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Iconic costumes of Princess Leia from Star Wars

An overview of various iconic costumes and outfits worn by Princess Leia throughout the "Star Wars" movies, including their designs, significance, and the context in which they were worn.
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Princess Leia, the iconic character from Star Wars is such a strong character that many women want to be like her – and sometimes the least one can do is try to emulate her clothes.

There are more than one reasons why I love Princess Leia. For one, she is not afraid to speak her mind. For a person who has oscillated between wanting to speak her mind and not daring to, due to many many reasons, I envy the decisiveness of Princess Leia. Ah, what it is to be as strong a woman as her!

Next is her name. So poetical. Star Wars creator George Lucas named Leia based on phonetic sounds and drew inspiration from other fictional characters. Her name is a combination of Princess Dejah Thoris from John Carter of Mars stories and Lady Galadriel from Lord of the Rings.

The rebellious Leia rose from an orphaned prisoner to a courageous space general and it is a beautiful and interesting journey.

And her costumes in the series of Star Wars movies are no less intriguing than her personality. They are made to reflect her qualities of courage, resilience, leadership, and independence. And they have interesting stories behind them too.


Iconic costumes of Princess Leia

Classic Leia gown

Princess Leia wears her most iconic of all costumes, the Classic white dress with space buns in the very first Star Wars movie released in 1977, titled “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.” The gown that Princess Leia wears in Star Wars is commonly known as her “Princess Leia white gown” or “Princess Leia’s white dress.” It was made of white crepe-de chine fabric and was designed by John Mollo.

The classic Leia gown is a long flowing, white, floor-length gown with a high turtleneck, oversized hood and long, wide sleeves. The gown is often seen as a symbol of Leia’s strength and leadership.

This iconic costume is often associated with Princess Leia Organa; so if you want to dress like Princess Leia, make this gown.

This white gown is prominently featured during her appearance on the planet Tatooine, where she is held captive by Darth Vader and the Galactic Empire. This gown has since become one of the most recognizable and memorable costumes in the Star Wars saga.

Leia’s iconic hairstyle, known as the cinnamon bun style accompanied the gown.

Woman costuming as Princess Leia ; embed from //www.deviantart.com/glittersweet/art/Leia-84509254

Carrie Fisher, the actress who portrayed Leia, noted in her memoir “Wishful Drinking, that George Lucas instructed her not to wear a bra under her white dress. His idea was that women in space wouldn’t wear underwear. This was something that Fisher found uncomfortable, but she went along with it because she didn’t want to rock the boat.

Metal Bikini of Slave Leia

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This is the gold-colored metal bikini Leia wore while imprisoned by Jabba the Hutt in “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.”. It is also called the Slave Leia Costume. The metal bikini is worn with a braid.

The Slave Leia/Metal Bikini costume consists of a gold brass bikini top, a brief bottom, and various accessories. Leia’s hair is styled in intricate braids, and she wears a collar and chains as part of her enslavement by the villainous Jabba the Hutt.

The costume has since become very controversial. Many consider it as a representation of the objectification of women in popular culture. Some others consider the outfit as a symbol of Leia’s strength and defiance in the face of adversity.

This costume is often referenced and recognized as a significant part of Leia’s character arc in “Return of the Jedi”. It has become a symbol of her role as a strong and resilient leader within the Rebel Alliance.

Carrie Fisher, the actress who played the character has said that she felt like she was being objectified in this particular costume and that it was a step backward for the character. However, Fisher ultimately made peace with the gold bikini. She realized that it had become an iconic part of the Star Wars saga and that it was something that fans loved. She even created her own backstory for the costume, saying that it was a gift from Jabba the Hutt that Leia used to her advantage to escape.

Bespin Outfit

This outfit consists of a muted and earthy brown tunic, sleeveless blue long vest and hanging braid loops. Princess Leia wears this in “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980).

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The costume consisted of mid-calf length brown top with a fitted bodice and flared sleeves and fitted harem pants. The top was cinched at the waist by a belt made of the same material as the top. On top of that there is a sleeveless silk cloak with subtle embroidery and quilted detail at the shoulders. It has a more sophisticated and elegant design compared to her previous outfits, reflecting Leia’s role as a leader within the Rebel Alliance.

Medical frigate Gown

The Medical Frigate Gown, also known as the Medical Frigate Uniform, is featured in “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.”
This gown is worn by Princess Leia Organa when she is aboard the Rebel Alliance’s medical frigate after the Battle of Hoth. The gown is predominantly white with a high collar, reflecting the medical staff’s attire on the frigate. Leia wears this gown while recovering from injuries sustained during the battle.

This gown is very similar to the Classic Leia that she wears in ‘A New Hope’. However, she wears a single bun with it. This gown differs from the classic Leia gown in that, it is made of a heavier fabric (Cotton sateen). It also has a shorter collar and less wider sleeves.

Leia wears this dress at the end of the movie while on the medical ship with Luke. The costume is a representation of her resilient, calm and focused nature.

Ceremonial gown

This gown with a flowing, pure white silhouette is worn by Princess Leia in “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) for a ceremony scene.

Snowsuit (Hoth outfit)

The Hoth Snowsuit, also known as the Hoth Rebel Uniform, is prominently featured in “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.(1980)” The Hoth Snowsuit is a white, two-piece outfit consisting of a white insulated jacket and pants. worn by Rebel Alliance soldiers on the icy planet of Hoth. It is particularly associated with the iconic Battle of Hoth sequence in the film.

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Princess Leia wears this suit throughout the film, from the time the Rebels arrive on Hoth to the time they escape the planet. She also wears it during the Battle of Hoth. The white vest is worn with high boots and braids wrapped around her head.

The Hoth Snowsuit consists of a thick, padded, white jumpsuit designed to withstand the extreme cold temperatures of Hoth. The suit is equipped with various survival gear and features a distinctive hood and goggles to shield against the harsh environment. The suit is a distinctive white color that helps to camouflage the wearer in the snow.

Endor Commando outfit

Leia’s Endor Commando outfit consists of camouflage poncho, blue pants and braids wrapped around her head and is prominently featured in “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.” As a key member of the Rebel Alliance’s strike team, Leia dons this attire during the mission to destroy the shield generator on the forest moon of Endor, which protects the second Death Star.

The Endor Commando Leia outfit’s camouflage poncho and pants in earthy tones, blended with the forest environment. Leia wears a black belt with pouches to carry essential equipment, and she sports a simple beige shirt underneath. Additionally, she wears practical boots suitable for the terrain.

Military-style jacket with a high collar

In “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” (2015), General Leia primarily wears a black military-style jacket with a high collar. She pairs it with a gray blouse, pants, and boots.

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In “Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi” (2017), General Leia continues to wear a similar dark blue military-style jacket. Her attire is often accompanied by a silver-colored belt with a prominent buckle. In “Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker” (2019) also General Leia continues to wear her dark blue military jacket.

Books to read on star wars costumes : Star Wars: Original Trilogy Costumes by Brandon Alinger.

Interesting Websites to check with more details on princess Leias clothes in star war movies: diythegalaxyofstarwars.wordpress.com ; starwarsaficionado.blogspot.com; //talkstarwarstome.blogspot.com/2012_02_01_archive.html
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Author: Sarina Tariq
Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.
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