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24 Worst Costume Mistakes In Film History

Making a movie can take months, even years before it’s ready to hit the big screen. One would assume that a film that takes so much effort and time would be perfect by the time we buy a movie ticket to go see it.

However, that’s just not the case. It’s hard to watch one whole film without reading about, or finding one critical mistake. And truth be told, it’s even a little fun.

Although we can’t figure out how these movie blunders snuck past the editing room, here are some of the worst costume mistakes in film history.

1. Gladiator – The successful film starring Russell Crowe isn’t without its own costume mistakes. During Crowe’s iconic fight scene with a tiger, you may have happened to catch a glimpse of a pair of bicycle shorts underneath his tunic. Although the movie was released in 2000, the film itself takes place in Ancient Rome, long before bicycle shorts were around.

2. The Wedding Singer – This hilarious rom-com starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore (that would kick-off a working relationship that would carry on long after the film’s release) is not without fault. Although the film takes place and celebrates the crazy fashion sense of the ’80s, Barrymore’s hairstyle in the film is very ’90s; considering the movie came out in 1998 it makes sense, but one can’t help but wonder why the movie didn’t stay true to the decade’s style for this crucial detail.

3. American Hustle – American Hustle had an all-star cast including Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Jennifer Lawrence, but not even that star power could distract from this little blunder. In a scene with Louis C.K., his character Stoddard Thorsen is seen wearing a Rolex 116718 GMT Master II wristwatch, which wasn’t made until 2010. Considering the film is supposed to take place in the ’70s, it doesn’t add up.

4. Pirates Of The Caribbean – It’s not surprising that this big-budget, Disney blockbuster, period piece would let some costume mistakes slip by. Not only have fans caught a crew member in the background of a scene who decided to wear a cowboy hat that day, but the Royal Navy is caught wearing uniforms that were introduced in 1747. Although the movie takes place in the 1700s, they make a point to mention the King of England at the time is George I, meaning that the film is set sometime between 1714 and 1727 and the uniforms are incorrect.

Disney Enterprises

5. Alien – I guess we can cut this film some slack because it definitely had a lot going on. But the 1979 sci-fi thriller starring Sigourney Weaver wasn’t without fault. Just take a closer look at the scene where the alien removes Kane’s helmet. Kane is actually wearing a beige leather hood inside his space suit on LV-426, but when his helmet is ripped off aboard the Nostromo, the hood vanishes.

6. My Girl – This 1991 classic had us close to tears so often, it was almost impossible to catch this movie mishap. Remember when Vada shows off her mood ring and blames Thomas J as to why it’s always black? Although the banter between the two friends is cute, it doesn’t change the fact that Vada shouldn’t have had that mood ring in the first place! The movie is set in 1972 but mood rings weren’t invented until 1975 by two New York inventors, Josh Reynolds and Maris Ambats, according to Wikipedia.

7. Star Wars Episode VI: The Empire Strikes Back – Apparently Han Solo (played by Harrison Ford) had enough time for a quick outfit change! In this scene, it appears he’s in all white, but when we see him up close, he’s actually wearing his brown jacket. Lucasfilm managed to fix the error in the remastered version of the movie, but fans who have a copy of the classic know what really happened there.

8. The Wizard Of Oz – When Dorothy and Scarecrow are attacked by an apple tree, Scarecrow falls over when he’s hit by a couple of flying fruit. But if you look closely, this scene actually revealed a costume mistake; where are Dorothy’s ruby slippers? It’s a quick shot but the camera doesn’t lie. Our best guess would be Judy Garland opted for some more comfortable footwear in a scene where she didn’t think her feet would be seen!

9. Singin’ In The Rain – The pink, poofy ballgown that Debbie Reynolds’ character Kathy wears in this scene was a very popular look in the 1950s, but the film is supposed to take place in the ’20s. If you’re not going to go for a historically accurate wardrobe, at least try to make it a little more subtle; the poofy tulle skirt on her bubblegum pink dress screams 1950s.

10. Catch Me If You Can – In ‘Catch Me If You Can,’ when we first see Brenda Strong at the hospital, she is wearing 1970s-style braces on her teeth. But Brenda, played by Amy Adams, wouldn’t have been wearing that particular type of braces in the 1960s, which is when this movie scene is supposed to take place; these particular type of braces weren’t used until the 1970s. 

Dreamworks LLC

11. Dirty Dancing – Throughout the film, Baby can be seen sporting a pair of denim shorts that were made popular throughout the 1980s, which is great except the movie is supposed to take place in the ’60s! If ‘Dirty Dancing’ is set in the 1960s, there’s no way she’d be wearing jorts! Actually, teenage girls in the early 1960s did not denim shorts as attractive casual wear, nor were female shorts cut in that fashion during that decade.

12. Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade – All of those Nazis Harrison Ford fights?  If you look a little more closely, you can see they’re wearing combat medals that were used during WWII. However, considering the film is supposed to take place before the war even happened, this doesn’t make any sense. Nazis did wear various types of World War II combat medals, but this film takes place before the war and the creation of those of the medals.

13. Seabiscuit – If you pay attention to the jockeys you’ll notice that all of them are wearing chinstraps, including the star of the film Tobey Maguire. The chin strap was a feature that wasn’t introduced to horseracing until the ’50s, but the film is supposed to be set in the 1930s.  Chin straps on jockey helmets were first introduced in 1956 with the Caliente Safety Helmet so either the film forgot to do their homework or they just preferred the look.

Universal Pictures and Dreamworks LLCi

14. The Informant – The film takes place in 1992 as you can tell by the outfits in the pictures below. However, in the scene where Matt Damon plays a little golf with a couple of FBI agents, you might want to take a closer look at their footwear. The characters can be seen wearing Nike golf shoes while on the course, which doesn’t really add up considering Nike didn’t even manufacture golf shoes until 1996.

15. Schindler’s List – Have you ever noticed that the women in ‘Schindler’s List’ seem to have found time to shave their legs and armpits? Not only is it quite a stretch to believe that the women in concentration camps were concerned about body hair, but this is actually inaccurate because shaving wasn’t popular among European women in the 1940s.

16. Braveheart – History has proven that people in Scotland didn’t wear kilts until about the 16th century, but Mel Gibson’s character can be seen wearing a kilt during pretty much the entire movie which is set in the 1300s. according to new research published by ‘The Telegraph,’ medieval Scottish soldiers fought wearing bright yellow war shirts dyed in horse urine rather than the plaid depicted in ‘Braveheart.’

Paramount Pictures

17. The Color Purple – In the 1985 film ‘The Color Purple,’ Albert, played by Danny Glover, wears a clip-on tie. In case you’re unfamiliar, a clip-on tie is a permanently tied necktie which clips to the shirt collar with a metal clip. Considering the film is set in the year 1916, this is definitely a blunder since clip-on ties weren’t actually invented until 1928. Therefore, Albert should not have been able to get his hands on one! Oops!

18. Pearl Harbour – Barely any of the women in ‘Pearl Harbour’ are seen wearing nylon stockings, even though almost every adult woman would have worn nylons in public before WWII. During the war, when nylon was rationed, women were so desperate for hosiery that they would draw seams on the backs of their legs just to make it look like they were wearing nylons.

19. The Other Boleyn Girl – Although historical records say Anne Boleyn (played by Natalie Portman) preferred the French hood, both Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson are seen wearing so-called French Hoods where their hair can be seen. Considering a French hood’s purpose is to cover the hair, which is why it often has a veil at the back, their French headbands don’t really pass for the same thing.

20. Django Unchained – Despite the fact that sunglasses were not widespread in the U.S. until 1929, Jamie Foxx can be seen sporting a click pair throughout this Tarantino film set about 70 years prior. Before 1929, sunglasses were more often used as medical devices and were pretty rare. It seems like these days it’s often product placement over historical accuracy.

21. Captain America: The First Avenger – Jim Morita, played by Kenneth Choi, is seen wearing a headset under his hat in ‘The First Avenger.’ This might not seem unusual to you watching the film in the year 2011 (when the movie was released). However, when you consider the movie was supposed to take place in WWII, that headset is definitely out of place.

22. Captain America: The First Avenger – We’re not done with ‘The First Avenger’ movie. In the film, Peggy Carter is also guilty of a crucial costume mistake; her hair. If you look closely at this picture, Peggy’s hair is shoulder length. However, during WWII, the rule was that military women’s hair needed to be off their collar when on duty. Peggy’s is clearly too long and loose here for her character.

23. The Ten Commandments – ‘The Ten Commandments’ was released in 1956 and wasn’t well-received. Known for having a ton of historical inaccuracies, one of the most obvious is Nefertiti’s dress. Nefertiti, played by Anne Baxter, is wearing a bright-blue dress in this scene which would have been impossible in that time period because the dye needed to make a dress that color simply didn’t exist in nature and therefore couldn’t have been made at that time in history.

24. The Doors – In the 1960’s, Jim Morrison was a huge sex symbol that influenced much of the style and culture of the era. However, his style wasn’t so cool: it included a pair of sunglasses that weren’t even invented yet. Val Kilmer, who played Jim Morrison, is seen wearing a pair of Ray-Bans that weren’t introduced until the 1980s.

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