The term is usually used in the context of film and television. It is an informal, cross-over term that can apply to several genres but is most often heard in the context of historical dramas and romances, adventure films and swashbucklers. The implication is that the audience is attracted as much by the lavish costumes as by the content.
The most common type of costume drama is the historical costume drama, both on stage and in movies. This category includes Barry Lyndon, Braveheart, Rob Roy, and Robin Hood. Plays that took place in the 1930s and 1940s, such as Last Man Standing, may also be placed in this category. This type of costume drama is usually shown as a movie or a TV series. Examples of this category include Marie Antoinette, Middlemarch, and Pride and Prejudice.