In this episode, we list the Top 20 BEST Game of Thrones Women’s Costumes of all time (sort of). Thank you to all of the Costume CO viewers who participated in the Twitter and YouTube surveys and help make this video possible.
Warning, Spoilers for all 7 seasons of Game of Thrones.
Skip to the Top 10 BEST Game of Thrones Women’s Costumes: 16:30
Skip to the Honorable Mentions: 31:16
Skip to the #1 Game of Thrones Women’s Costume: 32:11
Aaron Le Fay is a 22-year-old costume designer, lover of fashion, cosplayer, child of the theater and all other forms and talents, and a master of the thread and needle. He has a bachelor’s degree in Costume Design and a minor degree in World History. Aaron has worked on such films as both an apprentice and shadow for two of the Hunger Games movies, Huntsman Winter Wars and a few others. He has also worked on television shows such as The Vampire Dairies, The Originals and Teen Wolf. He currently lives in the State of South Carolina where he’s gainfully employed making custom costumes, alterations and tailoring.
Tatiana Melendez is a 25-year-old supreme goddess from Puerto Rico. She recently received her bachelor’s degree in Drama from the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras Campus, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She’s currently preparing her portfolio for her master's degree applications in musical theatre or acting to N.Y. and England. Tatiana has been singing since the age of 6, and in fact has performed in Mexico and England. Anything that pertains to theatre is her passion, particularly musical theatre, acting, singing, costume designing and a bit of dancing. She’s also getting into theatrical makeup (for Halloween) and hair styling, especially braiding. She’s an eternal fangirl and shipper, and proud of it!!!!
All original costume illustrations by Patrick Lemieux. Patrick Lemieux is a Canadian artist and writer based in Toronto. He has exhibited his work internationally. His latest novels are The Prisoner of Orchard Bend and The Murder Ballad of Orchard Bend.
Find Patrick’s books on Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/y6tw4hv4
Find him on social media:
⚬ Special Graphics & additional editing by Jack Loney
⚬Support me through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/costumeco
⚬ Send me your artwork or cosplay: Heidi(at)heidiloney(dot)com
Find me on social media:
Fabric (I have no affiliation with these vendors):
Olenna’s Cotton/Silk Brocatelle, Rubelli Venezia Tebaldo: http://www.rubelli.com/en/tebaldo-19971.html#
Sansa’s Wedding Fabric Tyrion Marriage: https://tm-interiors.co.uk/fabric-brands/pierre-frey-raffaello-i6199001
Sansa’s Wedding Fabric Ramsey Marriage: https://www.chase-erwin.com/fabrics/fabric?s=cord004
Dany’s Dragonstone Dragon sequin fabric: https://www.topfabric.co.uk/spiky-copper-sequin-on-silk-chiffon.html
Margaery’s Wedding Gown Fabric: https://www.etoffe.com/inter/furnishing-fabrics/6712-fossil-voile-sahco.html
⚬Some of You Text Me Records / GrandBankss
I absolutely adore pretty much everything Maergery wears (minus the funnel dress, but I also don't hate that- the material alone eliminates the possibility of that. Such a lovely pattern). But one of my favorites was the dress Marcella wears when she dies- so pretty and innocent, I just love it.
I just love the breakdowns of the costumes cuz they are way more interesting than they look! Margerys wedding dress w/ fabric Rose's was beautiful, but he covered it up when he cloaked the bride! We didnt get to see much of it! SHAME!
Hi Jennifer, lots of people liked that gown and I've seen many cosplayers recreate it so it it definitely has a following. It just wan't our favourite. We had to limit the number of choices and trust me, it was really hard to get it down to just 20 costumes from all 7 seasons.
These videos are so fascinating and soothing to watch. Even the comment community is kind and affirming to one another. I’m really excited to listen to your costume breakdown for Season 8! I had noticed the EW season 8 cover featured Dany’s Season 7 white fur jacket (or something similar) so it should be an interesting season! What a wonderful channel you have ❤️
Wow, thank you Margaret. What a lovely thing to say. We have such a kind community as you have mentioned. I did a rather short analysis of the EW cover in a recent livestream. I will get you the link. 😁
I have to say my favourite Sansa's costume is "Honour regained". I mean, after all the abuses she suffered, she looks so strong and regal wearing it! And that braid she wears along with the dress is simple and practical. I think it's very "new Sansa".
Also, Cersei's costumes are amazing in general, but "Mad Dog" absolutely kicks ass. Very symbolic and stylish, and it also speaks volumes about how evil and paranoid she has become. The old Cersei was wearing crimson and gold, and she looked beautiful and powerful, but Shakespearean Cersei looks utterly bad in this outfit, and I love it.
However, in general, I have a soft spot for Margaery's dresses, since they gave her that signature look.
Nonetheless, congrats for your astounding work! You did great as usual!
Hi Seraphina, I've been meaning to get back to you about this. I spoke to a costume designer friend about it, and she thinks it's likely that it was intentional. At first, my friend thought she had seen the fabric available in black at the shops, but now she believes that she was mistaken. I've only seen it in white and a light brown colour.
It was another viewer who pointed out that the fabric was dyed black, so it seems likely as you suggest that Margaery gave the surplus fabric to Sansa, and it appears to line up with her Dark Sansa costume, that she created it from found materials. Michele Clapton is very purposeful in many situations, so while she has never mentioned it, it seems likely this is what she was thinking.
BTW, I have created a FB group on GoTs costume analysis that you are welcome to join. It's very new so we only have about a dozen members so far. Here's the link if you want to check it out: https://www.facebook.com/groups/284460642196207/
+Costume CO yes, I understood that, but Sansa's costumes seem a little more grounded in reality. I can't put my finger on many specific examples to back this sense up except for her purple gown that she seems to outgrow.
It might have just been a way for the costuming department to save some money, but the fact that it's the same material as Margaery's wedding gown has some interesting meta implications, especially given what Sansa does in the first book. Arya stains an ivory silk gown that Cersei gave to Sansa, so she has it dyed green. She wears the same dress, now green, at the tourney. Later, near the end of the book, after Ned has been executed and she's been locked in a tower for a few days as an official hostage, Joffrey orders her to show up to court, and after some abuse and encouragement, she does, and in the same dress. The situation calls for compliance, so she dresses in something Cersei gave her that Joffrey said she looked pretty in. Some analytical readers have theorized she's done something similar to Sandor Clegane's cloak after he left it behind during the Battle of Blackwater, and that she keeps it as her own.
Like I said, probably a complete coincidence with no deeper meaning on the costumers' part, but the fact that it's the same material in a different color makes for interesting implications given Sansa's character.
What a wonderful video, so informative, detailed and amazing! I so love Dany's white fur dress, it's probably my favourite GoT dress of all time alone with Sansa's second wedding dress (they are actually similar in a way). I'd put in a few additions-
1. Myrcella's pink dresses in Dorne- they were absolutely beautiful, I personally preferred them to Ellaria's dress.
2. Sansa's dress while walking with Loras in the garden: idk there was just something so graceful about it and I loved the dragonfly clasp details.
3. Margaery's cream dress during the trials of the Tyrells in season 5 was in my humble opinion, superior to the wedding dresses she wore.
Hi Sritama! On last night's livestream, we talked about both Myrcella's dresses and Sansa's dress! I agree, all three are these are lovely, it was just super difficult to get it down to just 20. Thanks so much for commenting. :)
Honestly, I never paid attention to the costumes. I was like naaah i dont care. But after this video I feel like I want to re-watch the show just to look at all the fashion in detail. This video is amazing, never thought of how detailed the costumes are
I made daenerys coat for halloween last year. It took me a whole week to make. To me it was my number 1 favorite costume of all times on game of thrones. I never actually paid attention to margaery's wedding dress but the details are amazing. I think her hair was terrible so for me it overshadowed the dress.
This video was a nightmare but a dream come true for the three of us and are hard work shows.
Also if we did not cover your favorite costume do not have fear or dispare we spoke for hours on end to try and make this list as small as we can and we even hade to sacrifice on some of are favorite costumes. But we all hope that you in joyed the video and if we did not cover your favoirte costumes for the lady's let us know and a speacial thanks for poll voters who were a big help for this video and also you all for viewing this video and helping are comunity and youtube family grow.
Thank you and love you all🌹💖.
Great video! Please don’t think I’m nit-picking, but I just noticed one tiny correction to be made. Not sure if anyone else has mentioned this, but... Regarding #10 “The Queen’s Audience” - Dany’s White Mereen Gown: The video mentions that the texture of the upper bodice and sleeves of this gown is achieved with “flat chevron pleating.” I think it is important to note that this texture is not pleating. Its a diamond pattern smocking that has been pressed flat with an iron to create a “dragon scale” effect. Michelle Carragher has a tutorial for creating this pressed smocking on her website. Just thought it was important to point out because this technique is used over and over again on Dany’s costumes from Astapor all the way up through season 7. It’s quite an ingenius way of creating a texture that looks like dragon scales, and as a design element, it is a common thread running through Dany’s wardrobe for the great majority of the series. No other character ever wears this texture - not even Viserys. It is her signature texture, so I thought it was important to point out... Thanks for this great video! I’m a huge fan of your channel and all of your GOT videos in particular. Two thumbs up! 👍🏼 👍🏼
Hi Matthew, thank you for commenting. 😁 I spoke to Ciment pleating directly and they told me that this is their fancy pleat, done with the flat chevron pleat. I know that Carragher did all of the other pleating as stated in my video.
I'll have a closer look at this. Thank you.
General question about brocade: except for Indian Sari I haven't seen many dresses that still use embroidery. I thus wonder for whom they are still produced.
Moreover, when I think of something like Olgierds Kontusz, I bet that a hand-woven/stiched version would cost as much as a nice car. Thus, I wonder how they can be produced at an affordable price range, as machining will be very complicated. I simply cannot imagine that an Indian would wear a x-thousand dollar Sari for every day chores and then toss it into the washing machine...
I didn't expect that your expertise on that topic would be as high as having a Tamil sister in law ;-)
I can't tell Tamils from India and Sri Lanka apart, but from all those that I do know, the great majority is Sri-Lankan.
I've looked up the Shalwar Kameez and a few pictures are absolutely beautiful, but it's definitely not it. What I've seen was a long piece of cloth wrapped over a tunic or shirt, resulting in asymmetric shoulders.
Even if the textile is rather cheep material, I can't imagine that the pattern can be produced cheaply, nor can I imagine it surviving regular washing with all it's applications. That's what sparked my curiosity.
Hi edi! Alright, there are a variety of saris, but I think that what this type of clothing is actually called a Shalwar Kameez, a very popular 2 piece woman's and men's garment worn in South East Asia. My sister-in-law for instance is from Sri Lanka and she is Tamil although she dresses in western clothing.
Some of these fabrics are lighter than brocade (which tends to be embossed and thicker) - so like a woven silk or polyester often woven with metallic threads. I'm no expert on this mind u, but I have shopped in our Little India that carries these types of garments and fabrics. The sari is usually one long length of fabric wrapped around the body, that it what we often seen worn in India and Pakistan.
I don't really know. All I can tell you is that in my neighbourhood we have for some unknown reason a large Tamil community (I even asked some, but they didn't know either). They do wear Saris in Summer, at least a small fraction of them. The Saris I've seen looked like woven multi-colour patterns (probably two main color threads and one or more support colours stitched in) and some had even shiny stones and pearls incorporated into the floral patterns. I found them really pretty, especially since I've seen only once in my life European women wearing dresses as finely decorated like this.
I didn't ask them directly, as those traditional ones tend not to speak the local language that well (nor English) and they can get quite bitchy when strangers talk to their women... I even know a Tamil student, who was dating a native guy and some Tamil-shop-owner saw this while on an errand and immediately abandoned his shop (without locking it) in order to run to their relatives and inform them over that transgression...
Speaking of transgression: some of their shops proudly display posters of Tamil Eelam and Tamil Tigers on the wall, despite the latter being recognised as a terror organisation and support being a punishable offense where I live...
The men's attire next? I would think of Littlefinger and Oberyn Martel.
Maybe, I'm a bit biased when it comes to cut and patterns.
Littlefingers attire has a subtle elegance to it, showing that he's more than meets the eye whereas Oberyn's robe is so in your eyes, that it requires a lot of confidence and manliness, for the one who dares to put it on.
Sansa's ridiculous raven dress belongs nowhere on a list of best show costumes -- especially since it advertised a change in character that never actually took place, as Sansa resumed acting like a witless fool and "Dark Sansa" wasn't even slightly dark and achieved nothing whatsoever.
call me weird, but I really liked Ygritte's wildling coat. It immediately makes her stand out from the other wildlings, because of how elegant and sophisticated it looks: even though it's obviously also practical and something she made herself and heavily patched. It's the way that it's sort of subtly shaped with darts or something. She's basically the only wildling woman with a defined waist, and the skirt is also really neatly made. No tails or other animal bits hanging off the costume either, and the patchwork is also very neat and seems well planned. Like the other wildlings she questions authority and criticizes the cultural norms of the South, but unlike the rest of them she doesn't feel a need to reject elegance and good taste as part of that. It shows how she's unafraid to reach across the normal boundaries that exist in her society. Where other people see contradictions that can't be reconciled, Ygritte sees a power combo. that's what's so cool about her, and her outfit captures that quality pretty well.
Sansa's Wolf Dress from Season 6 will always be my personal favourite, purely because it was like her power dress, her "Look who's back!" dress, I was so sad they didn't bring it back for Season 7. But Margaery's wedding dress was so beautiful!
GoT + Costumes mostly the best costumes on television
Edit: could you do a video about the jewelry and crowns some characters wear? I don’t know if it’s enough for a video but it would be interesting to know some messages they send with wearing it to accompany their costumes
Lord all these terms and names for techniques used by the skilled costume departments. Cant tell you how many times we have struggled to try and find the right way to say it or trying to find out the term itself.
In a Margery costume slot, you mentioned how different she is from Sansa and how much skin Margery shows (particularly her arms) vs Sansa. And I don’t why, but I suddenly thought, maybe another reason why Sansa is so covered up most the time (despite her age, naivety, and trying to follow King’s Landing fashions) is that maybe she is bruised. We know during her betrothal to Joffrey in the second season, she was beaten by Kingsguards (probably many times) plus how she was assaulted and nearly raped during the riots; so it only can be concluded that all the skin that Sansa doesn’t show (particularly in the second season) is probably covered in bruises and possibly scares. Plus now after Ramsay, she was again beaten and raped and covered with bruises and possibly scars. Poor Sansa
I thought exactly the same. Also, Sansa's covering dresses are a way of protecting herself (at least morally). We indeed saw in season six all the bruises on her arms and body :-( good for her she had the sweet taste of revenge eventually.
I'm so happy and proud for being able to help with this video, and seeing it do so well already. What Heidi asked of Aaron and I was a Herculean task, at least for me. When I finished my 1st list for personal favorite dresses, it was up to nearly 50 and Heidi wanted top 20! It was agonizing! In the end, the closest I got was top 23, I couldn't narrow it down anymore. It was like trying to pick my favorite child!
While some of my favorites, like Cersei's red velvet brocade gown and Sansa's purple brocade dress that she wears while talking with Loras, didn't make the list, I'm overall pleased with the result.
I definitely agree that Margery's wedding dress was the most stunning costume created for Game of Thrones to date. I personally would have put Daenerys's season 3 blue dresses and Cersei's Power is Power dress much higher on the list. They are both incredibly iconic and I felt like they stood out in all the right ways. Maybe I just miss the brighter colors of the earlier seasons, but I really liked how these dresses made their characters stand out from the crowd. Daenerys's blue conquering outfits were also a nice mixture of practical, badass, and pretty that you don't often see in Game of Thrones, or any fantasy movie/TV show.
When we did the list we did polls to help thin down the endless costumes of the show and also we did agree that we would try to stay away from the "Iconic" outfits with only a few couple. Because of all you remember are the "iconic" constantly you can miss the beauty of the other ones. 💖
I would like to ad to the Honorable Mention list.
Yesterday Gemma from Secrets of the Citadel had a live costume Halloween chat because she is out of town next week.
IMO, Grey Area had by far the best Game of Thrones themed costume.
I do agree with you about everything you have selected except that dress and metalwork Cersei wore on 19 should be on the top 10, preferably instead of the Red Woman's cloak or Ellarias golden dress (although in this case the other Lannister dress with the elaborate metalwork should be on top of it). I also think Sansa's brocade purple dress should be an honourable mention and Sansa's direwolf dress on the list. I personally didn't like Margaery's wedding dress very much as a design but due to its ornate elaborateness alone, I agree it deserves no. 1. Great video!!!
Hi Ellie, I think that Tatiana, Aaron and I were pretty good with the top 5, but it was a bit harder finding the consensus for 20, so we had to make some compromises along the way. Thank you for your input. :)
I tried to vote in one poll but it was closed pretty soon. But this was fun video even though I don’t know how Dany’s black gown made it here when nearly all her outfits are stunning and better than this one.
Agree with most of these dresses although there are 5 of them i really missed:
1. Sansa's blackwater dress, is a beautiful dress as a nice contrast dress in season 3 between Cersei's red armour, covered dress and Margery's blue, sexual flowing dress considering hers was purple flowing but also covered.
2. Margaery second wedding dress, it was less threatening but also more of a statement how she was queen now
3. Margaery's final dress. Its really has its own style while its still allot like how the HIgh Sparrow wanted her to dress it also is showing more and more of the regular Tyrell style showing that if she wasn't killed that moment she would have probrably get out of kingslanding/get rid of the High Sparrow as soon as Loras was save
4. Daenerys wedding dress, its simple but really shows her fragility at the start. But when she wears it again in the season 1 final she doesn't look fragile in it anymore, she looks stronger, showing how much she has grown in the season
5. Sansa's dress to Joffrey's wedding. Like many of the other wedding dresses this one was just beautiful and again a nice contrast between the other two queens, the cape she wore with it most of the season also really completed the look
I love this list but if I’m allowed to pick some dresses that I missed seeing in this I would say I kinda loved Maergery death dress. All her costumes after her imprissionment are actually very clever in both given this new pious image and keeping her youthful and pretty. Also although they were very simple I did loved season 1 Sansa and Cersei King’s Landing dresses. I think they show quite well the naive attitude of the people who did not know hat was to come and offered the perfect base for the growth of the characters style throughout the seasons
I really love Margaerys costumes but I always feel really cold seeing them because there's a lot of skin on show, makes me feel cold myself and like I need to put on a jumper 😆 I cant decide which one of her wedding dresses I like better but I love the structural sharp look of her golden one to Tommen :)
Two of my favorite gowns that didn't make the cut: Sansa's purple Purple Wedding gown (which she even wears when escaping Winterfell years later; I guess it's just a good gown to quickly escape places and flee in!) and her two season 7 Lady of Winterfell gowns. They really were the culmination of all of her looks from season 1-6: strong Stark influences, strong Cersei influences, a subtle Margaery influence by using Margaery's wedding dress fabric dyed black as a cloak, and of course some carry overs from Dark Sansa. Season 7 was peak Sansa, and I loved it.
As far as costumes that made it into the video, I love Sansa's white wedding gown for it's Stark and Tully ties, Margaery's iconic season 3 gowns with the paper silk skirts, and Dany's Dragonstone outfit. I ADORED Dany's final dress of season 6 and was so bummed it only got one quick scene on a boat. I never realized that it is the base of her Dragonstone dress, which logistically makes sooooo much sense!!! Adding the fitted sleeves and a shoulder piece (it's almost like a structured, armored fichu!) really transformed it.
My favorites are the northern dresses. I am not really fond of flowy fabrics and light soft colors. I really love how those dresses give of a sense of both elegance and practicality. My favourites are exactly the ones which are mentioned in the honorable mentions.
I also expected Sansa's second wedding dress to be in here. It's definitely one of my favourites
This was a such great list but I am kind of disappointed you didn’t include Cersei’s dress from her “you win or you die” talk with Ned, it was so pretty and it’s a shame she doesn’t get to wear things like that anymore.
That dress is very beautiful almost like a lion dressed in silk. We did have it on are list but squezzing and even trying to cut dresses (which was like choosing a favorite child) sadly this dress is somewhat over looked alot but please know we did speak of it and it sadly did not make the final cut.💖
See I really love the roses and the thorns on Margaery's dress, but I feel like the base material kinda didn't suit the lighting used in the scenes. Like looking at it in detail it looks amazing, but I kinda never noticed the patterns during the wedding scenes and thought she was wearing a drab white material. I mean the thorn and roses embroided creation and the shape of the dress is amazing, but the material is the one thing I didn't think worked for that dress.
I politely disagree. What I love most about this dress is the deceptive simplicity of it. For the most part, Margaery's dresses look simple because they primarily serve to emphasize her natural beauty and youth. The wedding dress is no different , instead adding the element of danger through the thorns among the flowers. It also contributes to the theme of hidden depths already prevalent.
Plus, for the embroidery to effectively work the fabric has to be more simple to enhance its quality and intricacy.
Otherwise, it looks too cluttered. It works the opposite way with Margaery's 2nd wedding dress, where the brocade is very ornate and visible, in contrast to her metal overlay which was relatively simpler.
It was actually funny when we did the video and talked for hours. We hade to of course slim down the list from all the costumes on the show. We all agreed in almost unison that this dress should be one of the top three and when it came time we knew this one belonged at the top.💖
How they were able to create the scale-like texture for the Daenerys costumes is incredible. I thought the scales were individually cut then applied. The fact they got that whole effect by pleating just blows my mind.
I actually tried to do the North American smocking technique Michele Carragher uses to make the dragon scale effect on a piece of fabric. It's a bit tricky and certainly time consuming, but not as difficult as one might think. Don't know where that piece of fabric is, come to think of it.
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