Poll: Best Black Dress in Frock Flick History


Black is for mourning, black is for witches and vampires, black is sexy, black is chic — wearing a black dress has meant many different things throughout history. Costume designers dress characters in black to evoke any of these various ideas in a historical movie or TV show or sometimes for an entirely unique meaning. And they may even use a non-black color to do it because that will read as black on-screen!

Well black frocks are perfect for Halloween today, so let’s vote on our favorite one that’s made for costume dramas, then discuss in the comments below…


Mary Queen of Scots - Glenda Jackson

Mary Queen of Scots (1971)

Anonymous (2011)

Anonymous (2011)

Salem (2014)

Salem (2014)

The Draughtsman's Contract (1982)

The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982)

Marie Antoinette (2006)

Marie Antoinette (2006)

Lady of the Camelias (1981)

Lady of the Camelias (1981)

2017 My Cousin Rachel

My Cousin Rachel (2017)

Deadwood (2004-2006)

Crimson Peak (2015)

Crimson Peak (2015)



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Three historical costumers who decided the world needed a podcast and blog dedicated to historical costume movies and everything right and wrong with them.

11 Responses

  1. Cheryl from Maryland

    Voted for the Draughtsman’s Contract as it has the best hat.

  2. Adina

    I gotta go for the Marie Antoinette one. It’s not historically accurate but it was SO SWISHY!

    • Stella vG

      I know!! And it just brings back the entire ball masqué sequence, which was just lovely :D

  3. Brandy Loutherback

    I had to go with Crimson Peak on this one because while Lucille’s dresses were 30 odd years out of date, they were fabulously goth as fuck!

  4. picasso Manu

    Crimson peak too because dress, sure (well dresses, that red one is fab too), but also because HAT! Have you seen what that hat really looks like? Deliciously creepy.

  5. Caroline Harper

    I am partial to one not on this list…I LOVE Sophie Marceau’s ball gown in Anna Karenina when she dances with Vronsky. I just love everything about her outfit!

  6. Jo Lance

    Had to vote for the ultimate goth dress from Crimson Peak because (a) hat and (b) it comes with an optional well-dressed Tom Hiddleston.

  7. Robin the mad photographer

    Another vote for Crimson Peak (I mean, black velvet? swoon). What I’m really wondering about, though, is why Glenda Jackson as QEI has a cigarette in her hand while perched on the throne–I presume she was taking a 5-minute butt break, unless whoever handled continuity in the movie made a dreadful mistake…