Not many people think about the fashion involved in horror films. I personally think the fashion is an integral part of these gems. They set the mood for the wonderful scenes in the film. Who doesn't look at the suave Bela Lugosi and think Dracula? There is conflicting information about who created the iconic look, but Bela Lugosi is largely credited with popularizing the tuxedo and cape look. While actor Raymond Huntley apparently was the first to use this look in the 1924 London stage adaptation, not many people know it .
Lugosi played the iconic role on Broadway in the classic tux and cape. This lead to Lugosi being cast in the iconic role at Universal. Clearly Bela was perfect for the role. Suave, sexy, and from Transylvania - who could beat that kind of power? I don't know any other actor who could have pulled off this role. Half of it may be the accent, but it totally works. Who doesn't love that?
The male costume designer for Dracula was Ed Ware. He was uncredited and I'm not sure how much of Dracula's costume can be credited to him. Certainly Lugosi was familiar with the tux and cape from his days on the stage, but there are some attributes which are still shrouded in mystery. For example, in some scenes like the picture below, Dracula is wearing a medallion. No one is certain where this came from. Some say Lugosi invented it. He certainly had one. Two existed and one disappeared.
The male costumes are fairly true to the day the film was made. 1930's suits that are elegant for the day. The men look put together and movie ready. This is part of the reason I love 1930's films. The men look like they give a darn. And it's not the messy look that looks like they crawled out of bed and look disgusting even though they have bathed and producted up. It's disgusting! Give a clean cut guy any day.
I adore how the glamour shown by the women is equal to or better than the women. Even this dress worn at a glamorous event can't compare with the elegance of Lugosi. Which one are your eyes drawn to? Clearly Lugosi. If every guy was wearing tuxedos in films, perhaps I would go to the movies more. A gross Bradley Cooper can't compare with Dracula.
Classic drama. This look IS Dracula
If this guy showed up at your window, would you let him in?
The women's dresses were also nothing to scoff at. Created by Vera West, also uncredited, they are beautiful 1930's glamour at its best. Another reason I adore 1930's films. Glamour was featured, not $200 versions of $20 Target clothing. You wanted to wear these gowns. I rarely see a film today where I want to wear the clothing. Yes, I know they are trying for realism, but glamour is lost.
More suave awesomeness
Dracula draws you in
Visit his cozy abode
Doesn't this look like a great place to chill?
Stamp, Jimmy, "Why Does Dracula Wear a Tuxedo", Smithsonian, October 31, 2012, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/why-does-dracula-wear-a-tuxedo-the-origins-of-bram-stokers-timeless-vampire-101868474/
"Dracula", IMDB, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0021814/fullcredits?ref_=tt_cl_sm#cast