Despite Disney’s current incessant live-action remakes, there is still room in the entertainment industry to bring our favorite animated Disney characters to life. Nobody has been able to prove this better than the cast and crew behind the television show Once Upon a Time: the modern-day congregation that brings all of the classic Disney fairy tales to the town of Storybrook, Maine.
The one thing that it seems that the show has done even better than the live-action films is their costuming work. The designers have to come up with concepts that are both appealing to contemporary culture as well as pay tribute to each character's own historical time-frame. Being able to find that balance while still paying homage to its animated versions is unbelievable. It seems like a difficult task, but somehow these costume designers pull it off. From the embroideries and the stitch-work to the flamboyant accessories, here are the ten best costumes from Once Upon a Time, ranked.
Belle's traditional yellow ballgown is simple, yet elegant, and reflects the animated version absolutely. It has a gold hue rather than a blatant yellow, which speaks to her typical time period. It’s instantly recognizable and doesn’t need much garnish in order to do its job. It’s that traditional corseted ballgown that made Disney princesses so popular, so what more could audiences ask for?
Belle's blue peasant dress also makes a warranted debut, though it's not nearly as extravagant as this one. There are a few other costumes that Belle gets to wear, one of which is a velvety marron jester-like ensemble that is more fitting for when she has to fight.
Jasmine's costume is explicitly more refined than the animated version. While Merida, Anna, and Elsa's OUAT costumes are copied verbatim from their original source, Jasmine's is done with a bit more flair. Thankfully, the show chose to stick to the original styling that reflects their culture as well as Jasmine's iconic blue ensemble. However, the added amenities really bring out a more realistic feel to the character and looks stunning otherwise.
8 Prince Charming
Prince Charming has his fair share of outfits over the course of the series. Most of them are spectacularly detailed, proving that not just the women get immaculate wardrobes on this set.
When he’s not wearing his menacing brown facade, there is his wedding outfit that was presumably made out of maroon velvet and silver and red embroidery. It’s a fitting remake for its time and suits the actor as well.
Selena a.k.a. the Wicked Witch of the West has a costume that pays tribute to the Wizard of Oz in more places than one. Along with her traditional green skin and witch hat, the feather collar is surely there as a way to represent the birds from the film. And the great emerald necklace that she wears is obviously in reference to the Emerald City. The overall design perfectly suits her character. It's a very unique ensemble, as it should be coming from the Wizard of Oz.
6 Captain Hook
The character of Captain Hook was an instant success not only for the actor's portrayal of the villainous Peter Pan character but also for its unprecedented retelling.
Plus, it’s interesting to see their take on a more realistic outfit, as opposed to the cartoon version with the illustrious purple hat and red tailcoat. This one definitely speaks to a more fitting pirate style, with its overall rugged and handsome combination.
5 Little Red Riding Hood
The actress who portrays Little Red Riding Hood's looks phenomenal in whatever setting she's placed in. Whether it’s Ruby‘s edgy rocker outfit or Little Red Riding Hood's stunning red cloak, this actress got the best end of the deal when it came to wardrobe. It’s exactly what a real-life representation of the character should look like. You can tell that a lot of attention to detail into each of these costumes, particularly for this character with her patterned corset, cloak, and skirt.
4 Snow White
Snow White is another title character that saw many wardrobe changes throughout the series. Almost all of them were fitting for her character especially her huntsman materials, Then there is her wedding outfit, her gloriously detailed riding pants and coat, and her delicate blue dress.
All of these outfits help to bring out the more heroic aspect of Snow White that little boys and girls don't get to see from the original 1930's animation.
Mulan in Once Upon a Time doesn’t look anything like the animated version, and for once, it’s a great thing. Mulan's fighting gear is immensely detailed to the point where it looks like a work of art. It’s a beautiful costume from head to toe, with gold and deep red armor. If you look it over, you'll be able to see all the fine stitching that must have taken hours to sew together. It also has accurate details that seem to reflect the garb from a traditional Chinese warrior.
It's also nice that OUAT opted to keep her feminine veneer as opposed to her disguise as a man, though both are adequately represented in the show.
While it may not be the prettiest of outfits, Rumpelstiltskin’s costume is so strange, it’s unique. And it’s so drastically different from his alter ego, Mr. Gold, in his atypical, sharp three-piece suits. His hostile and cunning persona would only be appropriate alongside a somewhat grotesque and outlandish costume. Nothing about this character is overlooked, from his rusty fingernails to his scaly skin, Rumpelstiltskin‘s costume is strikingly terrifying.
1 Regina / The Evil Queen
There’s not a single other character in Once Upon a Time that can hold a candle to Regina or the Evil Queen‘s costumes. Each one of them, whether for good or evil, is held with grace, strength, and mesmerizing attention to detail. They’re so glaringly gorgeous, it’s envious, and audiences have been glad to see so many different versions. There’s no way to narrow down which one of her specific outfits is the best of the best, so it’s safe to say that they are all tied for first place.