22 Movie Outfits That Keep Getting Recycled

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“What a costume designer does is a cross between magic and camouflage. We create the illusion of changing the actors into what they are not. We ask the public to believe that every time they see a performer on the screen, [they’ve] become a different person.”

Lionsgate / Via giphy.com

That’s a quote from Edith Head, one of the most influential fashion designers in cinema history. It’s easy to associate a character with the actor playing them, but countless tiny details about who a person is are communicated to us through what they wear. The costumer determines those details, but that doesn’t mean they have to reinvent the wheel every time. They can mix-and-match from the plethora of clothing that has come before them, and that’s exactly what happened with the outfits in these films.


It’s a good thing Rose survived the Titanic, because her coat was able to be used in Tuck Everlasting.

Paramount Pictures / Disney

Titanic (1997)

Costumer: Deborah Lynn Scott

Tuck Everlasting (2002)

Costumers: Jade Kitzerow & Carol Ramsey


The dress with a built-in necklace appeared in From the Earth to the Moon, Mad Men, and The Spoils of Babylon.

HBO, AMC, IFC / youtube.com

From the Earth to the Moon (1998)

Costumer: Chrisi Karvonides-Dushenko

Mad Men (2006)

Costumer: Janie Bryant

The Spoils of Babylon (2014)

Costumer: Trayce Gigi Field


Since pretty much no one saw The Musketeer, why not use the same hat in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl?

Universal Pictures / Disney

The Musketeer (2001)

Costumers: Cynthia Dumont & Raymond Hughes

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Costumer: Penny Rose


The hat may not be included, but this dress was in both The Duchess and The Scandalous Lady W.

Paramount Vantage / BBC

The Duchess (2008)

Costumer: Michael O’Connor

The Scandalous Lady W (2015)

Costumer: James Keast


In the “Three Sundays” episode of Mad Men, Peggy wears a pink dress that pops back up in The Help.

AMC, Disney

Mad Men (2007)

Costumer: Janie Bryant

The Help (2011)

Costumer: Sharen Davis


Appearing three times on this list, Vikings reused some leather armor from Season of the Witch.

Relativity Media, History / youtube.com

Season of the Witch (2011)

Costumer: Carlo Poggioli

Vikings (2013)

Costumers: Joan Bergin & Susan O’Connor Cave


Dangerous Liaisons and Hocus Pocus. Two very different movies, one frilly dress.

Warner Bros. / youtube.com, Disney

Dangerous Liaisons (1988)

Costumer: James Acheson

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Costumer: Mary E. Vogt


The unsinkable black dress from both Titanics.

RHI Entertainment / youtube.com, Paramount Pictures

Titanic [miniseries] (1996)

Costumers: Joe I. Tompkins & Jori Woodman

Titanic (1997)

Costumer: Deborah Lynn Scott


There’s probably not too many full-length, realistic pharaoh outfits out there, so might as well use the same one in Night at the Museum and the “Natural History” episode of How I Met Your Mother.

20th Century Fox / youtube.com, CBS / youtube.com

Night at the Museum (2006)

Costumer: Renée April

How I Met Your Mother (2010)

Costumer: Julie Bennett Block


This necklace from Kiss Me Kate was transformed into a tiara for The Glass Slipper. Then it was sold for over $4,000!

MGM / youtube.com, MGM /youtube.com

Kiss Me Kate (1953)

Costumer: Walter Plunkett

The Glass Slipper (1955)

Costumer: Joan Joseff


After the Sheriff of Nottingham rocked this studded vest in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, it was featured in Braveheart.

Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

Costumer: John Bloomfield

Braveheart (1995)

Costumer: Charles Knode


If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This dress works so well for period clothing that it’s appeared in Becoming Jane, Northanger Abbey, and Doctor Who (“The Haunting of Villa Diodati”).

Buena Vista International, ITV, BBC / youtube.com

Becoming Jane (2007)

Costumer: Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh

Northanger Abbey (2007)

Costumer: Grania Preston

Doctor Who (2020)

Costumer: Ray Holman


I’m honestly surprised this jacket wasn’t in The Great Gatsby, but was in both Brideshead Revisited and Jojo Rabbit!

ITV, Fox Searchlight Pictures / youtube.com

Brideshead Revisited (1981)

Costumer: Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh

Jojo Rabbit (2019)

Costumer: Mayes C. Rubeo


This red garment was used in Elizabeth I and the Robin Hood TV show.


Elizabeth I (2005)

Costumer: Mike O’Neill

Robin Hood (2006)

Costumer: Howard Burden


Good armor is worth holding on to, which is why this set from Season of the Witch reappeared in Vikings.

Relativity Media, History / youtube.com

Season of the Witch (2011)

Costumer: Carlo Poggioli

Vikings (2013)

Costumers: Joan Bergin & Susan O’Connor Cave


In Eve’s Bayou and Lovecraft Country, similar hair styles call for identical clothes.

Trimark Pictures, HBO

Eve’s Bayou (1997)

Costumer: Karyn Wagner

Lovecraft Country (2020)

Costumer: Dayna Pink


The saturation may be different, but this is indeed the same dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the Elvis movie Tickle Me.

Paramount Pictures, Allied Artists Pictures

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Costumer: Edith Head

Tickle Me (1965)

Costumers: John A. Anderson, Joan Joseff, and Shirlee Strahm


What does Macbeth have in common with vikings? This leather armor, which was in Macbeth and Vikings!

StudioCanal / youtube.com, History / youtube.com

Macbeth (2015)

Costumer: Jacqueline Durran

Vikings (2013)

Costumers: Joan Bergin & Susan O’Connor Cave


The purple dress from Back to the Future Part III and Far and Away

Universal Pictures / youtube.com, Universal Pictures

Back to the Future Part III (1990)

Costumer: Joanna Johnston

Far and Away (1992)

Costumer: Joanna Johnston


This regal necklace was in both Elizabeth and The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Working Title Films, BBC / youtube.com

Elizabeth (1998)

Costumer: Alexandra Byrne

The Sarah Jane Adventures (2010)

Costumer: Andrea Mear


Out of this world sci-fi? I’ve got just the tactical vest, used in “The Tenth Planet” episode of Doctor Who and Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back.

BBC / archive.org, Disney / youtube.com

Doctor Who (1966)

Costumer: Alexandra Tynan

Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Costumer: John Mollo


Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Bones would make a good crossover, and this piece is already tying the universes together.

The WB, Fox

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)

Costumer: Cynthia Bergstrom

Bones (2005)

Costumer: Bobbie Read

Which pieces of clothing would you most want to own? Let me know in the comments!

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