Apr 152011

This movie has a vast selection of great costumes – of which, unfortunately, only three are somewhat ‚famous‘ (all of which I’ve reproduced at least once): The embroidered cloak, the peach and the black and white striped gown – which is funny, as none of those has the longest screen time. I guess it’s because those three were used for the most promotion pictures.

In case you’re looking for a good fabric to make a reproduction of the black and white dress, have a look at this fabric on Spoonflower.
It’s not perfect – after all, it’s all printed and therefore doesn’t have the ‚velvet stripes‘ – but at least it has the correct width of the stripes (approximately 1/2 inch) and is black and white with the tiny golden stripes bordering the black ones. Order a test swatch! I do recommend to get this fabric in ‚Organic Cotton Sateen‘.

However, this page is not for those famous costumes – for them, visit costumersguide.com – it’s for all the other female costumes in the movie. which, in my opinion, deserve much more attention than they got so far.

There is one problem with the historical correctness of the costumes, which can be verified by looking at this paper from the movie:

As you can probably see, the movie is supposed to play in 1799.
Now – around 1800, Regency / Empire came into fashion, with its narrow skirts and princess (raised) waistline.
And even if this movie plays in Sleepy Hollow – a village in which some things may be old-fashioned – this screenshot from the last scene, which is supposed to play in New York, shows that the fashion is from 1770s to ’90s – even in a larger city like New York, which shouldn’t be the case.

And that’s the problem I’m having with this movie – the costumes are mostly wonderful, but they are *extremely* old-fashioned for the time in which the movie is supposed to play.
Or, to explain it in modern terms:
Think that someone wanted to make a movie about the year 2000 and would expect the actors to wear Flower Power-Hippie-Clothing from the 1960s and 70s.
Sounds funny? Well, that’s basically what was done to the actors in this movie.

Katrina van Tassel (Christina Ricci)

Yellow and green embroidered

This gown is usually worn under the embroidered cloak, but in some scenes it’s also worn without it.

Grey riding habit

Blue-grey striped


This beautiful costume probably has the shortest screen time in the movie and is just visible twice:

However – the DVD-Specials show a bit more of the costume (about which I’m by far not unhappy!)


Yes, I Said I wouldn’t mention the ‚famous‘ costumes here.
However – as this costume is almost only visible from the front in the promotion pictures, here are some pictures from the side and partially from the back. The costume seems to have a center back lacing closure, of which I’m not sure if that is so period. Nevertheless, I made a reproduction of this gown, which can be found here.




Elizabeth Kilian – Midwife

This costume has some beautiful crewel work on it. Surprisingly this crewel embroidery is in just two panels down the side fronts of the skirt but in several panels down the backside.
Skirt and jacket seem to be made of linen, and the skirt also has lighter pinstripes woven to it. Maggie of Costumersguide.com owns the costume and has some nice photos on her site that you might want to look at.



This costume has a screen time of no more than approximately 30 seconds, yet I think it’s the most beautiful costume in the movie. Made of blue-purple velvet, purple satin and purple-peacock changeant taffeta, it’s just breathtaking – even if it’s never to be seen completely.



Stays / Corset


Emily Winship


Other costumes

Some of the documents from the movie

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