When it comes to the magic of movies, costume design has long played a major role—especially in the creation of memorable characters. They help define these on-screen personalities and often serve as another layer of storytelling. So, if you're anything like us and enjoy a little sartorial eye candy and inspiration with your film screening, you’ll most certainly enjoy the following 14 films, whose fashions are utterly iconic.
Carey Mulligan plays Jenny, a sheltered 16-year-old who gets swept off her feet by the arrival of a slick and cultured older man (Peter Sarsgaard). Set in ’50s and ’60s London, the film chronicles Jenny’s education—her whirlwind induction into adult life—by way of her own style transformation from prim schoolgirl uniform to glamorous shift dresses, overcoats, driving gloves, and statement jewels.
Along with YSL’s Le Smoking, we have Woody Allen’s Annie Hall to thank for the enduring appeal of women dressed in menswear. Diane Keaton’s Annie, so much whimsy and quirk per square inch, dons some seriously iconic outfits throughout.
Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up oozes ’60s mod style, as the film revolves around a fashion photographer’s attempt to unravel a provocative murder mystery. From supermodel Verushka’s revealing dress to a scene featuring a doe-eyed Jane Birkin, this one has some majorly memorable moments.
Audrey Hepburn stars as Holly Golightly, a high-end escort and social butterfly living in New York City. The enduring magic of a little black dress and pearls has forever been cemented thanks to this classic.
Starring a pixie cut–sporting Jean Seberg, Jean-Luc Godard’s masterpiece Breathless is a lesson in timeless style, with a dash of beguiling playfulness for that French New Wave appeal. Never has anyone worn stripes so well since.
Alicia Silverstone’s charmingly shallow Cher Horowitz and Stacey Dash’s Dionne know a thing or two about making an entrance. From the film’s famous plaid suit sets to perhaps the original naked dress (it’s Calvin Klein!), this ’90s classic is a lesson in getting into character with clothing.
Starring a sweetly bookish Audrey Hepburn as Jo, this frothy musical is practically a period fashion show set to music. From Jo’s custom-made Givenchy dresses (including a romantically modern full-skirted bridal gown) to references to famous fashion names like Diana Vreeland, Funny Face is a tribute to the magic of dress.
Starring Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty, and Christian Slater, this majorly dark ’80s cult comedy revolving around a clique of popular high school girls, has some majorly epic fashion moments. Take the linebacker-esque shoulders on Ryder’s blazer as proof.
Starring Jane Fonda as Bree Daniels, a high-class call girl and aspiring actress in New York City, Klute is brooding, mysterious, and suspenseful. Bree’s wardrobe is pure ’70s magic. No one else has ever worn a trench coat and knee-high boots with such panache.
Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette is as much a fashion spread as it is a film, its scenes relishing in the pure excess of beauty belonging to France’s young queen. The fashions are like pastel-colored meringue–, whipped cream-, and cherry-topped confections: pure, over-the-top, can’t-have-enough sweetness.
One of director Wes Anderson’s best, The Royal Tenenbaums features an ensemble cast of brilliantly drawn characters, including the perennially iconic Margot, played by Gwyneth Paltrow. Has a fur coat—or a nude slip—ever been worn with more attitude? We doubt it.
Tom Ford’s directorial debut is just as deliciously good-looking as you could possibly imagine. Starring Julianne Moore and Colin Firth (with Nicholas Hoult and Matthew Goode in smaller roles) and telling a touching story of loss, the film is anything but style over substance.
Offsetting the film’s dark plotline, The Talented Mr. Ripley’s iconic style is airy, light, and a little bit nautical. Gwyneth Paltrow’s and Jude Law’s crisp white shirts (the former’s tied at the waist ever so insouciantly) are the perfect inspiration for resort attire.
This dark telling of the perils of fame and addiction is painted in pastel ice cream hues. The clothes, hair, and makeup are full on ’60s-era high-glamour polyester froth.