Keira in costume

Knightley just can't resist that period garb. But which outfits get our knickers in a knot?
Pirates of the Caribbean / Pride & Prejudice

We look back at some of the frocks that have made Keira Knightley’s career, ranking them from 1 to 5 on historical accuracy and hotness.

Princess of Thieves (2001)
In this made-for-TV flick, Knightley plays Robin Hood’s daughter, who follows in her dad’s rich-robbing footsteps.
Authenticity: 2. It’s sort of authentic, inasmuch as people in the Middle Ages did wear pants and shirts. Most of the other costuming details seem to come straight out of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, which isn’t exactly the go-to film for historical accuracy.
Hotness: 2. Knightley’s heavy wool getups are bulkier versions of every Robin Hood costume you’ve ever seen.

Pirates of the Caribbean (2003, 2006, 2007)
The daughter of a regional governor becomes a she-pirate. Some other stuff happens, too.
Authenticity: 4. The outfits are pretty accurate to the era, but come on, did pirates really wear scarves as headgear? 
Hotness: 4. Whether in fussy gowns or haute couturechinoiserie, Knightley wears it well.

King Arthur (2004)
Knightley plays Guinevere to Clive Owen’s Arthur in this attempt—and we do mean attempt—at a more historically accurate take on Camelot.
Authenticity: 2. Don’t get us started on the use of crossbows centuries before they arrived in England.
Hotness: 4. If you rate an outfit’s sexiness by how little there is of it, then all we can say is: Knightley wears an outfit made of leather straps. Hot damn.

Pride & Prejudice (2005)
The arrival of an eligible but rakish gentleman in the neighborhood sets everyone aflutter, except Elizabeth Bennet. Guess who falls in love?
Authenticity: 3. The costumer opted for 1830s styles instead of roughly 1800, when Austen set the story. (“Where are the empire waists?” one friend wailed.)
Hotness: 3. Some find Knightley sexy in a flowy linen dress with a plunging neckline. Others say the emphasis on her collarbones make her look oddly proportioned. We split the difference.

Silk (2007)
A 19th-century French silk trader ignores his wife (Knightley) and falls for a concubine.
Authenticity: 4. Okay, a French woman in the 1860s probably would wear those flouncy getups.
Hotness: 2. The blousy fit of the summer dresses, the stiffness of the colder-weather outfits, and the off-color choices (Knightley with honey-blond hair in lilac frocks? No.) all conspire to make her look frumpy. Frumpy, for God’s sake!

This page was migrated to our new look automatically. Let us know if anything looks off at