10+ Movie And TV Costumes That Had Tons Of Hidden Meanings

These are the costumes in movies and TV that had a special meaning behind them. Or maybe they describe the character that is currently wearing them.

Hey, either way, these costumes were specifically chosen by the costume designer for one reason or another, and we're going to share those reasons with you today.

1. Kathryn from 'Cruel Intentions'


Sarah Michelle Gellar's character in Cruel Intentions was meant to look sophisticated and sensual, to counteract how cruel the character could be in secret.

They also wanted to reference Dangerous Liaisons.

2. Leeloo from 'Fifth Element'

Columbia Pictures

There are a lot of space operas where the heroine is scantily clad, and her costume was meant to resemble those original designs.

Just a couple of carefully placed bandages!

3. Miranda Priestly from 'The Devil Wears Prada'

20th Century Fox

What's the first thing we see on Miranda in the movie? That's right, a Prada bag.

A lot of fans didn't notice this one, but they quickly found out who "the devil" was.

4. Hannibal Lecter From 'The Silence Of The Lambs'

Orion Pictures

Two things about the Hannibal costume were meant to stand out.

The white outfit was put on to set Hannibal apart from the other criminals that people may know about.

It was also suggested by Hopkins that it was because of his own fear of dentists.

Orion Pictures

Then, of course, was the mask.

It was meant to represent how animalistic the character could be, despite his air of being formal and classy.

5. Han Solo from 'Star Wars'


What else would this costume be for? To show off his cowboy type persona, of course!

The vest, the pistol, the white cotton shirt underneath, all he's missing is the ten-gallon hat!

6. The Handmaidens from 'The Handmaids Tale'


From what the costume designer has said, the red in the Handmaids' outfits is supposed to represent a litany of emotions.

It represents all the things that the handmaids have to deal with on a daily basis.

As she puts it:


“What’s happening with the color red this season is that it’s going from being lifeblood to being a courage and power that steers the anger. You’ve got love and lust and anger and they’re all passionate emotions, so the red covers it all.”

7. Captain Marvel from 'Captain Marvel'


There was a hidden rank on her shoulder, a bunch of triangles, but the most important factor is that it was meant to look a lot like Captain America's costume.

Maybe she could be leading the Avengers next?

8. Sansa Stark from 'Game Of Thrones'


Not only was her hair constantly changing to reflect those she admired, but the dress she wore in the finale was also very special.

It was meant to represent each of the Starks.

Luckily, this Tumblr user laid it all out:

Tumblr | purplefloofs

Weirwood leaves for Bran, one-sided for Arya, black for Jon, scaly pattern for her mom Catelyn, the crown for Robb, the sewing needle for her, the fur for Rickon, and the grey for Ned.

9. Darth Vader From 'Star Wars'


Black. Faceless. Darth Vader's helmet made him seem robotic, mysterious and most of all– evil.

That mystery was exemplified when it was revealed that he could never take it off.

10. Rosemary from 'Rosemary's Baby'

Paramount Pictures

Everything about this character's costume was to make her look fragile and childlike.

Her babydoll dresses and her short hair highlighted the fact that she was an innocent girl going through this hell.

11. Ghostface from 'Scream'

Dimension Films

While it may have been a random mask they found on set, they later discovered that hey, it kind of looked like the "scream" painting.

And thus, the name of the movie was chosen.

12. Superman

DC Comics

For years, people have been asking questions about The Man Of Steel.

We have all collectively wondered a lot about him, but one big question was: why does he wear his underpants outside his costume?

Believe it or not, it has nothing to do with aliens.


It's actually supposed to make us think of strong men in the circus, and to be totally frank... it kind of does!

Strong men also used to wear capes and underoos.

13. Mademoiselle Amy Jolly from "Morocco"

Paramount Pictures

It was the idea of lead actress Marlene Dietrich herself to dress in a tuxedo, top hat and white bow tie (a look that even to this day shocks all that see it).


Paramount Pictures

Well, apparently, she wanted to look like a predatory man.

It's probably why the movie's most famous scene is her kissing an unsuspecting woman because it was something some of us recognize.

14. Queen Elizabeth II from 'The Crown'


The Queen goes through a whole lot of costume changes throughout the series, and we're going to check them all out, right here, right now.

But why should I do all the talking?

I'm going to let the show's costume designer Michele Clapton do that for me:


“When we first meet the Queen, it’s the 1940s. She is very much under the influence of her mother, and you see that in the pale pink bows. Although she does have the strength to choose the man that she wants to marry.”

Moving on to Malta...


“The Queen’s time in Malta was her freedom—she actually lived life as she thought she would. It’s meant to look very carefree: sunglasses and straw hats.”

“We were working out how this young woman presented herself in front of a room full of ancient men."


"So we made her an armour, in a way: Her dress is plain and simple and not provocative. It was just a uniform. That to me represented that she saw [being the Queen] as a job.”

“The Queen was most comfortable in macs and head scarves."


"Dressing as the woman that she would have been had she not been Queen. The only time really we see her relaxing is in tweeds at Balmoral. I tried to show that loss of freedom in her clothes.”

15. Johnny Strabler from The Wild One

Columbia Pictures

You may think that these days wearing a leather jacket, a t-shirt and jeans is a way to dress a tough fella.

But back in the day no one really thought of those clothes that way.

Marlon Brando changed that.

16. The Black Panther Costumes


Creating costumes for each of the tribes of Wakanda must have been a difficult thing. But, according to costume designer Ruth Carter, each has its own very special meaning... and color.

As she tells it:


"Plums and purples for the merchants, referencing the Sub-Saharan Tuareg; green for the river tribe, based on the Suri in Southwestern Ethiopia; and ochre for the mining tribe, inspired by the Himba in Northern Namibia"

17. Margaret from 'The Queen'


You thought we were done with The Queen? No way, not when Michele Clapton has so much more to say about the costumes!

But this time, we're going to talk about Margaret.

The Queen's sister.


“Margaret [the Queen’s sister] was always more playful, more daring. She could be because she wasn’t the Queen. I made an evening dress for one of the speeches that Margaret gave and I ended up putting big pockets in the front."

"The Queen would never have big pockets."


"It was a beautiful, elegant gown, but it just had a little edge to it. And hopefully, with the subtlety of the acting and the costume and the lighting, it creates these characters.”

18. Serena Joy from 'The Handmaid's Tale'


Turns out, the color of the Handmaiden's dresses weren't the only colors that costume designer Natalie Bronfman paid attention too.

She was also looking after the wives of the Commanders (Selena Joy specifically).

According to her:


"The blue of the water, the teal range [of the commanders’ wives dresses], means to be secretive or closed off because you’re going into the depths of the ocean."

“The deeper you get, the darker the green and the blue-green."


"Serena’s character arc this season is quite interesting because she goes from being very depressed (having lost her child) and being in dark teal colors to slowly getting brighter, and her shapes change as well."

How interesting!