If filmmakers had an unlimited budget, they would use real costumes to create historical films or use expensive technologies to age fabrics. Unfortunately, most costume designers are working on a tight budget and are doing the best they can. Here are some examples of historical films.
The movie “The Favorite“, which came out in 2018 with Olivia Colman and Emma Stone at their modest 15 million, could not afford expensive historical costumes. To recreate the outfits of the early 18th century, the costume designer used budget fabrics, and so that their cheapness was not so conspicuous, she selected black and white shades and prints.
Some of the dresses worn by the servants were made from jeans bought in second-hand shops (to make the fabric look more worn).
The other extreme was The Crown TV series when the budget was abundant. The series tells about the life of the current British Queen Elizabeth. Most of the costumes are replicas of the Queen’s historical outfits. Many of the images from The Crown were created based on real costumes that are kept in museums in England.
For example, Elizabeth’s wedding dress was created by about 20 seamstresses, and it took at least 10 days to decorate just the train.