Fashion Inspiration: Liz Taylor as Cleopatra

Elizabeth Taylor wore a staggering 65 costumes during the movie Cleopatra (apparently her costumes alone cost nearly $200,000), so it’s hard to come up with one particular style which sums up the movie. The general rules seemed to be: low plunging necklines or off the shoulder dresses with nipped-in waists and long flowing skirts. Oh and gold accessories of course, LOTS of gold accessories with snakes and feathers being particularly prevalent…

Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra

One of my favourite costumes Liz Taylor wears is a fabulous pale yellow dress which I think she wears on her first meeting with Mark Anthony (Richard Burton). The dress has a dramatic plunging neckline and she teams it with an elaborate flower headdress (which looks like a glamorous floral bathing cap) and some huge fabulous earrings.

This is my modern day version, below. It’s toned down a little from the original but honestly I think a little compromise in this look might not be a bad thing. Just remember to wear your most impressive push-up bra underneath!


How to Dress Like Cleopatra

Above: Dress | Sandals | Bangle | Earrings

You can see Taylor’s original outfit in my Pinterest gallery here (I’m trying to collect together photos of all her costumes Cleopatra) or you can spot it in the movie trailer at the bottom of the page.

My all-out favourite look from the movie is her gold ensemble from Cleopatra’s epic entry into Rome. She’s dressed from head-to-toe in gold (apparently the fabric used was woven from real 24 carat gold) with a huge headdress (you can see this outfit in the movie trailer below – skip forward to her first appearance at 6:04 if you don’t want to watch the whole thing.

I think a head-to-toe gold outfit would be hard to carry-off in everyday life, but I loved this take on a gold dress, which has got a real Cleopatra flavour to it. Matched of course with more golden accessories because if you’re Cleo you can never wear too much gold.

How to Dress Like Cleopatra

Above: Necklace | Dress | Earrings

Elizabeth Taylor also wears a beautiful red off-the-shoulder dress with a huge necklace of gold leaves (although I can’t remember quite when this is in the movie without re-watching it all over again), which is another stand-out outfit IMHO. This is my version. What do you think? Which outfit do you think best captures the Cleopatra spirit?

How to Dress Like Cleopatra

Above: Necklace | Dress | Bangle

Photo of Liz Taylor source and copyright: This work is in the public domain in that it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1977 and without a copyright notice.

4 thoughts on “Fashion Inspiration: Liz Taylor as Cleopatra

  1. Missy

    I’m a self professed Egyptomaniac … I love all 3 looks but the middle one really made me go oooh and ahhh … I belong to a group on FB that is dedicated to the 1963 Cleopatra movie … We’ve posted quite a few of her costumes there … I have a Cleopatra board on Pinterest also … And another of general Egyptian things, plus a Travel Egypt and a Dame Elizabeth board … My Cleopatra covers all the different images, actressess etc of her … If anything sounds helpful I’ll get the links or names … I met Elizabeth’s oldest granddaughter in Feb, we live in the same town and she’s a graphic artist … A very lovely woman …

    • Mary, WHV

      I can tell by your profile picture! Can you post a link to the FB group for the Cleopatra movie? I’d love to join! What did you think of the Vivien Leigh Cleopatra movie which I reviewed today?

      • Missy

        It’s been awhile since I’ve seen Claudette’s or Vivian’s Cleopatra … I remembered I enjoyed them both, I have to take a look at them again … I wasn’t sure how to send the link from my phone, but it’s an Open Group and it’s called, Cleopatra (1963) 50th Anniversary … The group leader added me, but since it’s Open you probably won’t have any problem joining … Hope you enjoy …!


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