers. They were seen in the infamous red coats, but that uniform wasn't used until the late 1700s.
Since the movie's premise takes place in the early 1700s, the uniform's use wasn't quite accurate. That doesn't mean the film wasn't fun!
Supergirl - Supergirl
We love this costume. It is more in line with the new-age superheroes and manages to make a great statement.
After significant amounts of backlash on the old suit, the new Supergirl suit makes it look more comfortable and easier than the old one. It also prevents the actress from getting cold while shooting the television show.
Jareth - Labyrinth
When "Labyrinth" first came out, one question was on everyone's minds: was David Bowie wearing a codpiece or not? While Labyrinth’s designers got themselves into trouble for making Bowie’s groin area so obvious, they seem to have no regrets!
Though, they still wonder how they managed to pull off the costume! In a 2016 interview, designer Brian Froud said, “Every so often you go, ‘Oh, my God! How did we get away with that?!’”
Loana - One Million Years B.C.
Raquel Welch’s bikini in the 1966 movie "One Million Years B.C." puts her on the map as one of the most well-sought-out actresses of that time, and let's just say, it wasn't because of her acting. Welch didn't have to do much other than be pretty, and in the reviews of the movie, she got outstanding comments in the looks department.
Welch never wanted to wear the bikini, or even do the movie; in fact, she didn't think anyone would watch the film, to begin with. Of course, we know that cavewomen did not dress like that, and though the costume stirred up controversy, the merchandise sold after the film's release was through the roof.
Batman - Batman & Robin
Batman has gone through many lives, some films better than others, but everything about "Batman & Robin" was a colossal failure. Batman, portrayed by George Clooney, wore one of the more, how do we put this... controversial Batman suits. The film itself was filled with bad dialogue and wacky set design, but it was a slight tweak to the costume that caused most to gasp in disbelief.
The addition of the "bat-nips" was said to have mimicked the statues of Greek gods that show the perfect human form. Though the idea might have been good, the decision to ad bat-nips is still talked about (and laughed at) to this day.
Loki - Thor
Following its release in 2011, Thor entered the halls of blockbusters accompanying the Marvel movies. Loki was welcomed with open arms, but his costume was criticized. It seemed like Loki's costume didn't fit the actor; in fact, it seemed to be a little tight in the groin area.
Not only did this draw the focus of fans watching, but it started a long string of jokes on set. The costume designers took the criticism and went with a new costume in the following movies.
Wonder Woman - Wonder Woman
For years, there had been talks of a "Wonder Woman" movie in the works, but once the role was cast, everyone's dream became a reality. Unfortunately, the first appearance of Wonder Woman, played by Gal Gadot, was underwhelming.
The action and storyline were good, but the Amazon Princess's costume lacked color. When confronted with the question, the costume designers said they wanted something impactful and strong to help her stand out against the rest of the heroes.
Chiyo - Memoirs of a Geisha
Colleen Atwood, the "Memoirs of a Geisha" costume designer, was awarded an Oscar for best costume design in 2006. However, Atwood has admitted that she used some creative license when designing what Chiyo would be wearing as a traditional Geisha in the film.
Atwood traded in complete authenticity in order to make the outfits more visually palatable to American audiences. This included placing more emphasis on the bust and waist and modernizing the make-up slightly. When discussing her costume choices, Atwood admitted that "a real geisha would never wear anything that flashy.”
Merida - Brave
The release of "Brave" meant that little kids everywhere were introduced to a princess who wasn't just a damsel in distress. Merida wasn't created to portray the standard form of Disney beauty we've all grown accustomed to.
Parents were overjoyed at the fact that the young princess was strong, spoke her mind, and was able to take care of herself. Unfortunately, a 2D drawing of Merida was released, and it looked like she had a makeover. People were obviously upset.
Daredevil - Daredevil
As if the poor casting and the bad script weren't enough, Daredevil's suit was the icing on the cake of this bad movie.
Even though the costume designers attempted to keep the costume true to its origins, the material used did not do the costume justice. The decision to make a full leather suit made the outfit look fake.
Mia Thermopolis - Princess Diaries
To transform into a true princess, Mia needed to look like one, and that's where the right dress comes in. The gown made her come alive as a princess in the film, and though it may have seemed like "just a dress," it managed to make quite an impact.
The dress sparked controversy. Some loved it, and others said it sent the wrong message to young viewers. Many believed that the take-away from the film is that you can't be accepted without looking beautiful.
Martha - Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
The 2017 sequel to the classic "Jumanji" was a smash in theaters. One thing that wasn't a smash, though, was Martha's costume. There was outrage over the fact that she was wearing an outfit that looked too small for her. Karen Gillan (who portrayed Martha) and the filmmakers explained that there was good reason for the lack of clothing.
Though, at the end of the day, this was a classic example and conversation starter about how women are objectified in video games.
Leeloo - The Fifth Element
One of the most infamous cult classics, "The Fifth Element," was full of bizarre costumes and cinematic scenes. One thing stood out to audiences, though, and you didn't have to wait that long into the movie to spot it — the infamous bandage bikini worn by Leeloo (played by Milla Jovovich) at the beginning of the film.
Many thought that the costume showed a little too much of the actress, but she herself didn't mind. She just acted as though she was wearing a regular bikini and continued delivering the best performance of her career.
Padma & Parvati Patil - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter fans will remember how beautiful The Yule Ball was. All of the Hogwarts kids all dressed up in extravagant suits and dresses. But there seemed to be two characters who missed out on the royal treatment. The Patil sisters didn't seem as fancy as the rest of the students attending.
It bothered people so much that they complained that their outfits could be seen as everyday attire for Indian women. That's when the costume designers spoke up and said that there wasn't any underlining statement, but rather an attempt to draw attention to Hermione's gown.
Imperator Furiosa - Mad Max Fury World
Though the costume designers won an Oscar for Charlize Theron's outfit in the classic movie's remake, the costume itself sparked some controversy.
It seemed like an impractical choice of attire but worked perfectly for the setting it was worn in. Somehow, it made quite an impact in the Hollywood costume design world.
Cleopatra - Cleopatra
In the early days of film, it wasn't common for the leading lady to be "exposed." That being said, in the 1917 film "Cleopatra," actress Theda Bara, had a little more than average showing. The costumes in the film were revealing even by today's standards.
This didn't bother the designers as they intended the costumes to be as accurate as possible regarding the time period that the film was taking place. For the sake of authenticity, the costume designers took criticism from the movie critics and public critics alike.
Quicksilver - X-Men
Quicksilver appeared in Marvel's "Avengers" and the Fox version of the "X-Men" films. While Marvel decided to stick with a more traditional look, the Fox filmmakers opted to give the character a unique look.
They added a more retro vibe and silver hair, which had most comic book fans outraged with the sheer ridiculousness of the costume design. That being said, the people in charge of Quicksilver's new look were supported when the rest of the random fell in love with it.
Princess Leia - Return of the Jedi
The "Star Wars" franchise has been one of the most famous movie franchises for over four decades. That being said, fame does not come without controversy, and in "Return of the Jedi," one of the characters sparked a debate with her costume.
The independent and outspoken Princess Leia wore a golden bikini. When the film was released, the criticism started rolling in, and many feminists believed that this was a demeaning choice because she was the main female character.
Elle Woods - Legally Blonde
There were many outfits worth remembering in the "Legally Blonde" movie, but the most talked-about one is the pink bunny costume. Though it was meant as an embarrassment, Elle turned the situation into the perfect moment.
The costume was supposed to make her look like a cute but dumb blonde, but she worked it in her favor, while still looking breathtakingly gorgeous!
Padmé Amidala - Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
There seem to be many provocative choices regarding the "Star Wars" franchise's costumes. The prequels had Natalie Portman's character, Padmé, wearing a tight white costume. The outfit gets ripped, which leaves the character with an exposed midriff for most of the movie.
It was upsetting to fans that years after the controversy over placing their sole female character in a gold bikini, the filmmakers managed to make the same mistake.
Elektra - Elektra
Jennifer Garner reprised her role as the so-called superhero Elektra, despite dying in the previous movie "Daredevil." The filmmakers promised that Elektra would have a super-hero-movie-appropriate costume the second time around, but that was far from the case.
In an interview, Garner discussed the outfit saying, "I knew the comic book fans weren’t happy with her wearing black in Daredevil. So, it was important for her to be in red.” Perhaps the costume designers shouldn't have focused less of their energy on the color and more on the suit itself.
The Entire Cast - Sucker Punch
It seems like every director in Hollywood has that one project they dreamt of making since they were kids. For Zack Snyder, this was "Sucker Punch." The film is not a good one, from a poor and unstructured script to bad effects, it seemed like the film suffered from everything.
Many found the outfits the young women were wearing objectifying and unnecessary. Snyder pushed back, explaining that the movie is less about what the women are wearing and more about their imagination, dreaming of being able to do anything they want.
Mystique - X-Men: First Class
Actress Jennifer Lawrence had to undergo hours of make-up for her role as Mystique in the "X-Men" films. In the comic books, the shapeshifting character usually sticks to an original, signature costume, which means tedious hours in makeup could have been avoided.
In the movie, the costume designers decided to have Mystique naked, which meant hours of makeup went into perfecting Lawrence's look. Eventually, Mystique did put some clothes on, but that only happened a few films in.
Catwoman - Catwoman
Catwoman getting her own feature was provocative enough, but when the public got a look at the costume, it became even more scandalous. Fans were expecting the traditional catsuit that had been used since the beginning. They were surprised and, more importantly, disappointed when they got a look at Halle Berry.
The strappy, leather suit with ripped-up pants that Berry donned in her version of "Catwoman" is still thought to be one of Berry's biggest career mistakes.
Bella - Twilight: Eclipse
We've seen a bad wig or two in our day, but nothing beats the one that Kristen Stewart wore in "Twilight: Ecplise." The actress had cut her hair for the film based on the lives of the iconic band, "The Runaways," which means that the costume designer of "Twilight" had to find the perfect wig for her.
They eventually found a wig, but it was far from perfect, seeing as the fake hair was easily noticed and did not look realistic, to put it lightly.
Deadpool - X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Deadpool has become a loved character, thanks to the success of the character’s two feature films. His appearance in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" could be one we all want to forget. The character wasn't wearing a suit and couldn't speak, which the director would later admit was a huge mistake.
The reasoning behind the bold move was that the studio felt that it would be difficult to keep the PG-13 rating if they let the character talk.
Green Goblin - Spider-Man
When Willem Dafoe was cast as Green Goblin in Sam Raimi's take on Spider-Man, fans were overjoyed. The character’s transformation into the villain was executed beautifully, and the bad guy looked pretty cool in his armor. However, the costume still got a lot of objection.
Fans believed that the costume was just too different from the original. Raimi opened up about testing several options, including a CGI one that resembled the original costume. Ultimately, he opted for the armor. You win some; you lose some, eh?
The Amazons - Justice League
A big part of "Wonder Woman" was the Amazons. Unfortunately, the costumes were altered a bit when the filming of the "Justice League" began.
It seemed like the outfits were less efficient when it came to combat, but the filmmakers defended their choice by saying that the suits from "Wonder Woman" to "Justice League" were different because they took place at a different time.
Silk Spectre - Watchmen
Her character in "Watchmen" may be named Silk Spectre, but Malin Akerman actually dons a bright yellow-and-black latex leotard. It doesn't look the most comfortable to act in, let alone fight in, and Akerman seems to agree. She revealed that the costumes were a big challenge, especially when she had to wear them for 18 hours straight.
She explained that the suit she wore took on the temperature of the room; if the room was hot, she was boiling, and when the room was cold, she was freezing.
Captain America - Avengers
In "Captain America: The First Avenger," the designers did an excellent job presenting moviegoers with the traditional costume. That being said, when the "Avengers" film was released, fans noticed something different. The costume had changed and was a little over the top.
The colors were too bright, and the mask was connected to the uniform instead of being a separate piece. This resulted in a pretty cheesy costume. The designers defended their decision by explaining that they wanted to give the audience a more traditional superhero. Obviously, it didn't work, and in the following movies, they went for a more subtle look.
Hermione - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Hermione wore a pink dress to The Yule Ball in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." And though this may seem completely innocent, fans of the franchise were not happy. In the book, Hermione's gown was periwinkle blue, so to many, the pink version was out of character.
The film's costume designer begged to differ; in her opinion, Hermione was a tough girl, the kind that hangs out with boys. Her appearance at The Yule Ball was the first time people looked at her as a girl, which was not established before.
Joker - Joker
Making an iconic character your own is hard, especially when they've been reimagined several times before. The costume designers on the 2019 film set, "Joker," know this problem all too well. Their outfit choices started a dispute for the fans who waited in anticipation for the film.
As we all know, the Joker is known for his purple and green combination set, but in the 2019 film, it was nowhere to be found. The designer defended their decisions by explaining that they wanted this version of the film to differ from the rest and give it a 1970s feel.
Honey Ryder - James Bond: Dr. No
Known as one of the most famous bikinis globally, this swimsuit was a significant factor in the sky-rocket sales of two-part bikinis. The wide white army belt attached to the bottom part of the look was definitely a sight to see. The whole look was an iconic moment in cinematic history, as well as fashion history.
Actress Ursula Andress broke Hollywood tradition at the time by giving her opinion on her own wardrobe design. Andress worked with the director and costume designer to put together a practical garment that would fit her the way she wanted.
Effie Trinket - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
We think it's safe to say that Effie Trinket (played by Elizabeth Banks) grows on you throughout the "Hunger Games" franchise. She starts out as a Captial worker bee and evolves into a nurturing supporter of Katniss. What a metamorphosis!
Speaking of metamorphosis, one of Effie's most marvelous and memorable outfits was made entirely out of Monarch butterflies. Wait, let's just clarify here — no real butterflies were harmed in the making of the dress! The film's costume designer, Trish Summerville, quelled any concerns by confirming that the outfit was made out of feathers painted to look like Monarch butterflies.
Edward - Edward Scissorhands
If you've ever watched a Tim Burton film, you'll know to expect some wonderfully wacky characters. "Edward Scissorhands" is no exception. Burton somehow manages to make us, along with the rest of the town, fall for Edward. He's an innocent creature, who due to a series of mishaps, ended up with scissors for hands. Not exactly traditional heartthrob material.
Besides the dangerous scissors, Edward also dons a leather bodysuit with metal buckles and straps. On paper, this sounds like a costume for a monster in a horror film, yet it was the perfect fit for the off-beat prince charming.
Sam - A Cinderella Story
The ultimate fairytale has had many adaptions in its day and with it, many versions of Cinderella's ballgown. In this modern version, Hilary Duff's character was dressed in what most of us would describe as a wedding dress.
Since Sam is a high schooler in the film, the wedding dress seemed a tad too mature or even inappropriate to some viewers. However, the plot of the film solves this costume conundrum. Sam doesn't have a dress to wear to the school dance, so her friend lets her borrow her wedding dress to save the day! So despite appearances, there are no wedding bells in sight!
March Sisters - Little Women (2019)
The adoration for the March sisters seems to transcend generations. Great Gerwig's successful 2019 adaption proves just that. While the film bagged the academy award for best costume design, the character's clothing has since been criticized for its historical inaccuracy.
"Little Women" is set in the 1860s which means that the March sisters ought to have been sporting bonnets throughout the film. Costume designer Jacqueline Durran explained the bonnet-ban in the film as a way of trying to modernize the look of the sisters and make them more relatable to contemporary audiences. She stated, “I think that it was about bringing a kind of new life to Victorian girls — keeping it Victorian but not doing it in the way that we’re used to seeing it.”
Charlie's Angels - Charlie's Angels (2000)
This cult classic is famous for its formidable female-fighting force. While the film does a good job of portraying women in action on screen, the wardrobe choices are at times...questionable.
The main culprit? The incredibly high heels that the angels are often spotted wearing during the various action sequences. It seems that the costume department used footwear to try to create the perfect balance of fierceness and feminity. While fighting bad guys in heels is very impressive it just seems impractical.
Nathan Algren - The Last Samurai
While there is a slew of issues with this film, not to mention Tom Cruise starring as a lead in a film about Japanese culture, the wardrobe is a particular pain point for the film.
The armor is actually outdated for what Cruise's character would have worn at that time! Samurai specialists pointed out that armor of that caliber and design had become obsolete by the time period in which the film takes place. However, the aesthetic value that it brings to the screen explains why some creative license was taken.
Marie Antoinette - Marie Antoinette
It's easy to see why this film won an academy award for best costume design in 2007. The ornate and detailed outfits in the film truly bring 1700s royal french fashion to life.
However, a pair of shoes spotted in the film sparked some controversy. Eagle-eyed viewers caught a glimpse of a pair of converse sneakers in Marie Antionette's wardrobe. While obviously not from that time period, the sneakers were included to convey to modern audiences just how young and inexperienced Marie was when she became the queen of France.
Annie Hall - Annie Hall
The popularity of Diane Keaton's character's style in the film catapulted "Annie Hall" from a film to a phrase synonymous with an androgynous style.
Keaton's "male-borrowed" wardrobe was contentious and groundbreaking at the time of the film's release, which usually saw female leads dressed in traditionally feminine clothing. The reason for the radical wardrobe choice? Keaton's own personal style seeped into the character she was playing.
Belle - Beauty and the Beast
Belle's ballgown in this adaption failed to make her the belle of the ball! It was simply not spectacular enough for most viewers. Many compared it to the extravagant animated dress and were left wanting more golden glamour.
According to the film's costume designer, the dressed-down version of the ballgown was due to Emma Watson's creative choices. She apparently opted out of a big princess ballgown in favor of an a-line dress she could easily move around in. Well, the golden gown certainly let Disney fans down!
Cecilia Tallis - Atonement
Possibly one of the most beloved green dresses in all film history is the sultry satin number that Keira Knightly's character wears in "Atonement." While overwhelmingly adored, the dress did receive some backlash for its rather revealing slit in the front that would not have been commonplace during the time period of the story.
The film's costume designer, Jacqueline Durran, was tasked with creating a dress that allowed for the pivotal love scene between the characters to take place without the garment getting in the way. Despite the controversy, it remains an iconic film fashion moment to this day.
Rosemary Shanahan - Shallow Hal
We think it's safe to say that whenever a character dons a fat suit for laughs, it's never a good idea. In light of the movement towards body acceptance and body positivity, Gwenyth Paltrow's fat-suit in the film has received harsh criticism for making fun of people larger than her.
The point of the fat-suit was to make Gwenyth's character unattractive. Everything about that is offensive! We're just glad that Hollywood finally appears to be, albeit slowly, moving away from using a person's size as a measure of attractiveness.
Allison Reynolds - The Breakfast Club
Everyone loves a good movie makeover scene! However, the makeover from grungy misfit to the squeaky-clean girly teen of the beloved Breakfast Club character missed the mark.
Ally Sheedy, the actress playing Allison in the film, has criticized the misguided makeover as an unfortunate 80's trope. Most viewers loved her character's edgy and eccentric look and didn't feel that she needed to be transformed for her character to be noticed or be doted on.
Jacob Black - Twilight Franchise
While incredibly popular, the Twilight film series is not without faults, and that also includes the hair and makeup department. Here we're looking at Jacob Black's wonky wig that left fans scratching their heads.
The long hair may have seemed like an odd costuming choice for the character, but in fact, it was a conscious selection on the part of the filmmakers to stay true to the source material. In the novels, Jacob Black has long flowing locks which he gets rid of to mark his transformation into a werewolf. Yes, you read that correctly.
The Bridesmaids - Bridesmaids
This hyper-successful female-led comedy follows a group of bridesmaids on their humorous journey to get their friend to the alter.
The bridesmaids were styled in rather preposterous purple frocks. This costuming choice was made to add another layer of humor to the film. It pokes fun at the trope that bridesmaids usually have to deal with wearing unflattering dresses on the bride's big day. So while viewers may not have found the dresses appealing, they most likely could relate to this common bridesmaid duty (sacrifice) on their friend's big day!
Lara Croft - Tomb Raider
Lara Croft is a... tomb raider (it's all in the name) which means she spends most of her time in hand-to-hand combat and exploring ancient ruins.
That's what makes her wardrobe is particularly confusing to most viewers. Her skin-baring outfits aren't functional and don't provide any protection against those trying to harm her. In order to add sex appeal to the film, costume designers decided to make Lara's outfit more risque than necessary. However, the newest adaption of the franchise, starring Alicia Vikander, seems to be taking a step in the less controversial direction by having her character wear long pants as opposed to short-shorts. Baby steps, people!
The Joker - The Dark Knight Rises
Any "Batman" comic book fan will know that the original Joker's clown-inspired was depicted to be slick and neat.
The late Heath Ledger's now iconic portrayal of the villain produced a more unkempt make-up look. While upsetting to comic-book purists, the messier make-up was a conscious choice on Ledger's part to make the Joker appear even more unhinged and chaotic. Well, we certainly think it did the trick!
Tyler Durden - Fight Club
The roller-coaster ride that is "Fight-Club" features the enigmatic bad-boy character that is Tyler Durden. While usually shown in muscle-bearing leather outfits, it's his pink and fluffy bathrobe that had viewers talking.
The stereotypically feminine bathrobe may seem like a strange choice for the hyper-masculine character to wear. However, it fits perfectly with the twists and turns of the film. Tyler Durden's flamboyant wardrobe perfectly illustrates just how unpredictable and mysterious his character is and certainly keeps the audience guessing from one outfit to the next.