Stage Inspiration: Fashion Inspired by Les Miserables

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Fashion inspired by Les Miserables

Hello again, friends. For the next installment of our stage fashion inspiration series (see the first post on fashion inspired by Wicked), we’re tackling the mega-musical Les Mis.

Les Miserables is probably one of the most important shows you’ll learn about in any Broadway 101 class. (My college actually offered one and it was probably the most fun class I’ve ever taken.) Based on the novel by Victor Hugo and known as one of the most influential musicals ever written, Les Mis is the third longest running show on Broadway, and the London West End production is the longest running show in the world!

Whether you’re a fan of operas or prefer more modern-sounding musical numbers, the soundtrack for Les Mis will BLOW. YOUR. MIND. Seriously. The songs are moving, powerful, and of course, feature some wicked harmonies. If you’re new to the music of Les Miserables, check out versions by Susan Boyle, Lea Michelle or Nick Jonas, who got his start playing Gavroche on Broadway and now stars as Marius in the LA revival.

As much as I love the music from Les Mis, I love the costumes as well. Think wearable outfits can’t be adapted from costumes based around the French Revolution? Read on!

Do You Hear The People Sing?

Les Miserables follows a group of people who search for redemption, love, and prosperity during the French Revolution. The plot is a little too complicated to justly explain in a few sentences, so if you’re interested, click here for the full synopsis.

Homeless chic style has understandably caused tons of controversy in the past, so musicals like Les Miserables and Oliver! are more ethical sources of inspiration if you’re attracted to gritty style. The characters in Les Mis experience periods of extreme wealth and poverty, creating outfits that exemplify “high-low” fashion in its purest form.

Expensive coats and trousers from the characters’ pasts have grown old and tattered, but they still wear them with pride, giving each character an eclectic look. Characters also layer a myriad of different textures, patterns, and fabrics to protect themselves from harsh French winters. They combine formal vests with utilitarian coats, and wear tough boots and warm hats out of necessity. Add accessories like scarves, fingerless gloves, or a leather belt to complete your look.

Friends of the Abaisse

The Friends of the Abaisse (also known as the Friends of the ABC) are a group of revolutionary students dedicated to uplifting the poor, building a democracy, and fighting for justice. As college students, many of them come from well-to-do families and used to live comfortable lives before the war hit.

Even in the 1800s, stripes were a staple of French ensembles, so start your look with a striped top. Add a tweed pair of trousers, a scarf, beret, lace up oxford shoes, and an old fashion military-esque coat to complete the look.

Outfit inspired by Friends of the Abaisse from Les Miserables

Shirt, Trousers, Scarf, Beret, Shoes, Coat


Enjolras is the passionate leader of the Friends of Abaisse. He gets to sing many of the powerful anthems and most recognizable songs in the musical, including One Day More, Look Down, Red and Black, and Do You Hear The People Sing? 

Enjolras’s costume is perhaps the most iconic look to come from Les Miserables. To mimic it without looking costume-y, lose the puffy blouse and cummerbund and replace them with red skinnies, a navy button-down shirt, and of course, his signature vest.

Outfit inspired by Enjolras from Les Miserables

Shirt, Scarf, Vest, Pants, Boots


Eponine is one of the most coveted roles on Broadway (our girl Lea Michelle from Glee even snagged it once). Once a pampered child, Eponine’s family was hit hard by tough economic times and she was reduced to living on the streets.

Snag her look in a modern way by pairing a peasant blouse with a maxi skirt. Add a belt, trench coat, necklace, and her signature hat to complete the look.

Outfit inspired by Eponine from Les Miserables

Hat, Skirt, Blouse, Coat, Belt, Shoes, Necklace


Gavroche, Eponine’s brother and a brave street urchin, doesn’t let his young age or small stature keep him from helping start the revolution.

Get his style by pairing a blouse with tweed shorts. (Layer tights underneath for extra style and warmth.) Finish the look with a vest, a newsboy cap, a messenger bag, and tough-looking military boots.

Outfit inspired by Gavroche from Les Miserables

Hat, Messenger Bag, Tights, Shorts, Blouse, Vest, Boots


Have you seen Les Miserables? What did you think of it? What are your favorite parts? What is your favorite song? Did you find the costumes inspiring? Leave us a comment and tell us what you think!

And don’t forget to let us know what musical or play you would like to see us cover in the future — you just might see your request next week! =)

40 thoughts on “Stage Inspiration: Fashion Inspired by Les Miserables”

  1. Hello !
    First, thank you for the article, I found a lot of great things ^^
    But there is just a little thing that bothers me : Les Misérables take place 30 to 40 years after the French Revolution (which is 1789-1799, while Les Misérables is 1815-1832). I know this could be confusing because of the barricades and stuff, but it is not the same event ^^ it is a common mistake ^^

  2. Love your creative interpretations! One correction you may want to make. Les Mis is not about the French Revolution at all. The scenes with the students are based on the 1832 uprisings which happened many decades later.

  3. Could you pleeeeease do Phantom of the Opera inspired fashion?? It’s my favorite play!! And a clazzic 🙂 and I would LOVE to see your ideas on those costumes 😀

  4. Love these, especially Eponine and Enjolras’s outfits. (THANK YOU FOR NOT MENTIONING COSETTE/MARIUS.) Could you perhaps do one based on Miss Saigon or Wicked, or pretty much any other musical?

    *A Little Fall of Rain*
    (I’d just like to point out, though, the musical is NOT centered around the French Revolution… -_-. It takes place during the 1832 June Rebellion.… sorry… Les Miz/Broadway obsessive here…)

  5. omgomgomgomg i love this!! les mis is my most favorite play ever! the first time i ever saw it i was 4 and i’ve loved it ever since!!!!! these posts are amazing and i love that you guys are giving a shoutout to us theater geeks and showing everyone how fashionable plays can be!! and you should definitely do Phantom next (the play not the movie) it’s another one of my absolute favorites 😀 keep up the awesome work!!

  6. Please, please, please do Phantom of the Opera next. I love the outfits you’ve put together so far in the musicals series, and I would love to see how you’d translate Phantom to wearable fashion. Plus, Phantom’s costumes are arguably the most elegant, dramatic, and decadent costumes of any show on the West End or Broadway, perfect inspiration

  7. I really enjoyed the Wicked style inspiration, and this one was fun too! Definitely keep doing these….I issue Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as a challenge. 🙂

    I was kind of disappointed that the twill shorts don’t exist in adult sizes though, they’re so cute!

  8. This is officially my favorite post ever! I was lucky enough to go see this in march last spring for my 17th birthday. It was phenomenal. These outfit translations are great…can’t wait to try them out.
    I think anything goes would be fantastic, along with aida, evita, and little shop of horrors. I also read the book…all 1463 pages of it.
    On a sidenote, I can’t wait for cameron mackintosh’s musical movie version to come out!!! I’ve been checking in since it was rumored and now they have major cast members and a release date!

  9. I love that my shuffle just changed to Empty Chairs at Empty Tables when I opened up CF to read new posts.

    Les Miserables is by far my favourite musical. I’ve traveled across the world to see different performances, and never fail to check if a city I’m in has a traveling has a show by any random chance.

    But no love for Cosette? I’d love to see a part two inspired by some of their songs (Lovely Ladies? 😉 A Heart Full of Love? Master of the House). Great choice of musicals so far though… I’d love to see something inspired by Phantom of the Opera (another classic!) or hilarity from the Producers!

  10. These are amazing! My school is doing this musical this year, so it kinda made my day to see it here:)

    I think it would be awesome if you did [title of show] next! That, or maybe Anything Goes, Hair, or Lion King!


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