Studio Ghibli gets praised for nearly every movie they release. Among their best aspects is the stylish costume design of the characters.
From whimsical adventures to down-to-earth tales, the brilliant minds at Studio Ghibli have continued to transport audiences to new (or familiar) worlds of visual delight. But one element they don’t get enough credit for is the costume design within their productions.
So to celebrate the joy that Ghibli’s films bring, let’s take a look at the fashionable aspects of the studio’s filmography. Which outfit left the biggest cultural impact? Which became the most desired cosplay to achieve? Well, grab your favorite bowl of ramen and your cuddliest Totoro plush, and let’s discover the 10 best outfits within Studio Ghibli’s movies.
10. Taeko’s Casual Outfit From Only Yesterday
Though she may not be the most glamorous of Ghibli’s heroines, Taeko has a comforting style all her own. For rather than sticking to the ultra-feminine working girl attire she wears in the office, this outfit shows the more natural side of the character in a charming way.
With the winning combo of a blue striped sweater and khaki pants, this outfit perfectly showcases Taeko’s narrative arc – especially her classic hat. Because as she evaluates her emotional journey into her adulthood, she never wants to lose that wide-eyed innocence of her childhood.
9. Yubaba’s Blue Dress From Spirited Away
Even when you’re an evil witch running a spooky bathhouse, you still want to look as glamourous as possible. And that’s where this iconic outfit from the closet of Spirited Away‘s Yubaba comes in.
With the blue fabric and bejeweled details, Yubaba’s outfit screams her need for power and dominance over Chihiro and the rest of her employees. But it also speaks to the pride she has in herself – for though onlookers might think of her as strange, Yubaba finds herself to be most beautiful and stylish in this ensemble – a mindset that all bosses should aspire to.
8. Fujimoto’s Blue Striped Suit From Ponyo
When hearing the title “Guardian of Sea Life,” you might assume such a person would not wear anything but a swimsuit or a mermaid tail. But in Fujimoto’s case, he doesn’t sacrifice his personal style for his career as a protector of the ocean nor of his daughter, Ponyo.
Rocking his signature combo of a blue striped suit, red ascot, and skinny pants, Fuijimoto’s outfit evokes an old-world vintage aesthetic. And when he adds a red piece of outerwear to the mix, this fatherly figure comes off like quite the dapper individual – even when he’s drenched during his human world adventures.
7. Haru’s Cat Princess Gown From The Cat Returns
Tales of fantastical parties are often only spoken about within the human world. And when human-turned-cat Haru gets dolled up for such an occasion within the Cat Kingdom, she gets to wear one of the prettiest dresses in any of Studio Ghibli’s films.
Taking inspiration from the Elizabethan era, this gown is perfect for any cat royal. Not only do the colors evoke ultra-fantasy in the best of ways, but they also conjure thoughts of a popular beverage for felines – milk. Plus, with that fish-shaped pendant, Haru looks every bit the ideal princess of any cat world – from ear to tail.
6. Sheeta’s Pirate Adventure Outfit From Castle In The Sky
Though she may have originally been dressed in a more simple dress, Sheeta from Castle in the Sky really comes into her own when she adopts items from air pirate Dola’s wardrobe. For not only is it a more functional look, but such pieces seem to bring out Sheeta’s natural glow the best of all.
From her own red headband to the matching pants and shoes, everything about this coordinate conjures the joys of going on swashbuckling adventures along with the similar fun aspects of the movie. And when you consider that Sheeta’s hair has always had those red hair ties, maybe she was destined for this outfit all along.
5. Lady Eboshi’s Main Outfit From Princess Mononoke
Though many of them have an inner strength, no female Ghibli character exudes quite as much power (in her persona and fashion sense) as Lady Eboshi. For not only is she able to handle a weapon like a true professional, she knows how to dress like one too.
In her main outfit, Eboshi wears regal blues, reds, and gold – symbolizing her commanding presence and confidence. And with the combination of high waist pants, and impressive outwear, this memorable antagonist cuts a striking look to any viewer or forest god that stands in her (very fashionable) way.
4. The Baron’s Suit From Whisper Of The Heart
There’s no Ghibli character quite as dapper as The Baron. Whether he is a doll or taking on a cat kingdom to save a teenage girl, this charming hero stands proud in whatever outfit he chooses. But none of them are quite as dashing as the suit he wears in Whisper of the Heart.
With the refined mixture of greens and browns, The Baron looks every bit the gentleman he’s supposed to be. But the real eyecatching touch is the polka-dot bow, an item that shows the quirky side of the character – evoking the charming aesthetics of the movie he comes from.
3. Howl’s First Appearance Outfit From Howl’s Moving Castle
Though most wizards are known for their long beards or school robes, none of them have looked quite as unique a style as Howl – especially when he makes his grand entrance at the beginning of Howl’s Moving Castle.
With his stunning cape and elegant accessories, this outfit shows Howl’s bold personality and lavish vanity. It also establishes him as the ultimate Ghibli pretty boy – one who can pull off pink, blue, and other brightly colored shades while still winning the charms of any lady that he passes by.
2. Mei’s Casual Outfit From My Neighbor Totoro
Though she may only be four, Mei from My Neighbor Totoro is quite the fashion icon. And when picking the most memorable outfit in her wardrobe, the combo of a pink dress and white blouse certainly takes the King of the Forest style crown.
With youthful colors, this ensemble perfectly showcases Mei’s curiosity and aspiring girl power energy. And with the addition of the boater hat and hair ties, the outfit continues to inspire forest explorers young and old to never give up their quest for magical adventures in their own backyard.
1. Kiki’s Casual Dress From Kiki’s Delivery Service
Throughout pop culture, witches have had a look that usually involves a gothic sort of vibe. But in the case of Kiki, she proved that young magical individuals can wear something more down-to-earth and still leave a memorable impression.
Though perhaps it is just a black smock dress with red accessories, it is the relaxed charms of Kiki’s outfit that give it such an iconic status in the first place. For it shows the character’s sensible upbringing blended with her childlike whimsy – an aesthetic fans around the world love to capture in cosplay and in their own sense of style.