Gilligan’s Island is without a doubt one of the most timeless and classic American sitcoms ever created. Premiering in black and white on CBS on September 26, 1964, the series followed the comic adventures of seven castaways as they attempt to survive and depart from the island on which they are shipwrecked. After a highly successful first season, the two seasons that followed were filmed in color, bringing the ratings even higher.
The series was known for its remarkable cast including: Alan Hale Jr. as Skipper the ship’s captain, Bob Denver as Gilligan the accident-prone first mate, Jim Backus as Thurston Howell III the millionaire, Natalie Schafer as “Lovey” Howell, Thurston’s wife, Russell Johnson as the professor, Dawn Wells as the Kansas farm girl Mary Ann, and of course, the lovely Tina Louise as Ginger Grant – the movie star.
The show brought the entire cast into ultimate fame for their comedic on-screen portrayals, but none more than the beautiful Tina Louise.
Although it has been over 50 years since the series finale, Gilligan’s Island has gone down in television history. The show that lasted only three seasons, is still considered an important piece of American culture that is still very much talked about today. One debate, in particular, that hasn’t seemed to die away is the argument of who is the female star of the show – Ginger or Mary Ann?
True, the two were both equally stunning and hilarious on the series, but they were each very different. While Mary Ann was known for wearing short shorts and having a simple yet charming personality, Ginger was known for her long glamorous evening gowns and seductive, dramatic nature. Although we may never receive an answer to the long-lasting argument, one thing is for sure – Ginger was the true fashion icon on the island.
Yes, Mary Ann’s cropped shirts and pigtails were cute and all – but Ginger’s elegant evening attire complete with dramatic feathers, sequins, bright patterns, and of course – diamonds, is what makes her the ultimate style queen. She refused to let the tropical climate of the jungle which was now her home get in the way of looking like a true movie star, and we have to give her some credit for that. Sure, walking around in long, fitted satin gowns and heels doesn’t seem like the most practical outfit choice when you are stranded on an island, but Ginger wasn’t known for choosing practicality over making a fashion statement.
Continue reading to relive some of the most iconic outfits Ginger ever wore.
One thing Ginger Grant certainly didn’t lack was confidence, which she showed with every outfit she wore so well. With this pose, Ginger is definitely feeling her outfit choice, and we don’t blame her because she looks fierce. She appears like a goddess in this nude-colored satin and sequin gown that is possibly not the most practical choice for being trapped on an island…. but then again Ginger, of all people, was never one to put practicality over fashion.
Ginger the farm girl
This photo goes to prove that Ginger can rock pretty much any outfit, even a red and white plaid farm girl dress that we are pretty sure she borrowed from Mary Ann. With her stunning features, perfect physique, and lovely red hair, we find ourselves asking… is there anything that could ever look bad on Ginger? We are pretty sure that the style icon could easily make even a burlap sack look fashionable.
In this typical Ginger outfit, she found a way to blend elements of the jungle tropics into her fashion sense. She has a few leopard print clothing items that we adore, but this all leopard print one piece bathing suit just has to be one of our favorites in her collection. Can someone please get a hold of her and find out where we can purchase this for ourselves so that we can feel as beautiful and tropical as Ginger?
Decked in orange
Ginger definitely knows how to put on a show, which is what we are pretty sure she is doing in this picture. She is seen here looking elegant as ever in an orange sequined floor-length gown and luxurious feather boa that only a true movie star, like herself, could ever pull off. Naturally, she has a pair of perfectly matching orange heels to complete the outfit. If you are going to be stranded on an island, you might as well look good right?
Although Gilligan’s Island fans will continue to debate on whether Mary Ann or Ginger was the true star of the show, we are pretty sure that in this picture, Ginger wins hands down. Sure, Mary Ann looks adorable in a navy blue leotard, but Ginger’s dark teal, long-sleeved leotard complete with matching tights, a waistband, and green bow around her hair is clearly the better fashion choice here. No offense, Mary Ann.
Leave it to Ginger to look radiant at all times. Not only is she stuck on a deserted island, she is also cleaning, but yet she still chooses to look her best, because… why not? Her lime green tie waist dress with a matching headband may not seem like the most comfortable or realistic option for doing chores around the house, but when you are as fashionable as Ginger, you don’t let discomfort get in the way of looking like a style icon.
After Gilligan discovers some prehistoric tablets on the island, he has yet another one of his unusual dreams. He imagines that he, along with all of the castaways, are ancient cave dwellers, leaving Mary Ann and Ginger prancing around the entire episode in revealing cave girl attire. In the dream, Ginger’s short red ‘do is replaced by long, dark locks while she wears a strapless micro mini dress made of what appears to be tiger skin.
Ginger definitely knew how to rock exotic and unusual patterns. In this bright magenta pink, brown, and white off the shoulder dress, which is a little bit less formal than most of her outfits, Ginger is (not surprisingly) still looking just as radiant as ever. Not sure if this is something we would want in our closet, but if she can even pull this ugly printed fabric off than the woman certainly deserves some sort of award.
Every Gilligan’s Island fan can recall Ginger’s spot on dance moves. The movie star is seen here dancing away with a mustard yellow, tight-fitted sweater and dark brown pants. The outfit itself is not so unusual as is the giant bee that is sitting on her shoulder. To be fair, she was singing in a band formed with her other island mates called The Honeybees… so I guess the giant bee makes some sense.
Lady in red
Just how many pairs of shoes did this woman bring on this “three-hour tour?” We don’t know the answer but we are safe to assume that she brought several considering she somehow manages to have a perfectly matching heel to go with every dress she owns. In this all red outfit, Ginger is seen in a long-sleeved mini dress with (of course) a pair of perfectly coordinated pumps that are just the right shade of red needed to complete her look.
If Ginger had a color, it had to have been orange. She has several orange outfits in her closet, like this one for example. She is seen here looking like an orange creamsicle princess in this long-sleeved leotard with matching nylons and waistband. Of course, she is not one to shy away from accessorizing with elegant jewelry, even when she is in workout clothes, and is still seen in her usual dangling diamond earrings and tennis bracelet.
Powder blue perfection
In one of Ginger’s most elegant looks, she is seen wearing a powder blue gown covered entirely with sequins (obviously) with a lovely over the shoulder chiffon train. True, she is looking a bit overdressed for the occasion, but she is a movie star after all. We absolutely love this gown and we are assuming she did too considering she wore it on multiple occasions – once with straight hair and once with her usual wavy ‘do.
Ginger showed off a bit more skin than usual with this retro-looking beige midriff cutout dress. True, it is a little bland in comparison with some of her other more vibrant and elaborate looks, but we still think it is worthy enough to be on this list. We are also willing to bet that many young fans begged their mothers to take them to the store to buy their very own cutout dress after they saw this episode.
Gilligan’s Island fans most likely remember one of the show’s most memorable episodes when Gilligan is bitten by what Skipper believes to be a vampire bat, leaving him convinced that he is turning into a vampire. Later that night, Gilligan has a dream that he is a vampire and that Ginger is his wife. The episode had some unforgettable moments, but Ginger dressed like a vampire wife in this off white draped gown was one of the highlights.
In yet another one of Ginger’s wild prints, she is seen here looking more like she is on a tropical getaway in Hawaii than trapped on a deserted island with a bunch of strangers. However, we can’t deny that she certainly knows how to enter a room. Her high-waisted brightly colored skirt and matching bandeau top, along with the oversized flower in her hair makes for one unforgettable, yet very typical, Ginger outfit that we absolutely adore.
Queen of the jungle
As if her leopard printed bathing suit wasn’t enough, she had to add an all leopard off the shoulder maxi dress to her collection – in one of her most iconic outfits. Whether you absolutely love it or hate it, you have to admit that she wears that leopard print way better than any of us probably could. So much so, that we are seriously wondering if a leopard comeback should be in our near future.
How could we go through this list without mentioning the time that Ginger acted as Gilligan’s personal psychiatrist. Although we are pretty sure she didn’t have the necessary certificates required to be an actual therapist, she definitely dressed the part well with a baby blue dress suit and thick-rimmed glasses. She even wore her hair up in a very mature, sophisticated hairdo, holding a notepad and all. Pretty sure after this episode many were wishing their therapist looked like this.
With her bright red locks, stunning big blue eyes, and Marilyn Monroe-esque beauty mark, it is easy to understand why Ginger was one of the most popular and well-liked characters on Gilligan’s Island. In this photo, it appears more as if she just stepped off a red carpet at a movie premiere than it does like she is sitting in a jungle. She looks ravishing in this low-cut teal mini dress and dangling diamond earrings made for a true Hollywood movie star.
Ginger doesn’t only match her shoes to her dresses, but she also matches her gowns to her hair, which could explain why she has so much orange in her closet. The movie star is definitely sticking out in this brightly colored satin evening gown, and she does look a little over-dressed for whatever it is she and the rest of the crew are doing… but once again, who really cares? She looks like a tangerine princess and we are totally okay with that.
Out of all of Ginger’s monumental outfits, this has to be one of the most over the top and elaborate that we have seen her in. In this particular photo, Ginger is feeling confident as ever, and we understand why. She is spotted here in a red velvet strapless dress complete with a dramatic feather boa, red feather headpiece, and a pair of long red satin gloves. Of course, her look would be incomplete without her insanely expensive diamond collar necklace and matching bracelet.
There is nothing more dramatic than a feather boa, which is probably why the movie star is seen wearing them so often. If only we could stroll around wearing giant feather boas like Ginger. Please, can someone please bring these back in style? Ginger definitely has a thing for feathers, which must be her favorite accessory (besides diamonds of course) and is frequently seen wearing them in her hair or around her neck.
This sparkling gold, one shoulder evening gown is another one of Ginger’s most captivating pieces. Matched with her gold dangle earrings, she, once again, looks more like she is on her way to an exclusive Hollywood party or award ceremony than hanging out on a hot and humid tropical island. Compared to Mary Ann’s short shorts, cropped tee, and sun hat, we are guessing she overdressed for the occasion… whatever that happened to be.
Although Ginger was known primarily for her longer evening gowns, she did start to show a bit more leg during the later episodes. In this scene in particular, Ginger is dressed like a doctor in a super mini miniskirt, white coat, notepad in hand, and a professional looking updo. Not sure if those glasses are actually prescription or not, considering she is rarely seen in them, but they are definitely necessary in order to make the look complete.
Pretty in pink
This hot pink, long-sleeved, form-fitting dress may not have a flashy pattern, sequins, or feathers like some of her other outfits, but it is hard to deny the fact that she looks absolutely gorgeous in this flattering dress. She even has a pretty diamond encrusted tiara like a true member of the royal family. However, by the way she is looking at Mrs. Howell, it looks like she is seriously considering ditching her tiara for her friend’s pink-feathered hat instead.
After Skipper hears on the radio that the Maritime Board investigated their disappearance and has found Skipper negligent for the loss, Gilligan let’s his imagination get the best of him. That night, he dreams that he himself is an admiral transporting Ginger, Mary Ann, and Mrs. Howell through pirate-infested waters when suddenly Captain Hook and his crew of pirates take over the ship. Of course, being that it is Gilligan’s dream, Ginger and Maryann are dressed wearing these lovely Victorian-style dresses.
If she wasn’t already, Ginger quickly became every young man’s favorite TV crush after she appeared dressed like a nurse in this episode of Gilligan’s Island. Whether she is wearing clothes of a movie star, psychiatrist, cave girl, or nurse, one thing is sure – she always manages to be the best dressed on the island. Think about it… is there any type of outfit that Ginger can’t pull off? Yeah, we didn’t think so.
All about sequins
What is it with Ginger and sequins? She definitely is not one to shy from a little sparkle when it comes to gowns. In this white sequined dress, Ginger looks like her typical gorgeous self. But still, we are curious, how does one walk through a jungle in a tight floor-length evening gown and heels, and not manage to fall flat on their face? Also, how does her hairdo manage to look so perfect in all that humidity?
Although we are used to seeing Ginger all dolled up in evening gowns, diamonds, and heels, on the rare occasion – she wears pants. And to be honest, it is a pretty good look for her. In this particular scene, Ginger is wearing a pair of skin tight blue pants and a dark green form-fitting long-sleeved sweater. Not to worry, Ginger was most likely back to her usual long satin evening gowns and diamonds later that night.
After Ginger convinces her fellow castaways, and herself, that she can predict the future, she starts holding psychic readings. She gets real into her role as the new designated island psychic, and begins dressing like a gypsy and “reading minds” for her friends using her magical crystal ball. Unfortunately, once she and the rest of the island find out that she is actually just a fraud, her fabulous psychic gypsy outfits come to an end.
One thing the former movie star is known for is her performance skills. We can assume that being shipwrecked on an island can get a bit boring; the castaways need some sort of entertainment – so why not a Hawaiian luau? For the event, Ginger dressed like a hula girl in a long string skirt, a colorful bandeau top, and large hoop earrings. Although Ginger looks like she is having fun, everyone around her seems slightly bored.