Movie wardrobes are such an important consideration that costumes get their own category in award ceremonies. The right costumes and props can make or break a scene, especially if it’s a period piece that relies on authentic styles of a time and place. Sometimes a critical wardrobe or prop choice is made that can kill the authenticity of a scene, rendering not only the image untrustworthy but the view of the artist as well.
Can a director really be so obtuse as to not catch something so glaringly distracting and obvious?
On the other hand, some choices seem to have been made for style alone, with directors and designers selecting something that made the scene look cool despite the fact that it probably wasn’t appropriate for the piece per its time period. Whether out of ignorance or willful dismissal of factual evidence, some movie makers insert items into a movie without thinking twice about their historical impact due to their own desire to carry out their artistic vision. Whether that instantly makes a period piece into a sci-fi or fantasy… well, that’s up to viewers to decide.
Here are 16 Wardrobe Mishaps That Made It Into The Movie.
16. Teen Wolf: Extra’s Zipper Malfunction
Blink and you’ll miss this incredible missed wardrobe malfunction! An extra in the film Teen Wolf decided to jump around with a zipper down, displaying some underwear in the process. The extra, a woman, is seen scrambling to zip up her pants after cheering on the basketball players, quickly hiding her wide open fly as she straightens her top.
Why were her pants down? Who knows.
Maybe she just forgot to zip that fly after using the facilities, or maybe she got lucky behind the bleachers before the scene. No matter the reason, the goof is a pretty silly moment that should’ve made it to the editing floor of the film and not the final cut.
15. Troy: Helen and Paris get shady
A sweeping drama like Troy is bound to be packed with incredibly intricate wardrobe selections to build the time period, so one might think that historians would be on speed dial to double and triple check the authenticity of the clothing used to help create each scene. Not so, at least when it came down to the umbrellas.
Why the pink parasol was so desperately needed for the scene, we’ll never know, but umbrellas hadn’t been invented during Homer’s tale, The Iliad. W hen we see the pretty accessory behind Orlando Bloom in the movie, we know it really shouldn’t be there.
This one may be chalked up to simply not knowing better, since umbrellas seem to be pretty basic items that have been around for centuries, but the modern looking piece seen in the movie has only been around for about 4,000 years.
14. Titanic: Rose’s Wandering Beauty
Rose of Titanic fame was truly a rose in every way: lovely but with thorns that prick if you attempt to pluck it.
Kate Winslet’s loveliness was highlighted not only by incredible period costumes, the famous Heart of the Ocean that inspired dozens of cheap replicas coveted by teens everywhere, and the line of cosmetics released with the movie, but a simple beauty mark adorning her face. The only problem with the mole is the fact that it was moved in different scenes.
The mole began on the left side of Kate Winslet’s face and migrated to the right side somewhere along the line. It’s such an obvious makeup error that one would think it would be an easy catch to not only find but quickly edit; still, it made the final cut of the film.
13. Django Unchained: Django time travels
It may be one of Tarantino’s most critically acclaimed films, but Django Unchained has a huge blatant piece of modern technology included in not just the entire film but the movie poster itself: Django’s sunglasses!
Those sunglasses may look amazing on Jamie Foxx but they did not exist in 1858.
They make his character look even cooler, but they make the period look more steampunk than pre-Civil War.
This is something that Tarantino surely knew while directing the film. It’s one of those cases where the director chose to go with what looked best rather than what represented the time period faithfully. The glasses, modeled after Charles Bronson’s character in The White Buffalo, were probably a good choice; fans were so enamored with them that “Django sunglasses” have become popular buys in the market.
12. Gladiator: What lies beneath the leather kilt
Were you not entertained by Russell Crowe’s acting, intense fight scene,s and the cool wardrobe of 2000’s Gladiator?
The epic historical drama not only rekindled interest in ancient Greek and Roman culture, but also swept up a bunch of accolades, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Crowe, and three more Oscars at the 73rd Academy Awards.
The film also showed something that would have never been present in the ancient arena: Lycra.
We get that it had to be touch to maneuver around in all of that metal, but that’s a pretty big blooper in an otherwise well-made film. Instead of displaying Crowe’s Lycra shorts for the world to see, couldn’t the scene have been edited to display something a little more period-worthy?
11. Pride And Prejudice: Elizabeth gets the boot
Is there a character English literature more proud or prejudiced than Elizabeth Bennet? Sure, she learns the error of her ways after she falls for and marries Mr. Darcy, who really isn’t without his own proud errors and prejudice ways, but does she ever learn to stomp through puddles without getting wet?
In the 2005 film Pride and Prejudice, Keira Knightley may play a pretty impressive version of Jane Austen’s precocious and stubborn Lizzie, but she does it while wearing rain galoshes that weren’t invented until 1852.
You could argue that the film could be made after the 1850s, but since Austen died in 1817, it’s definitely not period-appropriate to include rubber boots. Perhaps the zombie version was more accurate after all.
10. Braveheart: Mel Gibson skirts the issue
Braveheart simultaneously reinvents The Godfather with a bunch of Scots and sheds light on an under-known part of Scottish history. Unfortunately it’s also famouls ychided for its lack of historical accuracy in several departments, one of which is the period pieces’s costumes.
As cool as it is to see so many dudes in kilts, they simply weren’t invented yet.
In 1995, when the movie was made, it may have seemed much more fun, not to mention more comfortable, to perform the movie in kilts, but kilts came much later in history, around the 1720s. That would have made it not only impossible but just plain weird for a bunch of 1280 warriors to kill while wearing what would have been skirts at the time.
9. Pearl Harbor: Ladies’ Legs
While the ladies of Pearl Harbor sit on their luggage with excitement, sporting their leis and beautiful period dresses, the casual eye might not catch anything wrong with the 1941 scene. The bare legs displayed beneath their dresses, however, would have been pretty scandalous at the time.
Either longer dresses or nylons would have been the social norm at the time, as bare legs would never have met the slightly conservative dress code of the time period.
It’s true that nylons may have been in short supply during the war, but even if that were true the women of 1941 would have at least painted a seam onto the back of their legs to appear more modest. That kind of small detail would have really enhanced the old-fashioned scene.
8. Seabiscuit: Tobey Maguire’s jockey strap
In the film Seabiscuit, Tobey Maguire was adorable as jockey Red Pollard, who rode the titular horse. The film did well with both audiences and film critics, earning seven Academy Award nominations and a 77% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but it didn’t do as well sticking to 1930s and 1940s horse jockey fashion.
Seabiscuit the horse lived from 1933 to 1947, making it impossible for the champion Thoroughbred’s jockey to wear the strapped helmet that wasn’t yet invented yet during the time.
Perhaps the filmmakers just really wanted to encourage safety, or maybe they just really wanted to strap a bow to Tobey Maguire’s head. Either way, this is just plain inaccurate, especially from such a prestigious film.
7. There Will Be Blood: A Bad Sole
Daniel Day Lewis may be one of the best actors to have ever lived, but his career isn’t without its missteps. Neither are the films he’s made, including the critically acclaimed 2008 hit, There Will Be Blood. Is it one of the most dramatic and compelling movies of that decade? Without a doubt. But is it completely historically accurate? While the answer is no, you have to pay really close attention to notice why it’s not.
Daniel Plainview’s boots feature a waffle sole pattern on the bottom. While the chances of anyone watching the bottom of Lewis’s shoes throughout the movie are slim, those who would might have the effect just a bit ruined on account of that pattern not being invented yet in 1898.
6. The Ten Commandments: Turquoise And Underwire
This mistake would be the laughingstock of a film made today, but it’s a little more permissible in a 1950s film. Even so, did they really not know that not only was turquoise not a color yet in biblical times, but also that underwire did not yet exist?
We get that women aren’t often consulted while making a movie, particularly in this time period, but it had to have been common sense. Perhaps the makers of The Ten Commandments believed that Papyrus could be rolled into underwire somehow, or perhaps the same basket material used to cradle Moses could also cradle… other things.
Whatever they thought, the movie makers of this film clearly didn’t picture Nefertiti as Egyptian, either. As lovely as Anne Baxter was, she was also about as All-American as a person could get. Perhaps Faten Hamama might have been a better choice at the time.
5. Amadeus: Zipping through time
While we covered a scene where a zipper should have been up rather than down, this scene features a zipper where none should be at all. In 1984, zippers may have made costumes much more convenient, but even a small town play director would know better than to allow them to be seen in a late 1790s piece like Amadeus. The zipper wasn’t invented for another 100 years!
It’s not even one character but several dancers sporting the modern inventions that makes the film far less accurate than it could have been.
Some might argue that the movie faced many other historical inaccuracies, such as the temperament of Mozart himself, but it’s usually attributed to creative liberties taken for the sake of the movie makers’ artistic dreams.
4. Glory: An Extra gets digital
Civil War movies are generally gritty and violent, whether they are of the historical or the Marvel variety. Regarding the former, modern technology should not come into play much beyond a bit of weaponry, yet an extra managed to get his wristwatch in a scene in the film Glory. Not only that, but the watch is digital, making it both a modern marvel in the scene and a semi-ancient relic for anyone born after 1990.
This should have been an easy fix to edit from the 1989 movie in a variety of ways, but it somehow missed every critical eye making the film. You have to wonder if people are either sleeping on the job or even don’t care if something this obvious is shown in the movie when an error this obvious makes it to the movie.
3. Raiders Of The Lost Ark: Indiana Jeans
Raiders of the Lost Ark is arguably one of the best films ever made, introducing one of the most beloved characters in film to the world. As handsome as Harrison Ford is in every scene, a crew member caught in the background of one scene ruins the 1930s vibe that the rest of the characters manage to portray.
The young man is strolling around in jeans and a t-shirt, looking every bit the 1981 human being that he is while appearing completely out of place on set.
With so many people involved in making a movie, it’s hard to see how something this glaringly obvious could have been missed. There were simply too many pairs of eyes to not see him strolling about, infusing a film filled with Nazis with his 1980s vibe.
2. Singin’ In The Rain: In the pink
It’s one of the most beloved musicals of all time, earning itself a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes, but as with most musicals, it’s not without its problems.
Singin’ in the Rain features a lovely young Debbie Reynolds looking quite fashionable in the 1920s. It turns out that she’s a little too fashionable for the time period, since the demure pink ensemble was a bit too futuristic for the 20s.
It fits much better in 1952, when the musical was actually filmed.
Nothing else detracted from the character Reynolds portrayed, Kathy Seldon, otherwise the film would never have been regarded not only as the fifth greatest American motion picture of all time but as the best musical of all time by many critics as well as audiences.
1. Back to the Future: Johnny B Good On A Futuristic Guitar
It’s one of the most popular, if cheesy, scenes in sci-fi. Marty McFly celebrates at the end of Back to the Future by rocking out to Chuck Berry on a Gibson ES-345 guitar, which hadn’t been invented until 1958.
Among the other bloopers in this list, it’s a minor one given that it’s only a three year delay, but it’s still a pretty glaring mistake, particularly for a film about time travel. We get that the 1955 film was released in 1985 before they could really Google it, but encyclopedias still existed back then.
Will it ruin the film? Of course not.
Not even Biff’s Tannen’s terrible dialogue can do that. But it does create a teeny, tiny blip in a film largely filled with some great nods to the ’50s.
Did you catch any other wardrobe mishaps that made it into movies? Share them in the comments!
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