The Most Egregious Costume Mistakes in Hollywood
It’s hilarious that a lot of movies that were given huge budgets have still managed to make such egregious costume mistakes. Among the most common mistakes is when a cast member wears clothes that aren’t period-appropriate. But sometimes it’s simply a mishap that flew by the costume designer unnoticed. For some, it is simply hard to believe the degree to which not a single person working for the movie managed to notice anything amiss. Happily for us, and unhappily for movie creators, the audience can always be relied upon to be keen enough to point out a show’s flaws. And we hope you’d read on since we’ve compiled in this listicle the most egregious costume mistakes in Hollywood films.
DIRTY DANCING—BABY’S SHORTS WEREN’T IN FASHION
Dirty Dancing, the hit 1987 romantic drama that melted many teenage hearts was set in 1963, almost 20 years before the jean shorts of the sort that Baby can be seen prancing about became fashionable. Anyone who expends the minimum amount of effort to research the fashion trends of the early sixties will reasonably find Baby’s denim shorts egregiously period inappropriate. But that being said, most who have watched the show neither noticed nor cared about the blunder, and the show, to its credit, became widely regarded as one of the most successful films of the eighties.
LEGENDS OF THE FALL—BRAD PITT’S BLONDE MANE
In Legends of the Fall, the epic period drama that starred such luminaries as Anthony Hopkins, Brad Pitt, and Julia Ormond, has had its share of costume mishaps, despite the relatively gargantuan investment money that was earmarked by the studio to fund the film. Have you ever heard of a mistake being due to the fact that someone was so attractive? Well, you will now, because Brad Pitt’s oh-so-beautifully flowing locks would simply be unheard of during the 1910s when the film was set. In other words, the man’s hair was too long, beautiful and well-kept to have been donned by someone of that time.
TROY—UMBRELLAS HADN’T BEEN INVENTED
That scene in Troy where we see Orlando Bloom ride atop an intricately designed chariot around town while being shielded by a similarly intricate pink umbrella—have you seen it? Well, it isn’t supposed to be possible. Umbrellas, after all, hadn’t been invented until 800 years after, assuming the events of the Trojan War took place around 12 BC, which most historians believe it did. There was also one scene where a film crew member can be seen in the background carrying a walkie-talkie. We’re pretty sure radio waves and electricity hadn’t been discovered in 12 BC, so this was clearly a mistake.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE—KEIRA KNIGHTLY’S RUBBER BOOTS
This 2005 romantic drama that was based on Jane Austen’s novel of the same name had its fair share of wardrobe mistakes, too. Sure, the film took some creative liberties in its presentation of the events in the novel, but who would have thought that these liberties would include a fashion accessory that hadn’t been invented until 40 years after the novel was set? Keira Knightly’s boots for one scene seemed like they were from the future—40 years from the future, to be exact. The plush pair of Wellington rain boots on Keira’s slender hill-climbers hadn’t been invented at the time. Heck, the novel was set in the late 1700s, so even electricity hadn’t been invented at the time.
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK—AN EXTRA IN DENIM JEANS
Despite the fact that viewers don’t really give credit to the work of extras these days, they do play a very pertinent part in films. So when they screw up the very minor roles to which they’ve been assigned—depending on how consequential said roles are—well, it can often be bad for the whole film. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, one incorrigible individual deigned to wear denim jeans at the background of a scene that was supposed to be set in Egypt in the 1930s, where such a thing would have been unheard of.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER—PEGGY’S HAIR WAS TOO LONG
Peggy, the love interest of Captain America in the film—and to a huge degree, throughout the life of El Kapitan in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, really—had her long, somewhat seductive brown locks resting themselves on the collar of her military outfit. There’s nothing wrong with it, really, except that it wouldn’t have been acceptable for the army at the time. Women in the army would have been required to have their hair tied up in such a manner that it didn’t hit their collar. True, it is a uniform requirement that might seem draconian today, but it was the norm during World War 2 when the scene was set.
THE AVENGERS—CAPTAIN AMERICA’S MAGICAL HEALING SUIT
We’ve all watched this film—does anyone seriously know anyone who hasn’t? So we all know just how expensive this film was to make. The CGI alone must have cost the studio somewhere close to the GDP of a small country. So it’s quite jarring that mistakes like these were not caught in the editing room. What mistake, you ask? Well, for one scene, we see Captain America injured—bloodied even—on his left torso. A moment later, he’s fine! The blood, seemingly like magic, disappeared from his suit! To the film’s credit, all Cap’s battle scenes after the magical incident had his suit bloodied as it should be.
GLADIATOR—MAXIMUS’S LYCRA SHORTS
One would have expected more from Ridley Scott of Blade Runner and Alien fame. I mean, don’t get us wrong, the film was spectacular. But for all ancient Rome’s technological prowess at the time, they certainly had no ability to produce lycra fabric, the fabric of which Hispano-Roman general Maximus Decimus Meridius’s shorts were made of. Today, a credit card swipe will suffice to have lycra shorts delivered, but during ancient Rome, a textile of this kind would have been rarer than a blood diamond. Hell, even Alexander the Great himself wouldn’t have been rich enough to own a pair of lycra shorts.
HARRY POTTER—THE CHANGING SUITCASE
We all know the Harry Potter films were about wizards and the magic-infested wizarding world in which they lived. But somehow, we think this continuity error wasn’t mean to be a case of magic. The scene we’re referring to was where Harry and Ron were pushing a huge piece of luggage, heading for platform 9 3/4. Ron tips the cart and causes his luggage to fall over. But the next scene shows a completely different suitcase lying on the flooring of the station. Clearly, they mistakenly used a different prop!
INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE—MEDAL-WEARING NAZIS
Here is another one from Spielberg’s money-making Indiana Jones franchise. And we say “money-making” for good reason; because this film was shot on a $50-million budget, which was a huge amount of investment money at the time, and went on to make more than $470 million in the box office. One glaring mistake in the costume department, however, were the medals those Nazis were wearing—they were World War 2 medals, despite that the film was set more than a few years before World War 2.