The term “wardrobe fail” really came into vogue after we ended up seeing a little too much of Janet Jackson during the 2004 Superbowl. And it didn’t take long for fans to understand what the term meant: a costuming mix-up that threatens to bring everything to a screeching halt.
Of course, you don’t need to wait for the Superbowl to see wardrobe fails. In many cases, all you have to do is stream one of your favorite movies to notice costuming mistakes that take you out of the film altogether. Don’t believe us? Keep reading to discover the wardrobe fails that nearly ruined major Hollywood movies!
T-shirts and jeans in ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’
For the most part, Raiders of the Lost Ark was a master class in making a big-budget Hollywood film. Even as Indiana Jones traveled around the world, the sets and costumes always reinforced that this was taking place decades in the past. However, one of the extras didn’t get the memo!
Look closely at the background of this scene and you can see an extra who wandered in front of the camera wearing only jeans and a t-shirt. Sure, it’s a comfortable look, but this was supposed to be 1930s Egypt, and this guy was clearly dressed for 1980s Los Angeles.
Bare legs in ‘Pearl Harbor’
Pearl Harbor will always be remembered as an ambitious mess of a film that tried (with varying degrees of success) to capture all the drama of Japan’s faithful attack on the United States that plunged America into World War II. Sadly, the movie’s dialogue and plot are so strange that we found ourselves focusing on something a bit more appealing: all those sexy celebrity legs on display.
It seems like every other scene is filled with beautiful women rocking bare legs. While we aren’t exactly complaining over here, the fact is that showing bare legs like that in the 1940s would have been considered insanely scandalous. These women would have been expected to wear stockings with their skirts, but this movie sticks with the bare-legged aesthetic the entire time.
A digital watch in the Civil War-era film ‘Glory’
Some of the wardrobe fails we point out are, if we’re being honest, a bit nitpicky. You need to know a lot about the era and a lot about when certain things were invented to pick up on the error. However, the Civil War film Glory has the kind of wardrobe failure that you could see from a mile away.
Yes, that’s right: that character is wearing a digital watch. There is no real excuse for this other than the fact the actor likely forgot they were wearing a watch when the scene started shooting. Tough to fault them for this, especially for those of us that might have wandered into the shower while still wearing our smartwatches on more than a few occasions.
Sports bras in ‘John Carter’
John Carter of Mars was never destined to be a hit film, though it had some major ambitions. And we particularly enjoyed all of the exotic alien clothing. Or at least we did until we saw something we just couldn’t unsee.
Specifically, we saw Lynn Collins wearing a sports bra under her outfit. Now, we have no problem looking at the lovely actor in a sports bra, but the simple fact is that this was supposed to be an alien culture on a distant planet. Things like sports bras clearly made on Earth just break our immersion and hurt our enjoyment of the film.
Rubber boots in ‘Pride and Prejudice’
Pride and Prejudice is another period film that took its costuming very seriously. And in most scenes of the movie, we are perfectly transported to the literary world developed by Jane Austen. Unfortunately, there is one small detail in one scene that reminds us that the director overlooked a few key details.
In this scene, we see Kiera Knightley wearing rubber boots. This seems like a perfectly sensible bit of outdoor gear until you realize the truth: rubber boots wouldn’t be invented for another 40 years after this film took place. Maybe the characters were secretly time-traveling and we just didn’t know it?
Jean shorts in ‘Dirty Dancing’
Dirty Dancing was an instant hit for several reasons. This included the amazing soundtrack as well as the killer onscreen chemistry between Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. But another reason the film proved so popular is that audiences quickly fell in love with Grey, especially after catching sight of her frolicking around in those very flattering jean shorts.
And while we can’t imagine the actor wearing anything else in this scene, the truth is that those shorts stand out from the time period the film is set in. Even though Dirty Dancing is an iconic ‘80s movie, its story is set in 1963. Jean shorts wouldn’t really be in fashion for another two decades, but we’d certainly never tell Grey. After all, nobody puts baby in the corner, especially when she’s looking this good!