Top Ten Historical Movies That Inspire Perfect Costume Dress Up

  • June 10, 2013
  • Jenna Maxwell

Historical Period Costumes

I guess I just can’t get enough of this topic, but I’ve already admitted to being a closet history nerd, so here we go again! Dressing up in historical costumes is one of my favorite things to do!  I think it all started when I was in first grade and Mrs. McElroy picked me for the leading role in our class play featuring Betsy Ross and it kind of went on from there.  Anyway, for all you historic costume lovers, I’ve compiled a list of my top ten favorite historical movies and the historical time periods to go with them!  This list is perfect for you movie buffs that might need a little inspiration for your next costume look!  If you are into historical flicks and costumes, too-- then this list is for you!

  1. 3:10 to Yuma:  This movie is absolutely the perfect choice to give you costume inspiration and ideas that are related to the Wild West, the Apache Indians as well as some pretty gnarly Outlaws of the early west.
  2. 300.  This film is set in the year 480 B.C. at the time of the Greco-Persian War.  King Leonidas and 300 grossly outnumbered men fight the Persians in one of the greatest last stands in all of history.  If you are into swords, shields, and armor and the hand -to-hand combat that goes with it, this film (and the costumes that are in it) is for you. 
  3. The Princess Bride. A comedic and mildly twisted fairy tale that has become a classic.  Costume potential a-plenty is found in this film that is filled with sword fights, giants, princesses, kings, albinos and a whole cast of bizarre characters. If you haven’t seen this film your life may be missing something.
  4. Forest Gump.  Spans the 1940’s through the 1990’s.  By serendipity, Forest just happens to be present at some of the most historic events in history.  Lots of costume ideas here, but the 1960’s looks are my favorites.
  5. Gladiator:  Set during the Roman Empire, this epic story of revenge is unforgettable and will inspire many a great costume idea; especially for you guys whose inner fierce contender has yet to come out!
  6. The Last of the Mohicans:  Set in Colonial America, three trappers have the duty of protecting a British Colonel’s daughter during the French and Indian War. 
  7. The Great Gatsby:  Set in the roaring 1920’s, the Great Gatsby has brought F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most revered work to the silver screen.  This film has the most amazing costumes ever-an absolute must see for costume fans.  Like the twenties?  Check out our How-To Video on how to create an amazing Flapper look
  8. Pirates of the Caribbean:  Any of the Pirates series have great costume looks, but my personal fave is the “The Curse of the Black Pearl.”  Fantastic costumes and rich characters depicting the life of Pirates in the Caribbean.
  9. Raiders of the Lost Ark:  Who hasn’t wanted to dress up as Indiana Jones at least once?  This classic film set in the 1930’s features one of the most epic as well as recognizable characters out there.  The Fedora will ever be grateful! 
  10. Cold Mountain:  Set at the end of the Civil War, a wounded soldier makes his way home to his beloved. 

Our historical costume collection is filled to the brim with all sorts of memorable looks inspired by both great movies as well as the archives of time.  Go back in history while recreating one of these fabulous looks that comes straight to you from yesteryear.  The history and times are gone, but never should be forgotten!