22 movie outfits that keep getting recycled

“What a costume designer does is a cross between magic and camouflage. We create the illusion of turning actors into what they are not. We ask the audience to believe that every time they see an actor on screen, [they’ve] become a different person.”

Lionsgate / Via giphy.com

This is a quote from Edith Head, one of the most influential fashion designers in film history. It’s easy to associate a character with the actor who plays him, but countless tiny details about who a person is are communicated to us through what they wear. The customer determines these details, but that doesn’t mean they have to reinvent the wheel every time. They can mix and match with the plethora of outfits that came before them, and that’s exactly what happened with the outfits in these movies.


Glad Rose survived the Titanicbecause your coat was able to be worn in eternal tuck.

Paramount Pictures / Disney

Titanic (1997)

Costume Designer: Deborah Lynn Scott

eternal tuck (2002)

Costume Designers: Jade Kitzerow and Carol Ramsey


The dress with a built-in collar appeared in From Earth to Moon, Mad Men, and The Spoils of Babylon.

HBO, AMC, IFC / youtube.com

from earth to moon (1998)

Costume designer: Chrisi Karvonides-Dushenko

Mad Men (2006)

Costume Designer: Janie Bryant

The spoils of Babylon (2014)

Costume Designer: Trayce Gigi Field


Since virtually no one has seen the musketeerwhy not wear the same hat in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl?

Universal Pictures / Disney

the musketeer (2001)

Costume Designers: Cynthia Dumont and Raymond Hughes

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Client: Penny Rose


Hat may not be included, but this dress was on both the duchess and The Scandalous Lady W.

Paramount Vantage / BBC

the duchess (2008)

Costume Designer: Michael O’Connor

The Scandalous Lady W (2015)

Costume Designer: James Keast


In the episode “Three Sundays” of Mad MenPeggy wears a pink dress that pops back The help.

AMC, Disney

Mad Men (2007)

Costume Designer: Janie Bryant

The help (2011)

Client: Sharen Davis


Appearing three times in this list, vikings reused some leather armor from witch season.

Relativity Media, History / youtube.com

witch season (2011)

Costume designer: Carlos Poggioli

vikings (2013)

Costume Designers: Joan Bergin & Susan O’Connor Cave


dangerous connections and hocus pocus. Two very different films, one frilly dress.

Warner Bros. / youtube.com, Disney

dangerous connections (1988)

Costume Designer: James Acheson

hocus pocus (1993)

Costume Designer: Mary E. Vogt


Their unsinkable black dress Titanic.

RHI Entertainment / youtube.com, Paramount Pictures

Titanic [miniseries] (1996)

Costume Designers: Joe I. Tompkins & Jori Woodman

Titanic (1997)

Costume Designer: Deborah Lynn Scott


There probably aren’t many realistic, full-on pharaoh costumes out there, so it’s best to wear the same in night at the museum and the episode “Natural History” by How I met your mother.

20th Century Fox / youtube.com, CBS / youtube.com

night at the museum (2006)

Client: Renee April

How I met your mother (2010)

Costume Designer: Julie Bennett Block


This necklace of kiss me Kate was turned into a tiara for the glass slipper. It then sold for over $4,000!

MGM / youtube.com, MGM /youtube.com

kiss me Kate (1953)

Costume Designer: Walter Plunkett

the glass slipper (1955)

Costume designer: Joan Joseph


After the Sheriff of Nottingham rocked this studded vest Robin Hood: Prince of Thieveswas featured in Brave Heart.

Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

Costume Designer: John Bloomfield

Brave Heart (1995)

Costume Designer: Charles Knode


If it is not broke, do not fix it. This dress works so well for period clothing that appeared in Becoming Jane, Northanger Abbeyand Doctor who (“The Haunting of Villa Diodati”).

Buena Vista International, ITV, BBC / youtube.com

Becoming Jane (2007)

Costume Designer: Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh

Northanger Abbey (2007)

Costume Designer: Playing Preston

Doctor who (2020)

Costume designer: Ray Holman


I’m honestly surprised this jacket wasn’t in The big Gatsbybut it was in both Brideshead revisited and Bunny Jojo!

ITV, Fox Searchlight Pictures / youtube.com

Brideshead revisited (1981)

Costume Designer: Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh

Jojo rabbit (2019)

Costume Designer: Mayes C. Rubeo


This red outfit was worn in Elizabeth I and the robin hood TV program.


Elizabeth I (2005)

Costume Designer: Mike O’Neill

robin hood (2006)

Costume designer: Howard Burden


Good armor pays off, which is why this set of witch season reappeared in vikings.

Relativity Media, History / youtube.com

witch season (2011)

Costume designer: Carlos Poggioli

vikings (2013)

Costume Designers: Joan Bergin & Susan O’Connor Cave


Inside Eve’s Bay and lovecraft countrySimilar hair styles require identical clothes.

Trimark Pictures, HBO

Eve’s Bay (1997)

Costume Designer: Karyn Wagner

lovecraft country (2020)

Costume designer: Dayna Pink


The saturation may be different, but this is in fact the same dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the Elvis movie tickle me.

Paramount Pictures, Allied Artists Pictures

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Costume designer: Edith Head

tickle me (1965)

Costume Designers: John A. Anderson, Joan Joseff and Shirlee Strahm


What does Macbeth have in common with the Vikings? This leather armor, which was in Macbeth and Vikings!

StudioCanal / youtube.com, History / youtube.com

Macbeth (2015)

Costume Designer: Jacqueline Durran

vikings (2013)

Costume Designers: Joan Bergin & Susan O’Connor Cave


the purple dress Back to the Future Part III and far and distant

Universal Pictures / youtube.com, Universal Pictures

Back to the Future Part III (nineteen ninety)

Costume Designer: Joanna Johnston

far and distant (1992)

Costume Designer: Joanna Johnston


This royal necklace was on both Isabel and The adventures of Sarah Jane.

Working Title Films, BBC / youtube.com

Isabel (1998)

Costume designer: Alexandra Byrne

Sarah Jane’s Adventures (2010)

Costume designer: Andrea Mear


Out of this sci-fi world? I only have the tactical vest, used in the episode “The Tenth Planet” of Doctor who and Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.

BBC / archive.org, Disney / youtube.com

Doctor who (1966)

Costume Designer: Alexandra Tynan

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Costume designer: John Mollo


Buffy the Vampire Slayer and bones would make a good crossover, and this piece is already bringing the universes together.

The WB, Fox

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)

Costume Designer: Cynthia Bergstrom

bones (2005)

Costume Designer: Bobbie Read

What pieces of clothing would you most like to have? Let me know in the comments!

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