13 Hidden Messages In Movie Costumes You Probably Missed

13 Hidden Messages In Movie Costumes You Probably Missed

The secrets are in the fine details.

Costume designers are some of the most underrated professionals in the film and TV industry. They don't just dress up our favorite stars, they help tell the stories of their characters through their clothes and accessories.

Some of the most brilliant costume designers like Patricia Field from the 'Devil Wears Prada' have managed to incorporate subtle messages into the costumes of these popular films.

Here are hidden messages in movie costumes you probably don't know. 

1. Harley Quinn's less provocative outfits in 'Birds of Prey' are a symbol of her freedom from Joker. 

Harley Quinn's outfit in Suicide Squad vs. Birds of Prey

Harley Quinn's outfit in 'Suicide Squad' is a reflection of Joker, while her costume in 'Birds of Prey' is a testament to her character's evolution. Costume designer Erin Benach made sure that the beloved villain will have less constricting outfits to help her move freely on the battlefield. This is why Harley has ditched her usual skimpy shorts from 'Suicide Squad' in favor of the looser ensemble and accessories for 'Birds of Prey'. More than the comfort, the change in Harley's wardrobe also signifies that she's over her abusive lover. It's like she's finally old enough to pick her old clothes. She uses this newfound independence to choose what works for her,  including clothing, without worrying if her choices will impress a lover or not.

 2. Black Panther's costumes are a mixture of African cultures and Marvel elements.

Black Panther

'Black Panther' is widely praised for its intricate costume design.  The costumes were created by combining extensive research, creativity, and hard work. The overall costume design was supposed to reflect the vibrant and elaborate life of different African tribes while incorporating the elements of the Marvel film. 

3. The character's jewelry was made of vibranium, the fictional and powerful material that is abundant in Wakanda.

Black Panther

4. The logo on Shuri's shirt is an Adinkra symbol for “purpose".


5. The Queen's hat is based on a South African woman's married hat called Isicholo.

Wakanda Queen

Carter thought the hat looked like a crown, so she decided to 3-D print the costume to get its perfect shape along with her shoulder mantle.

6. T'Challa's fighting suit contains traditional geometric figures from his culture.


The triangular pattern makes him a superhero and an African King. 

7. Nakia’s necklace reveals that she is from the river tribe. 

Nakia's necklace.

8. Scarlett’s dresses in 'Gone with the Wind' are connected to her emotions.

Gone With The Wind

The stylish period costumes play a more important role than simply adding aesthetics to the film. They are a representation of Scarlett's emotions, passion, and overall state. She wears green to signify that she is indeed feeling envious in one scene, like the saying "green with envy". She dons red dresses when she craves love and affection. 

9. Mr. Darcy loses layers of clothing as he adopts a more open attitude in 'Pride & Prejudice'.

Pride and Prejudice

"Undressing" Mr. Darcy is a process of peeling off through his rigid personality.

10. The sunglasses in The Matrix were custom-made to reflect the individuality of each character and its actors.  

The Matrix

"When they go into the Matrix, they create their persona, which is how they see themselves," costume designer Kym Barrett explains. "So that was a chance to have a little bit of fun." 

11. Andy's outfit in The Devil Wears Prada signifies that she is the next Miranda in the making.

Devil Wears Prada

Andy and Miranda wore significantly similar pieces in this pivotal scene of the fashion drama film. Even fans are quick to pick up the message that Andy is following Miranda's path, slowly forging herself to fit in the hardworking and meticulous industry Miranda thrives in. 

12. Cady Heron's transformation outfit in Mean Girls is a combination of the style from 3 girls. 

Mean Girls

The pink and blue combination was from Karen, the curls and eyeliner from Gretchen, and the fashion dresses and necklaces with her initial from Regina. 

13. The change in Nina's color palette shows her desire to transform into a Black Swan.

Black Swan

Costume designer Amy Westcott played with the color palette to tell Nina's evolution. Nina wore pale and pink colors at the beginning of the film, signifying her innocence and more calm nature. Her outfits changed into darker shades as she starts obsessing about being the Black Swan. 

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