Top 15 costume errors in cinema, hello the big anachronisms

Making a movie is already a fairly tedious basic thing, but making a historical film or a film set during a specific period is a real shit hole when it comes to not making anachronistic mistakes. Even with all the good will in the world, there is always an extra who forgets to take off his “Nike” sweater during a re-enactment of the Normandy landings, for example. And it’s still super boring for the costume team who had tried everything to stay within the theme.

1. The rubber boots in “Pride and Prejudice”

Keira Knightley actually wears Wellington boots in this adaptation of Jane Austin’s novel. The problem is that rubber boots were historically created 40 years after the time in which the story takes place. It may be more comfortable but not very fitting.

Top 15 costume errors in cinema, hello the big anachronisms
Picture credits: Pride and Prejudice

2. “Almost Famous” and the “Black Sabbath” tee

In the film “Almost Famous” (since we can also give its name in English, it’s classier) which takes place in the 70s, we see an extra proudly wearing a t-shirt bearing the image of the group “Black Sabbath”. So far no problem since the group was formed in 1968. However, the model of the garment in question dates from 1997. Well, it’s really being choosy, but the most picky people have noticed it. Haters gonna hate.

3. The lycra shorts in Gladiator

Yeah, that’s definitely a mistake. Or the costume designer was very stupid because lycra shorts clearly did not exist at the time and it is very likely that it is more a desire for comfort than an indication to faithfully reconstruct the historical context .

Top 15 costume errors in cinema, hello the big anachronisms
Picture credits: Gladiator

4. Mel Gibson’s kilt in “Braveheart”

Well, the error is quite big here. The character played by Gibson named William Wallace proudly wears his kilt and shows his ass to his enemies, which is not very respectful but very classy. That being said, the action of the film takes place in the 13th century, and the Scots did not start wearing this garment until the 16th century. So it’s authentic when not at all.

5. The king’s kilt in “The King’s Speech”

Well, the kilt obviously brings bad luck to the movies since in “the king’s speech”, the character of George VI interpreted (wonderfully) by Colin Firth wears a kilt in the wrong colors. You might think it’s not very serious and that we are fussy, but no. The discord literally broke out since the kilt worn in the film is based on an Irish model which was not created before 1997 and that in addition the members of the royal family wear Scottish models. So stop with the kilts, it fucks the mess.

Top 15 costume errors in cinema, hello the big anachronisms
Picture credits: The King’s speech

6. The guitar in back to the future

In the prom scene from the first part of the trilogy, Marty McFly grabs Marvin Berry’s electric guitar (a Gibson ES-345) before singing the song “Johnny b goode”. The problem is that the guitar model dates from 1958 and the film takes place in 1955. Well, personally I don’t care, although this film is full of inconsistencies and remains a masterpiece.

7. Zippers in “Amadeus”

Yeah, in Milos Forman’s film about Mozart, we see zippers on clothes several times. There too it is surely to make the costumes more comfortable. The film takes place during the 18th century and it was only in 1913 that the Swedish-American engineer Gideon Sundbäck filed the patent for this invention which, although it caused intense pain to the guys too eager to put it back together after having pissed, is nevertheless super practical.

8. “The Great Escape” and the style of Steve McQueen (the McQueen Style for short)

Do you think Steve McQueen is really classy with his pretty “90’s” clothes in the photo below? It is totally true. The problem is, he’s supposed to play a prisoner in World War II. It was not so fashionable at the time in prison.

Top 15 costume errors in cinema, hello the big anachronisms
Picture credits: The great escape

9. Brad Pitt’s sunglasses in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

Well, it’s really a shame to make a mistake like that. In one of the scenes of the film, Benjamin Button rides a motorcycle wearing “Ray-Ban” sunglasses dating from 1952. Except that the scene takes place in 1945. Nah, frankly, nonsense. What’s the next step, making a character wear sunglasses in a movie about slavery?

Top 15 costume errors in cinema, hello the big anachronisms
Picture credits: Curious case of Benjamin Button

10. Sunglasses in “Django”

Well yes, they did. The film takes place during the 19th century and even though sunglasses were invented in 1752, their real commercialization in the United States did not begin until 1929 (and 12 years before for aviators). So yes, he really has class and it’s a small mistake in the end, but still.

Top 15 costume errors in cinema, hello the big anachronisms
Picture credits: Django unchained

11. Parasols in “Troy”

So they’re both cute Orlando Bloom and Diane Kruger, but umbrellas were probably invented in the 5th century BC, nearly 800 years after the dates of the Trojan War.

Top 15 costume errors in cinema, hello the big anachronisms
Picture credits: troy

12. The digital watch in the movie “Glory”

While the film takes place during the Civil War (1861-1865), we see in one shot a soldier raising an arm wearing a digital watch. So far be it from me to be fussy, but it was around 1972 that the first digital watches arrived in the world.

Top 15 costume errors in cinema, hello the big anachronisms
Picture credits: Glory

13. The purple capes in the movie “Pompeii”

So historically purple and capes did exist back then, it’s just that the Emperor Nero was a bit of a dodgy guy and he forbade anyone but him to wear a purple cape. Under penalty of being badly punished probably.

Top 15 costume errors in cinema, hello the big anachronisms
Picture credits: Pompeii

14. The Rolex watch in “American Bluff”

“If at 50 you don’t have a Rolex that won’t be invented in at least 40 years, you’ve wasted your life,” said Jaques Séguéla after watching the film “American Hustle”. Indeed, in the film, the character played by Louis CK wears a Rolex, the model of which will be released in 2010, while the story takes place in the 1970s. A problem for the rich, of course, but a problem all the same.

Top 15 costume errors in cinema, hello the big anachronisms
Picture credits: AmericanHustle

15. Avatar, the Historical Film Full of Mistakes

Frankly, that’s just rubbish. The costumes are not at all believable compared to the era.

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