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The Top Ten Best Ball Gowns in Movies

Updated on February 27, 2016
Emmy Rossum as Christine Daae, The Phantom of the Opera
Emmy Rossum as Christine Daae, The Phantom of the Opera

The Top Ten Best Ball Gowns in Movies

Ball Gown are big and grand, they are meant to impress. They are also a hallmark of princess gown and are a statement of femininity. They are present in quite a few movies but which Ball Gowns are the best.

This a list of the Top Ten Best Ball Gowns in Movies. There are two rules there must be a some level of dance or at least party setting when these gown are worn and the skirt must have a poof, other silhouette need not apply. The dresses are ranked by memorability, over-all prettiness and how well they reflect the character.

List Subject to change, spoilers

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Number #10

Anne Hathaway as Princess Mia, Princess Diaries
Anne Hathaway as Princess Mia, Princess Diaries

Princess Mia, Princess Diaries

At the end of the First Princess Diaries movie, main character Mia accepts for birth right as a princess.

At a formal ball she wears this strapless gown. It has a bit of an A-line shape but I’m counting it as a ball gown. It’s white with a floral print and beads. She keeps the jewelry to almost nothing and opts to have the glamour be in her crown with tiny earrings. It is regal but quiet youthful which is very appropriate for Mia’s new station and her character.

Costume design by Gary Jones

Number #9

Deborah Kerr as Anna Leonowens, The King and I
Deborah Kerr as Anna Leonowens, The King and I

Anna Leonowens, The King and I

One of the highlights of The King and I is when Anna and the King dance. It’s a part that everyone remembers and if they haven’t seen the movie they just know the scene. The dress Anna wears is also her trademark costume and no version have the other version beat than the 1956 version.

Anna in the 1956 version wears a lovely lavender ball gown made from satin. It has minimal detail aside from the puff over the shoulder sleeves and wide darker purple bow on the bodice. It’s a very charming and splendid gown.

Costume design by Irene Sharaff

Number #8

Emily Blunt as Queen Victoria, The Young Victoria
Emily Blunt as Queen Victoria, The Young Victoria

Victoria, The Young Victoria

This gown not a super wide ball gown but it counts. Victoria wears this yellow gown for her coronation ball where she dances with Albert for the first time.

The bright yellow colors with its lace sleeve cuffs and floral accents showcases Victoria’s youth and free-spirited royal personality.

Costume deign by Sandy Powell

Number #7

Grace Kelly as Frances Stevens, To Catch a Thief
Grace Kelly as Frances Stevens, To Catch a Thief

Frances Stevens, To Catch a Thief

Frances is a rich girl looking for excitement. She finds it in former Jewel thief, John Robie. Towards the end of the movie To Catch a Thief, Frances and John go to a costume ball at a grand French villa.

Frances‘ ball gown is 18th opulence mixed with 1950 glamour. The gown is a gold satin with a butterfly motif and a bustier bodice. The color compliments Grace Kelly’s stunning features and blond hair.

Costume design by Edith Head

Number #6

Romy Schneider as Sissi
Romy Schneider as Sissi

Sissi, Sissi First Movie

This ball gown comes from the first movie in the trilogy about Empress Elisabeth a.k.a Sissi. She wears this ball gown towards the end when she attends the twenty-third birthday part for Emperor Franz Joseph. There is a lot of plot during that ball scene that ends with the Emperor asking Sissi to marry him.

The ball gown is a light blue color that is very youthful. The gown has an embroidered floral patterns on the bodice and on the tiers of the skirt. The bodice also has layers of chiffon ruffles which adds to youthfulness and free spiritedness of the gown which fits Sissi’s character.

Costume Design by Leo Bai, Gerdago, Franz Szivats

Number #5

Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara, Gone with the Wind
Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara, Gone with the Wind

Scarlett O’Hara, Gone with the Wind

Scarlett’s dress that she wears to the Barbecue is a gown that is meant to be wore later in the day. Really, just change some jewelry and her hair style and her green sprig dress is ball gown.

All of the costumes wore by Scarlett in the movie, this costume gets the most screen time. She wears this gown in the hopes of snaring her love in to leaving his fiancée for her. It has a lovely green sprig pattern and off shoulder neckline that has ruffles and velvet ribbons. The sash at the waist is also velvet. This gown compliments Scarlett’s character and shows her ambition.

Costume deign by Walter Plunkett

Number #4

Lily James as Cinderella, Cinderella 2015
Lily James as Cinderella, Cinderella 2015

Cinderella, Cinderella 2015

The 2015 Live action version of Cinderella is a costume lovers dream, all the costumes are just so pretty. The cornerstone of every Cinderella movie is her ball gown and this one is so whimsical.

Cinderella's ball gown is a very saturated blue color with layers and layers of fabric to give the skirt a glow to while still looking delicate. The wideness of the skirt is balanced with the puffiness of the neckline with is studded with butterflies to showcase Ella's transformation from servant to queen, she skips being a princess in this version.

Costume deign by Sandy Powell

Number #3

 Audrey Hepburn as Sabrina
Audrey Hepburn as Sabrina


This gown might be a cheat, since the silhouette isn't quite a Ball gown. It is a pencil skirt with a ball gown train but the combination looks more like a ball gown than a straight skirt plus she is at a ball. This gown is a stunning example of 1950’s glamor.

In the 1954 version of Sabrina, Sabrina returns from France a sophisticated woman that outshine the other ladies at the ball. This gown showcases her elegant and sophisticated character feature perfectly.

The gown is made from organza with an embroidered floral pattern that is navy with beads.

Costume deign by Hubert de Givenchy

Number #2

Emmy Rossum as Christine Daae, The Phantom of the Opera
Emmy Rossum as Christine Daae, The Phantom of the Opera

Christine Daae, The Phantom of the Opera

While Christine Daae’s ball gown is not a costume one would think to wear to a masquerade, it is still a beautiful ball gown.

The color is a demur light pink with a whiter sheer overlay. It has lace details at the neckline and bodice. The back is a stunning three tier bustle with flower and it is quite dramatic.The look of this gown is young, innocent and very romantic.

Costume deign by Alexandra Byrne

Number #1

Jennifer Connely as Sarah, Labyrinth
Jennifer Connely as Sarah, Labyrinth

Sarah, Labyrinth

This gown wore in the only scene that Jim Henson had no muppets in, is like something out of a dream and considering this scene is like an acid dream it’s perfect.

The gown has an art nouveau feel combined with a Venetian flair. It has shades of pink, silver, gold and white running though it. The sleeves are huge and princess-like with an equally big grand skirt. The overall effect of Sarah's dream ball gown is a representation of childhood dreams meeting an adult world. It’s just a grand gown that matches the memorable scene perfectly.

Costume deign by Brian Froud


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    • bloggermelive profile image


      23 months ago from East Yorkshire, UK

      Gotta love Scarlett vs Sabrina - These are all gorgeous :) Unusual piece, cheery & unexpected topic. I love it. Will share.

    • RobinReenters profile image

      Robin Carretti 

      2 years ago from Hightstown

      Wow what an Iconic page the better to dance the night away so delightful how it touches my heart in every way so divine the videos you got them all lined up the way I wanted to enjoy them thanks so much

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Scarlett´s red ball gown is the best of all the time. Not the one in your list.


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