Costume design is one of the most difficult jobs in film design. Designing outfits that suit the actors and tone of the film can be difficult enough, but in historical pieces certain poor choices can shatter the illusion of the film. Many films contain costume errors, and most are minimal enough that most people never noticed them. Some slip-ups however, are glaringly wrong.
Though kilts are commonly associated with Scotland, it hasn’t been worn for most of history. It was believed to be introduced around the end of the 16th century, far later than the films setting of the 13th and 14th centuries.
There was also a guy that got spotted in the background wearing a cap!
2. Captain America: The First Avenger
The earpiece worn by soldier Jim Morita is a H4855 Personal Role Radio, which was created in 2002 and was used by the British army. While the setting does have some futuristic technology, it’s unlikely that they would have been used by the Americans.
Not quite a costume design error as much as a shooting error, but actor Russel Crowe’s Lycra shorts are clearly visible when he falls during a fight in the Colosseum. Roman Gladiators did wear a type of underwear called subligaculum but it’s not surprising the film didn’t go that far into historical accuracy.
4. Pirates of the Caribbean
While the story takes place during the reign of George I who ruled from 1714 to 1727, the style of uniform the Redcoats soldiers wear wasn’t adopted until 1747.
The Siege of Troy is widely believed to be a myth, but the city did actually exist in the 10th century BC. In the film a pink parasol is shown, which wouldn’t be invented until the 5th century B.C. in Greece.
6. Elizabeth I
While neckruffs were popular in Tudor England, they were worn with shirts that went up to the neck. In the film, actor Helen Mirren wears a ruff with no shirt attached, which would have been very strange to see at the time.
7. Pearl Harbor
In this film women are frequently shown with bare legs, which would be completely scandalous at the time. During the nylon shortage in WWII women would often draw a line down the back of their legs to imitate a stocking seam.
8. The Ten Commandments
While the aqua-blue silk dress worn by Nefertiti is beautiful and iconic, it couldn’t have existed at the time. During that period in Egypt no natural dye would havebeen able to produce that shade of blue.
This one is very easy to miss while viewing, and probably skipped the editors notice. During one scene set in the Civil War an arm wearing a digital watch comes into frame. It’s completely out of place, and it’s odd the actor didn’t take it out.
In this film many generals including the main character General Corvus are seen wearing purple capes. While purple dye was available at the time, Emperor Nero had made it a crime punishable by death for anybody but him to wear purple clothing.
11. Ben Hur
Before the big chariot race Sheik Ilderim pins a Star of David on Ben-Hur’s belt. It’s a famous scene, but the Star Of David wasn’t associated with Judaism until the 12th century AD.
A very minor error, but Gene Hackman’s character Little Bill Daggert has belt-loops on his pants, which didn’t become common outside of sportswear until the 1920s.
13. Saving Private Ryan
Only something people interested in military history would notice, but Matt Damon’s paratrooper character wears black jump boots, which weren’t available until the 1950’s. Realistically, he would have worn brown boots.
14. The King’s Speech
Colin Firth’s charater George VI wears a kilt in the Irish tartan style. Kilts worn by members of the British royal family are of the Scottish Balmoral design. This mistake actually upset a lot of Scottish People, and it’s strange that nobody noticed during production.
Probably the most noticeable error on this list, this 1979 film is about the early 1960’s conflicts between the mods and the rockers. While rockers wearing Motorhead shirts seems normal, the band didn’t form until 1975. Whoops.