9 Greatest Movies to Watch Just for the Clothes

Some movies you watch for the plot, others you watch for the gorgeous clothes. Here are nine of the best fashion films.

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The Devil Wears Prada blu-ray
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The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

This classic opens with KT Tunsell’s pop hit “Suddenly I See,” be-bopping in the background while all those beautiful women get ready in the morning. It’s all about the accessories, people! From lingerie to earrings to boots, bags and coats, this is how the fashionistas put it together. Anne Hathaway works hard to look frumpy and Meryl Streep exudes effortless chic that looks so expensive. Pull out your cerulean blue bargain basement sweater and watch Hathaway transform into a fashion plate.

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Gone with the Wind blu-ray
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Gone with the Wind (1939)

Which gown is your favourite? Do you prefer Miss Scarlet in white ruffles with the impossibly big hoop skirt she wears while flirting with the Tarleton Twins? What about that red velvet number when Rhett scandalously abandons her at Melanie’s birthday party? “What a lovely dress,” utters angelic, loyal Melanie. The hands-down favourite might be the forest green curtain outfit accessorized with golden tassels. Even her black mourning clothes are gloriously lacy. And no one rocks calico the way Vivien Leigh does while she’s digging a potato out from Tara’s soil. Oh Rhett, are you sure you can’t stick around? We really think you should.

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Desperately Seeking Susan blu-ray
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Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)

Madonna wannabes willingly followed Rosanna Arquette’s lead and copied all the clothes worn by the newly-minted pop star. It’s time for big hair, blondies! Let your roots show and wrap it up in a big black bow. Don’t forget those iconic studded booties. Women still lust for that embroidered blazer with the pyramid on back. Madonna even famously sported a garter belt with boxer shorts. This movie brought us feminine menswear, cascades of vintage beads, and those iconic black Ray-bans. Slap on some red lipstick. We’re on our way back, 1980s!

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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes blu-ray
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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

This movie has a fluffy plot about a missing diamond tiara, but all that is just an excuse for the costumes and the dance numbers. Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell will knock your socks off from the first note. Get ready for the pair to rock red glitter gowns with white plumes bursting from their headpieces as they wiggle in front of sparkling, indigo curtains. This musical was all about saturating the screen with bright, luscious colours. Watch Marilyn in her signature hot pink bow gown, staged in front of a fire engine red backdrop. Diamonds drip and dangle and back-up dancers are costumed as candelabras. Talk to me, Harry Winston. Tell us all about it.

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Clueless blu-ray
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Clueless (1995)

Alicia Silverstone’s Cher made loads of shopping bags an essential accessory. But the main reason you’re watching her flirt with Paul Rudd (again) is because the closet scene is everything. Cher was stuck with a hulking nineties PC, but these days you can get your own app to help you co-ordinate your looks. Cher’s staples were over-the-knee socks, chokers, berets, plaid separates, tight V-neck sweaters, and the super-mini. It’s makeover time!

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The Age of Innocence DVD
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The Age of Innocence (1993)

Martin Scorsese’s Victorian-era romance about upper-class bullies won the Best Costume Oscar, but even that achievement does not even cover how good these costumes are. You’ll see obsessive recreations of high society fashions known for their intricate uses of silk brocade, beads and bustles. Every detail was authentic and stunning. Thank goodness the cinematographer had the good sense to linger on all those details, from gloves to satin slippers to hairpins. Michelle Pfieffer and Daniel Day-Lewis play doomed paramours, but their sad tale basically accessorizes the outfits instead of the other way around.

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7 / 9
Dreamgirls blu-ray
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Dreamgirls (2006)

Why are there so many mirrors when Jennifer Hudson belts out “And I Am Telling You” in her Oscar-winning performance? So we can see her bronze suit with the fur trim from every angle—and ogle The Dreams’ sequin gowns better before they storm away. Amazing songs, great acting…but the clothes slay. Beyoncé has a montage (an homage to Diana Ross in Mahogany) where she models as Cleopatra and other icons of beauty. The Dreams look good in every style incarnation, even the seventies when we get bell bottoms and disco. Jamie Fox doesn’t look too bad either—”‘Oh my,’ that’s my dream.”

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Audrey Hepburn Collection blu-ray
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Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

You’ve got a little black dress, right? Have your breakfast at Tiffany’s to see the iconic Givenchy original on pixie dream girl, Holly Golightly. Audrey Hepburn looked amazing in her wide-brimmed hats and huge sunglasses. She even makes jeans and a sweatshirt look cool—if you’re singing “Moon River” on your fire escape. Check out her many gorgeous gowns including a draped Grecian dress and a pink cocktail frock with matching overcoat. Now all you need are kitten heels, elbow gloves and a long, black cigarette holder. Don’t forget the faux pearls!

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Pretty Woman blu-ray
Photo: Amazon.ca

Pretty Woman (1990)

Julia Roberts is supposed to be a prostitute. (Yeah, right! Even in a blonde wig and patent leather boots she’s still America’s sweetheart.) This Cinderella story is really about shopping. First Julia gets snubbed by snooty shop girls, but then she goes back all dolled up and disses the whole store. Need an outfit for a polo match? Try white polka-dots on brown silk and add a smart little hat and white gloves. Opera bound? Red velvet and diamonds. Business dinner? Little black dress trimmed in lace. Hair? Big. Upswept. Or down with bouncy chestnut curls. When Hector Elizondo smiles with approval, you’re good to go, girlfriend.

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Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest