19th Century, Rate the dress

Rate the Dress: Ecru, black and gold in the 1850s

I was expecting that last week’s JP Worth dress might not be the most popular garment ever with you, dear readers, but I certainly didn’t anticipate the level of loathing and revulsion in your reaction!  Everything came under fire at some point or another: the lace (old rugby socks), the silhouette (matronly and frumpy), the colours (Halloween-y and clashing), but most of all the bows!  Only two of you actually liked it, and even those two thought it needed improving.  Poor JP’s creation received the lowest rating ever: a 3.3 out of 10.  And that’s not even counting the three people who tried to rate it a 0 out of 10 (I moved their rating up to one, because zero is not a number, and it’s not on the rating scale).   On the bright side, the unfortunate frock did spark the most entertaining comment thread ever!

On reviewing my ‘Rate the Dress’ selections, I realised I have rather ignored the 1850s.  I suspect it is because most 1850s dresses look like most other 1850s dresses.  It wasn’t an era of huge variations in style.  However, after a bit of searching I have finally found an interesting 1850s frock to show you.  And it even carries on a theme from last week: the controversial colour scheme of black and ecru.

Silk dress, American, 1850s, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Let’s have a close up look at the fabric:

Silk dress, American, 1850s, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Do black and ecru patterns instead of black on ecru trimmings sit better with you?  And does the addition of bronze as a background help?  And what do  you think of the contrast between the very simple and demure 1850s silhouette and the bold fabric?  Is the balance jarring, or just right?

Rate the Dress on a scale of 1 to 10



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