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Over the years, the world of cinema has provided us with entertainment, great stories, striking performances, and unforgettable soundtracks. It is impossible to imagine our lives without movies. Thanks to them, our world has been filled with memorable scenes and lines that are part of our daily lives. And not only that: movies have also left us with clothes that have become emblematic in pop culture, and some of them have even became fashionable garments for everyday use.
Bright Side prepared a list of 15 garments that the world of cinema made famous and that, surely, all of our readers will recognize in a split second.
1. Bruce Lee’s yellow suit
The yellow suit worn by Uma Thurman in Kill Bill Volume 1, which has become a movie icon, is actually an homage to Bruce Lee, who wore a similar suit in Game of Death, the movie that the martial arts icon was filming when he tragically passed away. Since the audience of Lee’s film was much smaller than that of Tarantino’s, the movie did not achieve the accolades (either in terms of criticism or audience numbers) that Kill Bill obtained around the world — we can therefore say that the yellow suit became an icon thanks to Kill Bill.
2. The Blues Brothers’ suit, hat, and sunglasses
In 1980, the film by the comic and musical duo The Blues Brothers, portrayed by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, began the journey that would turn it into a cult film. John and Dan wore outfits that, for that time, were considered outdated. However, by adding the dark glasses and their crazy, rebellious imprint, they made it part of the modern rock world. We are of course referring to the black suit, the hat, and the dark glasses, which are now considered a classic.
3. A Clockwork Orange’s suspender pants
Directed by Stanley Kubrick and released in 1971, A Clockwork Orange generated controversy for its violent scenes. The movie certainly generated a lot of social criticism, especially among young audiences. The suspender pants, the hat, and the boots became a reference of the world’s countercultural movements.
4. The Flashdance sweatshirt
Flashdance tells the story of a young working-class woman whose dream was to become a dancer. The film became a success both because of the great music and because of the love story that the protagonist had with the owner of the factory where she worked. Jennifer Beals’ shoulder-revealing sweatshirt became popular among young women and teenagers of the time, so much so that it became an enduring trend.
5. John Travolta’s white suit in Saturday Night Fever
The ’70s were the years of disco music, and Saturday Night Fever is, without a doubt, the best example of that trend. The movie was full of love, rebellion, social criticism and, above all, lots of great music and dancing. The soundtrack included some of the most famous songs of the Bee Gees. The dance scene in which John Travolta wears a white suit with a black shirt, made that outfit an icon and a reference to those years.
6. The Ghostbusters’ costume
One of the great successes of the 1980s was Ghostbusters, which was co-scripted by one of its protagonists, Dan Aykroyd, who we mentioned before was a member of The Blues Brothers. The film’s theme song became a pop hit and the garments worn by the Ghostbusters became popular too. The team’s logo, with the ghost crossed out by the red stripe became so popular that young people wore it on T-shirts and sweatshirts.
7. Top Gun’s jacket
Another 80s classic, Top Gun, the movie that launched Tom Cruise to fame and glory, was a total blockbuster in its day. One of the songs on the soundtrack, “Take My Breath Away,” by Berlin, became one of the most famous slow beats of the decade and, together with the film, they both became classics. Tom Cruise’s character turned his sunglasses and jacket into a legendary outfit.
8. Humphrey Bogart’s trench coat and hat from Casablanca
Casablanca is undoubtedly one of the greatest classics of all time, and it is not possible to talk about the history of cinema without mentioning it. It left us with memorable scenes, quotes that we have all heard a thousand times, like, “We will always have Paris,” or “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” and “Play it, Sam. Play ’As Time Goes By’.” And that’s not all: Humphrey Bogart’s trench coat and hat have become one with him: it’s very difficult to think of those clothes without the image of the actor coming to mind.
9. Marlon Brando’s tank from A Streetcar Named Desire
A Streetcar Named Desire, based on a play by Tennessee Williams, is another classic of film history. Marlon Brando, its protagonist, was launched to fame wearing this simple yet iconic attire. Brando’s incredible display of sensitive masculinity was perfectly portrayed by his strong arms and delicate hands.
10. Marilyn Monroe’s white dress in The Seven Year Itch
Marilyn Monroe is one of the most iconic women in the history of cinema. Beyond her talent as an actress, her image has marked an era. The slim, sophisticated figure that Hollywood was used to seeing via its female stars, changed forever after Marilyn. It’s impossible to speak of her without remembering the famous scene from The Seven Year Itch, in which her white dress was lifted up and left her legs exposed. It’s perhaps one of the most iconic scenes in the history of cinema.
11. Brad Pitt’s leather jacket from Fight Club
Fight Club told a strange, violent story, full of black humor and disenchantment. At the time, it was a success and, over the years, it earned the status of modern classic. Brad Pitt’s character was a symbol of leadership, sensuality, audacity, and rebellion. Choosing the wardrobe for this character could have been a challenge for designers, but they clearly rose to the occasion, making the jacket he was wearing an iconic piece.
12. Susan Sarandon’s handkerchief and sunglasses from Thelma and Louise
Directed by Ridley Scott, Thelma & Louise was one of the great successes of the 1990s. The film was considered an important symbol, and many women saw in the protagonists the representation of a new type of woman who rebelled against submission and brutality. Interpretations aside, the fact is that both characters became icons of the cinema, and Louise’s scarf and glasses earned their place in our list.
13. Princess Leia’s dress from Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope
Of course, this list could not leave out this classic outfit. Princess Leia, played by Carrie Fisher, is one of the most beloved and remembered characters of this sci-fi classic. Her particular hairstyle and her white dress, are without a doubt, true modern symbols.
14. The Joker’s purple suit from Batman: The Dark Knight
For many people, The Dark Knight is the best Batman movie of all time, and truth to be told, it does score 9.0 on IMDb. It’s actually one of the top rated movies on the site. But let’s not forget that the Joker, played by Heath Ledger, was just as important as Batman in this movie. His performance was brilliant and earned him a posthumous Oscar in the Best Supporting Actor category. The character’s insane costume is undoubtedly another icon of cinema and pop culture.
15. Nastassja Kinski’s dress from Paris, Texas
Written by Sam Sheppard and directed by Win Wenders, Paris, Texas is one of the greatest films in the history of cinema. Deep and ascetic, the story of “Travis,” a strange man who is first seen lost in the desert after having spent years away from his family, is one of the great classics of world cinema. The dress worn by Nastassja Kinski in the heartbreaking closing scene is an icon of the world of cinema, especially for film lovers all around the world.
Which of these outfits is the most iconic in pop culture, according to you? Have you worn any of them to a costume party? Do you have a photo to share with us? Share your thoughts and pictures in the comments!
Preview photo credit Game of Death / Orange Sky Golden Harvest, Kill Bill / Miramax