Skip to main content

50 Most Iconic Movie Looks

Willy Wonka - Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971)

The Look: Embodying the giddy madness of Roald Dahl’s candy king, Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka was a Technicolor treat. The ruffled shirt, oversized bow tie and top hat (at a jaunty angle, of course) screamed eccentric sweet manufacturer, a look that even Johnny Depp couldn’t top.

Key Garment:
The massive bow tie, the mark of a man who thinks big.

John McClane - Die Hard (1988)

The Look: Only the most macho of men can pull off a vest. Of course, it helps if they’re single-handedly taking care of a hostage situation, as Bruce Willis does in Die Hard . Underwear wasn’t made to withstand the rigours of battling terrorists, but that doesn’t stop if from looking good here.

Key Garment:
Willis made the white vest manly, no small feat.

Vince Everett - Jailhouse Rock (1957)

The Look: Elvis had a pretty patchy film career, but in Jailhouse Rock he combined a great look with a great tune. A stitched prison suit plus a black and white crim’s shirt were the stuff of celluloid gold when they were wrapped around the King.

Key Garment:
The stripy t-shirt that screamed ‘hardened criminal’.

Superman - Superman (1978)

The Look: There has yet to be a better Superman than Christopher Reeve. Imbuing Krypton's son with buckets of charisma, a huge set of shoulders and a kiss-curl direct from the pages of DC comics, Reeve made a red and blue body-hugging suit look better than he had any right to.

Key Garment: What would Superman be without his cape?

Captain Jack Sparrow - Pirates Of The Caribbean: Curse Of The Black Pearl (2003)

The Look: Part Keith Richards, part Blackbeard, Captain Jack Sparrow has become a regular at fancy dress parties around the world since he first strolled into view in Pirates Of The Caribbean: Curse Of The Black Pearl . He made pirates look dangerous and sexy, an irresistible combination.

Key Garment: Jack's bandana marks him out as a rock and roller of the seven seas.

Jim Stark - Rebel Without A Cause (1955)

The Look: A plain red jacket, white T-shirt and jeans: so simple, yet so effective. Perhaps it takes James Dean to make such a straightforward selection look spectacular, as he does in Rebel Without A Cause , where he strolled straight into Hollywood history with a look that’s been much copied, but never bettered.

Key Garment: The bright red jacket.

Barbarella - Barbarella (1968)

The Look: Jane Fonda’s space-age sex kitten gets up to all manner of frisky shenanigans in Barbarella , and looks nothing short of spectacular the whole time. Huge hair and tiny outfits combined to make this high-camp slice of sci-fi an unforgettable experience.

Key Garment: Thigh-high boots: impractical space-wear perhaps, but they look damn good.

Jules Winnfield - Pulp Fiction (1994)

The Look: It’s amazing just how cool a well-tailored black suit, white shirt and black tie can look in the right hands. The combination of Samuel L Jackson’s attitude and Quentin Tarantino’s singular direction made Jules the break-out star of Pulp Fiction .

Key Garment: Jules’s wallet tells you everything you need to know about his character.

The Iron Man - The Iron Man (2008)

The Look: OK, so it's not strictly a look so much as a suit of armour, but surely Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man rates as one of the most desirable costumes ever? After all, who wouldn't want to take that suit for a spin; it can fly, it's virtually indestructible and it's very, very pretty.

Key Garment:
The whole suit is a thing of beauty.

The Girl - The Seven Year Itch (1955)

The Look: Marilyn Monroe struggling to hold down that white dress is one of cinema’s most enduring images. Even if you’ve never seen The Seven Year Itch , you’ll be familiar with this moment and this outfit, imprinted on popular culture since it first appeared on the big screen.

Key Garment: The dress. Oh boy, the dress.