10 Amazing Costume Designs From Mediocre Films

Taking style over substance to the next level.


With big budgets come bombastic visuals, and while a lot of attention and importance has to go into the visual part of the medium, sometimes, the storytelling can suffer in the process. However, if for nothing else, some movies become worth watching for the spectacle alone, when the spectacle does all the heavy lifting the story does not.

While some of these films have a lot going for them and aren't in fact, that bad (while still not hitting the sweet spot hard enough to be considered an overall good film), and others are absolute smoking hot garbage with varying degrees of enjoyment for all involved, all of these examples are absolute masterworks when it comes to their costume design.

The hard work and artistry that went into these wardrobes deserve all the attention that the films themselves may or may not warrant, and here's a showcase of some of the best work from the worst (or just okay) films Hollywood has had to offer in recent years.

10. Everyone - Wild Wild West

Warner Bros.

The late 90s, early noughties were fascinatingly rife with mediocre to plain bad films with budgets high enough to splurge on great costume design, giving films like Wild Wild West an almost theatrical charm and stylistic vision that, alongside the entirely bonkers concept and steampunk Western aesthetic, makes it an enjoyable watch.

There's a reason steampunk/clockpunk is such a popular cosplay subject, and this film feels like an ode to that fact, mixing together beautifully patterned silky textiles and decadent lacework with unrealistically modern cuts of clothing and stylistic metalwork. The details are sumptuous, the colours pop, and the costumes mixed with the production design are the real standout stars of this production.

The non-attempt at historical accuracy while giving this film a completely Hollywood "historical" setting meant that the designers got to go wild, with inspired costuming that looks amazing even to this day, which cannot be said of the film's corny and somewhat painfully outdated anachronisms and Will Smithisms.

The film's wardrobe department, with designs by Deborah Lynn Scott, famed for her work on Titanic, Avatar, Back To The Future, and many other big-name blockbusters, can take pride in doing some of the film's best work.

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Writer, artist, animator, video editor. Indie comics creator, looking to bring LGBTQ+ characters and Filipino culture into mainstream Western media. @MotzieD on Twitter. Originally from Quezon City, The Philippines. Currently based in Ontario, Canada. Independent writer/artist with multiple comics, a novel, etc. Works listed over at motziedapul.wixsite.com/work