Fashion and Film: 20 Iconic Costumes We’re Still Talking About Today

Sarah Barnes
Fashion and Film: 20 Iconic Costumes We’re Still Talking About Today
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We all have those movies that never fail to make laugh, cry, or think long and hard about the story being told. A great film has the ability to cross cultural or social boundaries and change the way we see the world. A really great film is able to do all that and captivate our attention with its amazing wardrobe.

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Throughout film’s history, there have been countless fashion moments, where a piece of clothing, an accessory, or an entire costume has come to define an actress, a particular moment in time, or a whole generation, staying with us long after the credits have rolled.

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From Dorothy’s ruby red slippers to Cher Horowitz‘ knee socks, these 20 iconic outfits aren’t merely costumes, they’re some of the most unforgettable onscreen fashion moments ever.

Click through and let us know which movie—and look—is your favorite! 

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In the original novel, Dorothy wore silver shoes, but the ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz (1939) are undoubtably the most famous shoes in film history. 

Photo: MGM Studios/Getty Images

Costume designer, Walter Plunkett crafted more than 5,000 19th century pieces for Gone With The Wind (1939). The ornate, full-length, hoop-skirt gowns worn by Vivien Leigh have become iconic in their own right.

Photo: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Rita Hayworth’s striptease performance in Gilda (1946) turned her into one of the most glamorous film stars of all time.

Photo: John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images

Grace Kelly’s full skirts and pearls were the epitome of elegance – and let us not forget the infamous Hermes bag she carried throughout the filming of Rear Window (1954).

Photo: Bud Fraker/Getty Images

The infamous shot of Marilyn Monroe in Seven Year Itch (1955) standing above a subway grate as her white halter dress blows up around her legs became one of the most iconic moments in film history.

Photo: Frank Worth, Courtesy of Emage I/Getty Images

Penny loafers and ballet flats became a huge trend after Audrey Hepburn busted out a song and dance while wearing the casual slip-ons in Funny Face (1957).

Photo: GAB Archive/Redferns

The costumes designed by Edith Head for Alfred Hitchcock’s twisted, psychological thriller, Vertigo (1958) conveyed the elegance and grace of Kim Novak's character, Judy Barton.

Photo: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

While the famous heart-shaped sunglasses were never actually featured Lolita (1962), their appearance in publicity photos embodied the innocence of Lolita.

Photo: MGM Studios/Getty Images

Ursula Andress emerging from the waves in this white bikini in James Bond: Dr. No (1962) has to be one of the most memorable Bond Girl – and swimwear moments of all time.

Photo: Archive Photos/Getty Images

Elizabeth Taylor’s extravagant wardrobe for Cleopatra (1963) consisted of 65 costumes. The film popularized snake rings, arm cuffs, maxi dresses, as well as the "Cleopatra Eye" makeup trend.

Photo: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Benjamin Braddock’s face says it all. Mrs.Robinson’s sheer, black tights in The Graduate (1967) are the pinnacle of seduction.

Photo: Embassy Pictures/Getty Images

Although it is set in the 1930s, the wardrobe worn by Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde (1967) has a seventies feel with the berets, belted tweed coats, and fine knits. Stealing money has never looked so chic.

Photo: Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Ali MacGraw’s preppy wardrobe of bobble hats and striped collegiate sweaters in Love Story (1970) defined the all-American east coast college look.

Photo: Archive Photos/Getty Images

The Great Gatsby (1974) perfectly captures the Jazz Age style, with Mia Farrow dressing exclusively in white. The film went on the win an Oscar for Best Costume Design.

Photo: Archive Photos/Getty Images

The menswear-inspired style worn by Diane Keaton in Annie Hall (1977) caught on becoming a major trend after the films release.

Photo: United Artists/Getty Images

Olivia Newton John’s transformation from ‘good Sandy’ to ‘bad Sandy’ in Grease (1978) was a seminal fashion moment. We’ve got chills, they’re multiplying..

Photo: Fotos International/Getty Images

Meryl Streep’s safari style wardrobe in Out Of Africa (1985) was effortlessly elegant and it introduced us to the power of a simple white shirt. 

Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The bright, padded blazers, colored tights, clashing plaids, and scrunchies worn by the cool girl clique in Heathers (1988) defined the 1980s high school look.

Photo: Archive Photos/Getty Images

Many of Julia Roberts’ looks from Pretty Woman (1990) became iconic – particularly this brown polka dot ensemble from the polo scene.

Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

With matching plaid ensembles, knee-high socks and Azzedine Alaia mini dresses, who wouldn't want to dress like Alicia Silverstone in Clueless (1995)?

Photo: Archive Photos/Getty Images

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