Movies rely on costuming to set the scene for the action. Costumes need to convince us that a film is set in a certain place and time. That’s why it can be so disheartening when movies get it wrong. Costume designers have a lot to think about when they’re coming up with a look for a movie.
Keep reading to see all of the most glaring costume mistakes in your favorite movies.
Dirty Dancing: Baby’s Shorts Needed To Be A Skirt
Baby’s style wasn’t so much emblematic of her time as it was an inspiration for her time. The movie was set in 1963, even though it was filmed in the ’80s.
Those jean shorts she wears came into fashion in the ’80s. Nobody would be caught dead in those in the ’60s.
Legends of the Fall: Brad Pitt’s Blonde Hair Was Too Perfect
In Legends of the Fall, Brad Pitt plays Tristan Ludlow, a cowboy coming of age in the early 1900s.
His hair, however, looks like it belongs in the ’60s. Also, his shoddy shave would never pass in those days. He looks more like a glam rock star than a turn of the century farm hand.
Raiders of the Lost Ark: An Extra Is Actually Wearing Jeans
If you look closely in the background of this shot, you can see that there’s an extra walking around wearing a pair of blue jeans.
I just don’t think that jeans were a thing in Egypt in the 1930s. Maybe that guy was part of the crew and he wasn’t supposed to be in the shot.
Captain America (The First Avenger): Hair Needs To Be Up Here
Look, we can all agree that Peggy is super attractive. I know that I love her gorgeous wavy brown hair. The thing is, that hair just isn’t army appropriate.
Even though it fits the time period, during the war, women were required to have their hair up off their collar and tied back.
The Ten Commandments: Nefertiri’s Dress Is Just Too Advanced
I still think that The Ten Commandments is the best biblical film ever made. That doesn’t mean that it’s perfect, though. Anna Baxter as Nefertiti wears a stunning blue dress.
The problem? Nobody had access to blue dye during that time period. It was incredibly difficult to make and even when it was available much later, it was reserved for royalty. I know Nefertiti was royalty, but it’s just a little too early for that shade of blue.
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves: Telescopes Didn’t Exist Yet
The scene where Costner and Freeman look through their telescope in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves isn’t entirely accurate. Telescopes like this one were invented in the 17th century after the events of this film take place.
There’s no way Robin Hood would have a compact telescope at his disposal.
Captain America (The First Avenger): The Headset Didn’t Exist Yet
I commend Marvel for doing a period piece, but if you’re going to do it, do it right. That radio earpiece that Jim Mortia wears in the film looks a little bit out of place.
The system was designed much later, around the year 2000. That means there’s no way the military had it during WWII.
Almost Famous: The Black Sabbath T-shirt
Almost Famous has become something of a modern classic. It follows an aspiring rock and roll journalist as he tours around the country with one of his favorite bands.
For a movie all about rock and roll, it seems odd that they missed this piece of rock trivia. One of the cast members wears a Black Sabbath t-shirt in the movie, but those shirts were made in 1997. The movie is set in the early ’70s.
Django Unchained: Sunglasses Didn’t Exist Yet
It’s a good thing Tarantino wasn’t exactly going for realism in this film. This movie was everything we didn’t know we needed. It made almost $300,000,000 worldwide, but this awesome movie still had its flaws.
Those sunglasses were invented in 1929. Sorry, Django, you’re just going to have to squint.
Saving Private Ryan: The Case Of The Black Boots
This epic war thriller has become the film that kids watch in school about WWII. I bet you saw it for the first time in a high school history class.
The film isn’t entirely historically accurate, though. The black boots that Matt Damon wears throughout the movie weren’t introduced until the 1950s.
American Hustle: No Rolex Watches In The 70s
This costume mistake is so small and insignificant that you may have totally missed it— but don’t worry, we caught it for you.
In American Hustle, Louis CK wears a Rolex that didn’t exist until 2010. That seems pretty out of place for a film that’s set in the 70s.
Gangs of New York: Firefighters Modern Uniforms Don’t Make Sense
Gangs of New York takes place in the mid 19th century, and yet, the firefighters in the film are dressed in modern firefighting gear.
I expected more than this from Martin Scorsese. You have to pay attention to history if you’re going to make a historical drama.
Amadeus: Mozart’s Zippers Didn’t Exist Yet
Zippers are a modern invention, historically speaking. The definitely didn’t exist when Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was alive in the 18th century.
A bunch of zippers are visible in this film even though they wouldn’t be invented for another hundred years. Get your facts straight, people!
The Tudors: Wearing Ruffs Is Scandalous
We think of ruffs as some kind of old-timey fashion accessory, but just because they existed a long time ago, it doesn’t mean you can just throw some into a film and hope for the best.
Ruffs were worn in a very specific way. Nobody would wear one without an undershirt. That was considered inappropriate and even scandalous in the 1500s.
The Other Boleyn Girl: Portman’s Hair Needs To Be Pulled Back
I think filmmakers wanted us to see Natalie and Scarlett’s hair so we could identify one as the blonde one and one as the brunette. The problem is that this is not how French hoods were worn during the time period.
Their hair should have been pulled back and hidden under a veil.
Back to the Future: This Guitar Didn’t Exist Yet
Marty McFly might travel through time, but that doesn’t mean that guitars can do the same. I don’t think a misplaced guitar is the weirdest thing about this movie, but it does stand out as inaccurate.
The guitar that Marty plays in the 1955 scene wouldn’t be invented until 1958.
Pearl Harbor: Bare Legs Weren’t Appropriate
It’s important to do some historical research before you start making a movie. If you skip out on this very important step, you end up with glaring mistakes like this one.
There’s no way that women would be seen without stockings in the WWII era. It would simply be too revealing.
Public Enemies: A Robe That’s Too Advanced
Public Enemies takes place during the depression era in America. Johnny Depp nails his performance as bank robber John Dillinger. He certainly acted like a ’30s bank robber, but he didn’t really dress like one.
The high quality, flexible, light fibers we make jackets out of today were unavailable back then. The character’s jacket should be a lot heavier and more structured.
The King’s Speech: Wrong Kilt
Everyone on the set of The King’s Speech did a great job making the film look realistic and believable. Everyone except for the kilt expert, apparently.
The kilt design that the king wears in this scene only dates back to 1997, and it’s Irish and not Scotish Balmoral.
Baywatch: Transparent Swimsuit
Baywatch was one of those shows that everyone watched, but there were a lot of things going on behind the scenes that we didn’t know about.
One time, actress Gena Lee Nolin almost had an embarrassing incident when she discovered that a swimsuit she was supposed to wear on the show became transparent when it got wet. Luckily for her, they figured it out before they started shooting.
Glory: A Digital Watch During the Civil War, Really?
Somebody, please explain to me how this one happened. Glory is set during the civil war. Nobody had wristwatches like the one in this scene. This movie had a big budget and it was full of big name actors.
Wristwatches didn’t exist until the ’20s, and even then, they weren’t digital until much later.
The Mummy Returns: Meema’s Skirt Is Not Battle Friendly
I really don’t think that branding was a thing in ancient Egypt. During an epic fight scene between Nefertiri and Anck Su in The Mummy Returns, you can see some tags on the women’s undergarments.
I just didn’t peg Nefertiti as a Fruit of the Loom kind of girl.
Troy: Umbrellas Didn’t Exist Then
Check out the tasseled red umbrella behind Orlando Bloom in this shot. Well, this little detail is totally inaccurate. The umbrella was actually invented in the 5th Century BCE, way after the Battle of Troy took place.
Sometimes you just have to suspend your disbelief.
Pride and Prejudice: Rubber Boots Didn’t Exist Then
Pride and Prejudice is a classic story about a woman finding love in an unlikely partner. At first, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy went together like rubber boots and the Georgian Era.
That’s right, rubber boots weren’t invented until twenty years after the events of the book. Maybe they should have rethought that costume choice.
Good Night and Good Luck: Name Tags Equal Nope
Army uniforms have very strict rules and regulations. You can’t just make up what they look like as you go along— you have to do a bit of historical research.
This film takes place in the 1950s, but there are some casually dressed military officers in the movie who wear name tags that were only introduced in the late sixties.
Braveheart: Gibson’s Scottish Skirt Was Totally Premature
Braveheart is one of those films that everyone has seen but almost nobody remembers. Like, what even was this movie? For some reason, it has continued to stay relevant.
The thing is, it got the costumes all wrong. It takes place in the 13th century, but Scots only began wearing kilts in the 16th century.
The Color Purple: Clip-on Ties Didn’t Exist Yet
The Color Purple tells the story of African American women living in the South during the 1900s. It’s based on a novel by Alice Walker.
Danny Glover appears in the film wearing a clip-on tie, a fashion accessory that wouldn’t be introduced to the market until 1928.
Gladiator: Crowe’s Lycra Shorts Don’t Make Sense
I really don’t think that spandex lycra shorts existed in ancient Rome. Russel Crow is wearing some pretty epic leather armor. but I just can’t get over what he’s wearing underneath it.
I don’t think anyone was too focused on comfort or stretchy pants in gladiator times.
The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button: Ray Bans Ahead Of Their Time
Actor Brad Pitt has always been known is a considerably stylish guy, even when he’s off-screen. In the 2008 film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, he is depicted wearing a really stylish accessory in one scene — a sleek pair of Ray Ban sunglasses, specifically the 3025 Aviator model.
The scene in question takes place in 1945, but the 3025 Aviators were not introduced until 1952.
Cinderella: An Accidnetal Costume Change
It’s hard to forget the iconic and gorgeous white wedding dress Cinderella wore in the classic 1950 Disney animated feature film of the same title.
Most viewers remember the dress being a modest long-sleeve style, but in the scene when she is riding away in the carriage after the ceremony, the dress suddenly becomes short sleeved.
Catch Me If You Can: Braces Didn’t Look Like This Yet
This movie about a world-class fraud played by Leonardo DiCaprio took place in the 1960s. In one scene, we see Amy Adams as a nurse with stainless steel braces that are adhered to the front of her teeth.
In the 1960s, most braces were made of gold and were wrapped around the teeth rather than being glued to the front. Stainless steel and adhesives weren’t universally integrated into orthodontics until the 1970s.
The Wizard Of Oz: What Happened To The Ruby Slippers?
“There’s no place like home.” It’s a phrase many know well and one that helped Dorothy escape the wrath of the Wicked Witch. That phrase, paired with the magical red slippers of course.
In the scene after Dorothy and Scarecrow are fighting with the tree, look at her shoes. Uh oh, she is wearing plain black leather shoes instead of ruby red slippers.
The Shawshank Redemption:Beers From The Future
There is a scene in The Shawshank Redemption when Andy earns beer for his friends after helping one of the prison guards. However, there’s one small mistake. If you look closely at the beer bottles, you’ll notice that they have spiraled tops, indicating that it is a twist-off beer.
Yet, this was overlooked when picking the props because twist-off beers hadn’t been invented yet in the late 1940s.
My Girl:Interesting Ring…
The ring character Vada wore in My Girl was not just some regular ring with a basic stone in it. No, it was the ring we always wanted to try when we were teenagers: a mood ring.
The movie was set in 1972, but what’s wrong about that is. Mood rings were not invented until 1975.
The Informant:A Mistake On The Links
The Informant was set during the early 1990s. In The Informant, a biographical/crime/drama film which follows a whistleblower during a price-fixing controversy, there are various times when you see stars such as Matt Damon, Joel McHale, and Scott Bakula wearing Nike brand golf shoes.
This was a pretty big oversight considering that Nike didn’t release a line of golf shoes were until years later, in 1996.
Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade: Nice Medals, Nazis
In the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Nazis definitely live up to their reputation by playing the movie’s bad guys. The Steven Spielberg-directed movie is set in 1938, which was one year before World War II began.
As you watch the film, you can see that the Nazis are already wearing medals that did not come into use until World War II had started.
Pirates of the Carribean: Blame It On The Royal Navy
During the film Pirates of the Caribbean, the men are seen wearing British Royal Navy uniforms. Those uniforms were not introduced until 1747.
Yet, in the film, the King of England at the time was George I, and George I was the King of England between 1714 and 1727. These Navymen must have just been ahead of their time.
Singin’ In The Rain: Too Poofy For The Time
In Singin’ in the Rain, the 1952 romantic comedy musical, Lina Lamont (as played by Jean Hagen) wears a large poofy dress.
But wearing this style of dress would have been more correct if it were the 1950s, when the film was created. The movie is set in the 1920s, making the dress choice a huge style conflict
Seabiscuit: Safety First
Toby Maguire played a horse jockey in the film Seabiscuit named Red Pollard. The movie is set in 1930 and follows the story of a Thoroughbred racehorse.
Looking at Red Pollard’s helmet you will probably notice that it has chin straps. The thing is, chin straps were not around until 1956.
The Untouchables: Lapels Didn’t Exist Yet
The jacket Costner wears as Eliot Ness in The Untouchables came to define gangsters for years, but did you notice the one glaring mistake with this costume choice?
Lapels were only introduced around 1989, so this fantastic movie isn’t completely historically accurate. What did people do before lapels?