12 Iconic Movie Character Costumes

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 8:35 am,

Dog Costume Movie Characters Iconic Costumes 12 Iconic Movie Character Costumes

[Update: Captain America has been demoted from #2 to #7 due to popular reprimand. Keep the comments coming - We do listen!]

If you need a last-minute idea for your Halloween costume this year, don’t forget to look to the silver screen. There have been plenty of iconic characters in movies, but rarely do their outfits stand the test of time and find their way into costume shops, come October.

Today we’ve selected twelve of our favorite movie-inspired costumes – and what do you know, most of them are comic book characters!

While much of the list may seem obvious, it’s worth pointing out those costumes that will never be forgotten. Wardrobe designers put in months of hard work designing and creating outfits that accentuate a fictional character’s nuances and personality. It’s more than cloth and buttons.

Take your pick from the 12 costumes below and get to your nearest Halloween store or start up that sewing machine and make it yourself!

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12. Iron Man

Iron Man armor Mark 12 Iconic Movie Character Costumes

Iron Man’s Mark armor is his most recognizable feature and it is still fresh in the mind of the masses. The powered exoskeleton has also gone through a number of alterations over the years, making it more difficult to truly distinguish a single suit.

While some of the changes to Iron Man’s armor have been made by Tony Stark as needed, many changes in the design have been made with the interest of fans in mind.

The red and gold colors are what truly set Iron Man’s armor apart from the rest of the pack. Although the advanced weaponry gives it a certain level of badassness, the signature colors of the Mark suit have been the one mainstay throughout the years.

Iron Man Mark armor 12 Iconic Movie Character Costumes

Those weapons sure do kick ass, though. From a miniature hacksaw to the awesome laser beams in Iron Man 2, the Mark armor has gone through some fantastic upgrades. In fact, those lasers made it on my list of 25 awesome movie weapons. The Mark armor in Jon Favreau’s films are inspired work, including my personal favorite – the anti-tank missiles.

Iron Man’s armor is as recognizable as any for its flashy substance and unprecedented look. As Tony Stark constantly searches for ways to improve the suit, it will be interesting to see how it evolves in The Avengers.

11. Catwoman

Catwoman outfits 12 Iconic Movie Character Costumes

Catwoman has gotten a bum rap over the years due to some misguided interpretations. Although I enjoy Michelle Pfeiffer’s attempt in Batman Returns, it isn’t a universally-loved performance. As bad as the Halle Berry Catwoman movie was, at least they got her costume right. Then again, how hard is it to make a tight, leather suit.

Interestingly, Catwoman’s first appearance was without a costume. She only sported a mask in her second appearance. Like most costumes of recurring fictional characters, Catwoman’s has changed since her inception in early comics. But the leather bodysuit has stuck around for quite a while, be it purple or black.

Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman Batman Returns 12 Iconic Movie Character Costumes
Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman in Batman Returns

With no modifications needed to take down enemies, Catwoman simply utilizes her razor sharp nails to do minimal damage. She is more of a seductress thief than a weaponized killing machine.

If Catwoman finds her way into Batman 3, it will be interesting to see Christopher Nolan’s take on the outfit. As simple as the suit may sound, there is always room for improvement in order to make her more menacing. Or is it the simplicity that makes it work?

10. James Bond

James Bond suits 12 Iconic Movie Character Costumes

James Bond is the best dressed character in movie history. While his outfit may get straight to the point, it deserves to be on this list. Bond has always been fashionable based on the time period each movie takes place in.

While Sean Connery looked fine in a suit, it wasn’t until George Lazenby’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service that it really felt like James Bond was a showcase for the era’s best attire. A fromer model-turned-actor, Lazenby took Bond into a realm where the sleekness of his suit was just as important as the size of his gun.

James Bond tuxedos 12 Iconic Movie Character Costumes

Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig’s representations of Bond were among the most fashionable, though. No matter what he went through (literally), Brosnan’s suits always stayed fresh and slick throughout the entirety of the film. It was a pretty amazing sight.

As Daniel Craig took over the reigns of James Bond, the suits became less predictable. He simply dressed the part of a suave agent. Always dressed to kill, the man with a license to kill has the enemies and the ladies both under pressure.

9. The Joker

The Joker Romero Nicholson Ledger 12 Iconic Movie Character Costumes

The Joker has been one of the most consistently-dressed characters in comics. The portrayals of Joker onscreen have been tremendously different with each actor, but the purple and green customized suit has looked relatively similar throughout.

If anything has changed, it is the number of hidden weapons in The Joker’s suit. Flower lapels that shoot acid are my personal favorite of the gag weapons, but the more recent costume lacked any kind of violent touch-ups.

Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark Knight 12 Iconic Movie Character Costumes
Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark Knight

Sometimes the performance makes the costume iconic. Even without Heath Ledger’s legendary and Oscar-winning turn as Joker, millions of fans would still be sporting the purple suit from Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. While the clown makeup is Joker’s iconic look, his suit is an extension of his style.

Next: armor, workboots, webs, hats and bullwhips…

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TAGS: batman, captain america, ghostbusters, iron man, spider-man, star wars, superman, the dark knight

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  1. what about the scooby-doo gang? or wolverine? i think they all had pretty recognizable costumes. oh and seriously, if we’re doing international, ash ketchum shoulda been on here! i dont think catwoman makes the cut either, but overall i liked the list.

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