Updated date:

Top Ten Black Movie Dresses

top-ten-black-movie-dresses

The Top Ten Black Movie Dresses

Black is a very elegant color. It's a color that denotes formalities. Black also suggests death, evil, sadness, maturity, mystery and power.

People always look good in black but it can be hard to showcase it on film but when it does it makes a very bold statement.

This page focuses on the Top Ten movie costume for ladies in movies that are in the shade of Black. It favors period movies.

They are ranked on beauty, memorability and how they reflect the character.

List Subject to Change and often will change because movies are also coming.

Olivia Newton-John as Sandy Olsson from Grease

Olivia Newton-John as Sandy Olsson from Grease

Sandy Olsson from Grease

There is no denying that Sandy's final look from Grease is iconic. It signify her transformation from good-girl to a more liberated woman who is embracing the more rebellious sensibilities of her love interest, Danny.

The costume consists of tight black pants, an off-the-shouder shirt and a leather jacket. She wears a belt with a silver metal clasp, gold earring and bright red high heels

The pants are made to look like leather but are most likely spandex for ease of moment.

This costume is a very popular for people to wear to costume parties and halloween.

Costume design by Albert Wolsky

Emmy Rossum as Christine Daae from the Phantom of the Opera

Emmy Rossum as Christine Daae from the Phantom of the Opera

Christine Daae from The Phantom of the Opera

In the 2004 version of The Phantom of the Opera, Christine Daae played by Emmy Rossum, visits her father's grave. She wears a somber yet elegant dress.

It's hard to make out the details of this costume but it has lace details on the neckline and cuffs. The dress seems to made out of velvet.

To complete her mourning look she has a cloak and a red chiffon veil.

It's a great variation of the Victorian gothic style.

Costume design by Alexandra Byrne

Florence Pugh as Amy March in Little Women (2019)

Florence Pugh as Amy March in Little Women (2019)

Amy March in Little Women (2019)

The costumes in the 2019 verison of Little Women were a topic of conversion. While it did take the 2020 Oscar for best costume design, the costume do take a massive amount of creative liberties with the time period. Does this make the costume bad? No but it should just be noted.

This black ballgown that grown-up Amy March, played by Florence Pugh, wears during a ball in Paris is very lovely. The gold detailing on the bodice gives it a bold graphic. It's not a delicate detail like one would associate with the character but instead showcase her bold and more pragmatic characterization that she displays in this version. The effect is in contrast to the slight trim of lace at the neckline and at the sleeves,

Costume Design by Jacqueline Durran

Emma Stone as Abigail Hill in The Favourite

Emma Stone as Abigail Hill in The Favourite

Abigail Hill in The Favourite

Abigail Hill, played Emma Stone, in The Favourite is a former lady who has fallen on hard times. When given the chance to improve her status though the favor of the Queen, Abigail take every opportunity she can seize for herself.

This costume of Abigail's marks her switch from her being in her cousin Sarah Churchill's employ to Queen Anne herself. It signify her social mobility ambitions are being realized.

Like all the other costumes of The Favourite, this one is black and white though it comes off more as black with white details. Mostly a white trim. It is a very classic 18th century style of dress. The fabric has an ever so slight sheen.

Costume design by Sandy Powell

Keira Knightley as  Anna Karenina (2012)

Keira Knightley as Anna Karenina (2012)

Anna Karenina (2012)

Yet another winner of best costume design by Jacqueline Durran to take creative liberties with the time period. Unlike 2019's Little Women, 2012's Anna Karenina was very, very stylized and all the costumes fit into the design aesthetic of 1950's Dior meets the 19th century bustles. So it could be more forgivable from a fashion history perspective as it focused vision for the overall look and feel for the movie art direction.

This black ballgown worn by the titular Anna Karenina, played Keira Knightley, wears this gown when she first dances with Count Vronsky inciting her love affair.

The gown is a combination of satin and tulle. The bodice is made from satin. It's an off-the shoulder neckline with just a hit of tulle. The sleeve straps has a slight puff detail that give them dimension. The sating from the bodice forms a bustle in the back. The bustle is off-set but the low back. The full skirt is made from tulle.

The look is complete by a three-strand necklace with asymmetrical focal point and a featherlike tulle headpiece with a complimentary starburst.


Costume Design by Jacqueline Durran

Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette (2006)

Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette (2006)

Marie Antoinette (2006)

The 2006 movie Marie Antoinette has too many beautiful costumes, one could get lost in the Rococo extravagance, and one often does.

Marie Antoinette, played by Kirsten Dunst, wears this highly stylized version of robe à l’anglaise to a masked ball. It looks to be made from silk organza. It has sheer 3/4 length sleeves and the over layer of the skirt looks to be made of the same sheer fabric. The bodice has silver sequins sewn in.

The look is made complete with a sheer eye make and large black feathers in her hair.


Costume Design by Milena Canonero

Nicole Kidman as Satine from Moulin Rouge

Nicole Kidman as Satine from Moulin Rouge

Satine's Gothic Tower Dress from Moulin Rouge

One the best parts in Moulin Rouge is the Gothic Tower scene a.k.a Tango de Roxanne.

Satine, played by Nicole Kidman, wears a long black dress. It has an off shoulder detail that is made from fur and deep red sash. This fur also goes long the hem of the dress as well.

The red details give this costume an edgy for a very dramatic and intense scene.

Costume design by Catherine Martin & Angus Strathis

Rita Hayworth as Gilda from Gilda

Rita Hayworth as Gilda from Gilda

Gilda from Gilda

No one screams Femme Fatal as much as Rita Hayworth as Gilda during the famous dance scene in which Gilda tries to embarrass her husband with a sedutive song and dance.

This gown is a strapless gown made of black satin with a high slit and gather like detail on the side. This gown is so famous that it has its own wiki page.


Gown designed by Jean Louis and it was inspired by the portrait of Madame X by John Singer Sargent.

Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt Bukater from Titanic

Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt Bukater from Titanic

Rose's Dinner Dress from Titanic

One of people’s favorite scenes in Titanic is the first class dinner scene and the subsequent steerage dance.

In these scenes Rose, played by Kate Winslet, wears a coral dress with beaded black chiffon overlay it that is tiered. The dress reads more black than coral on screen. Though the punch of coral does add a youthful edge.

As the costume is showcase that Rose's youth and exuberant personality is hidden behind the formality and glamour of her constrictive lifestyle.

The dress features short sleeves, a square neckline and a long train.

Costume design by Deborah L Scott

Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golighty from Breakfast at Tiffany's

Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golighty from Breakfast at Tiffany's

Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany's

This simple black dress that only graces the screen for a few moments in Breakfast at Tiffany's is an icon.

This dress is the first dress that many people think of when they think of Audrey Hepburn, which is impressive since she worn so many beautiful costume through her filmography.

The dress is a simple sheath dress. It has a lovely back detail with the rounded collar. The large pearl gives the dress a dramatic flair.

It a very classy and iconic dress.

Costume design by Hubert de Givenchy

Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic

Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic

Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind

Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind

Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind

The ending of Gone with the Wind is one of the most memorable parts of the movie. Scarlett, played by Vivien Leigh, wears an elegant yet somber mourning gown. She wears this costume at the film finales when Rhett leaves her.

It's made of velvet and has a stand collar, shoulder cape and large cuffs on the sleeves. It's has a 1870's style bustle with a long train. It's completed by an oversize brooch.

Costume design by Walter Plunkett

What do you think about these Costumes?

AmyLOrr on April 08, 2014:

Audrey's of course - it's a classic. But Rose's dress is also so beautiful, I am glad it came 2nd :)

anonymous on October 28, 2012:

great clasical costumes , it's a pitty some of them are not worn more often I think :)

Related Articles