In recent years the appeal of owning one of those iconic pieces of clothing has expanded with people clambering to own a piece of Hollywood history. The recent V&A exhibition of Hollywood Costumes in London completely sold out, proving the appeal of this aspect of film history.

With the 87th Academy Awards just around the corner, it's a great opportunity to look at some of the most expensive film costumes ever sold at auction.

Steve McQueen Steve McQueen in Le Mans, 1971

Steve McQueen's Hinchman Nomex racing suit from the 1971 film Le Mans comes in at number three in the list of the most expensive Hollywood costumes sold at auction. With the name of McQueen's character Michael Delaney embroidered on the pocket, this costume was estimated at £150,000 - £200,000 it became the most expensive piece of racing memerobilia ever sold (apart from automobiles!) when it was put up for auction in 2011 and sold for £650,000. Incredibly the vendor won the costume from a studio-sponsored contest when we was 12!

Audrey Hepburn (2) Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, 1964

This next entry came from the legendary costume collection owned by Debbie Reynolds, who after collecting Hollywood costumes for over fifty years, sold them all in 2011. With costumes from The Wizard of Oz, Casablanca and Ben Hur, it became the biggest collection of film memorabilia since the liquidation of Fox in 1970. One of the star pieces of the collection was one of the finest costumes ever made for the silver screen, Audrey Hepburn's iconic Ascot dress from the 1964 film My Fair Lady. Used in almost every piece of promotional material for the film, this stunning outfit was designed by legendary designer Cecil Beaton and was considered to be his 'magnum opus'. Entered at the auction with an estimate of £100,000 - £200,000 it ended up selling for a staggering £2,400,000.

Audrey Hepburn

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 16.24.49 Marilyn Monroe in Seven Year Itch, 1955

The most expensive Hollywood costume is of course associated with the most iconic image of film history, Marilyn Monroe's subway scene in her most famous film Seven Year Itch in 1955. Designed by William Travilla, this dress again came from the collection of Debbie Reynolds after she bought it directly from Twentieth Century-Fox (along with all of the Marilyn Monroe wardrobe) during the pre-sale before their auction in 1971. Estimated at £800,000 - £1,000,000 this dress ended up selling for £3,000,000.

Marilyn Dress