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The following is a guest post by Michael of Northern Threads, a UK-based menswear store specializing in designer clothing for the fashion conscious gent. Head over to their website to browse their wares and read their fashion blog.

Being a costume/wardrobe designer for a movie can be a lot of hard work, especially if the clothes are meant to reflect a certain era. In modern films it seems their jobs are made a bit easier – they choose some nice designer clothing and away you go. However, in some cases the clothing on show can become a character in its own right – imagine life without Darth Vader’s suit/helmet, Indiana Jones’ hat/whip and Spider Man’s costume. As much as there are many success stories there are also a lot of really awful mistakes. In most cases, we haven’t heard of them or don’t remember them because not many people saw the terrible film in the first place and the people responsible for it do all they can to ensure it’s swept under the carpet. Out of sight, out of mind.

We’ve sifted through the pool of films that time forgot and dredged up the worst outfits and costumes we could find – boy are there some sights! Hopefully this will act as a guide for any future costume designers out there on how not to style a film (as well as giving us a bit of a chuckle along the way).

Is this what the future looks like?

Sci-fi films always offer up the weirdest and wonderful outfits to grace the silver screen, meaning there are some big successes (Jean Paul Gaultier for “Fifth Element”) alongside some dire decisions. I mean Sean Connery with a big plaited ponytail and leather thigh-high boots – what happened there? It’s a far-cry from his suave 007 swagger, a career low? Probably.This abomination appears in the 1974 film,”Zardoz,” which has become a cult classic, mostly thanks to a so-bad-it’s-good mentality.

Another of the most poorly-dressed men in the sci-fi world is Lando Calrissian from “Star Wars.” One word – cape. Only certain men are able to pull off a cape and they’re all superheroes, unfortunately old Lando doesn’t fall into this category so he’s left looking quite the fool. Especially when the cape has a paisley inlay while being teamed up with what can only be described as a futuristic cummerbund. Sci-fi can be a tricky business.

Making good actors look bad.

Michael Caine is a British legend of the movie world, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t made some serious errors of judgement when picking his film roles. Take for instance his appearance back in 1987 in “Jaws 4” (yes there really was four of them) as Hoagie Newcombe and that haircut. Anyone called Hoagie isn’t gonna have a decent haircut and this character sure didn’t – a frizzy perm isn’t a good look for anyone, must’ve been all that sea fret while out on the boat.

Speaking of bad frizzy hair, has anyone seen “Being John Malkovich?” Remember seeing Cameron Diaz in it? No? That’s because she was barely recognisable with her untamed mane of hair and dowdy clothing. It was perfect for the character but it was an eye-opener to see how one of the most beautiful women in the world could be transformed into a real bad catch.

Right era, wrong costume.

Whenever you’re shooting a period drama you have to get it right–you really do. Otherwise, it’s very nearly there but just doesn’t feel quite right. This brings me neatly onto Zack Snyder’s “300” that can only hide its poor costuming behind their super-imposition chroma key technique. Take a look at the image above, it looks more like the set of a blue movie than a Hollywood production. Gerard Butler’s leg guards look like they’re made of rubber; not sure that was around in 480 B.C. It all seems a bit clean cut and homoerotic for an accurate depiction of the Battle of Thermopylae, but each to their own eh?

Another one worth pointing out is “Much Ado About Nothing” starring Keanu Reeves as Don John – yes you read that correctly, Keanu Reeves in a Shakespearian film adaptation. It doesn’t help when the costumes are pretty hopeless and Reeves in the photo above looks more like Dogtanian.

Let this be a lesson to all prospective filmmakers – no matter what the budget, no matter how many stars are attached things can still go wrong if they’re dressed up in woeful outfits.

What do you think? What are the worst movie costumes of all time? Let’s chat cinema in the comments below.