Rate the dress

Rate the Dress: 1780s

Last week’s Rate the Dress was a risky pick: a dress devoid of any trim, and shown without any styling or accessories. Did it work? This week’s Rate the Dress is equally risky, but in the opposite way. It has all the styling and accessories. Will the look be a little too much, or just right?

Last Week: a 1720s dress in brown brocade

Well, the risk paid off, because most of you loved the shape of the dress, and the perfection of the pattern matching. The few of you who didn’t like it admitted that the 1970s had ruined those shades for you!

The Total: 9.3 out of 10

Oooooh, even better than the week before!

This week: a 1780s redingote in violet and white

This week I’ve decided to stay in the 18th century, with a 1780s outfit, in honour of the 1780s Augusta Stays. However, I’m doing something quite different: featuring a fashion plate instead of an extant garment. It’s been a long time since Rate the Dress has been a fashion plate…

Redingote of violet taffeta, revers, collar, and cuffs white, steel buttons, striped and spotted muslin petticoat. Puce straw hat trimmed with large steel buckles, edging and ribbon in black velvet. 1787

Redingotes were female garments with a decidedly masculine twist. While nominally practical, like the riding habits they were originally derived from, by the 1780s they had become decidedly fashion focused.

Redingote of violet taffeta, revers, collar, and cuffs white, steel buttons, striped and spotted muslin petticoat- puce straw hat trimmed with large steel buckles- it is edged and belted with black velvet. 1787

While the example we are looking at has a wide collar and revers, deep cuffs, and double breasted front all borrowed from riding habits and menswear, the colour, fabric, and accessories are anything but practical. This redingote is made in violet purple silk taffeta, and paired with a delicate muslin or gauze petticoat, which is decorated with spotting and stripes: probably embroidered on to the fabric.

Redingote of violet taffeta, revers, collar, and cuffs white, steel buttons, striped and spotted muslin petticoat- puce straw hat trimmed with large steel buckles- it is edged and belted with black velvet. 1787

The hat, to match the summery muslin of the petticoat, is straw, in that most-fashionable of 18th century shades: puce.

What do you think at this fashionably impractical version of a once sensible dress? How will you feel about the 18th century version of designer jeans with carefully arranged wear marks and ‘ventilation’?

Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10

A reminder about rating – feel free to be critical if you don’t like a thing, but make sure that your comments aren’t actually insulting to those who do like a garment.  Phrase criticism as your opinion, rather than a flat fact. Our different tastes are what make Rate the Dress so interesting.  It’s no fun when a comment implies that anyone who doesn’t agree with it, or who would wear a garment, is totally lacking in taste. 

(as usual, nothing more complicated than a .5.  I also hugely appreciate it if you only do one rating, and set it on a line at the very end of your comment, so I can find it!  And 0 is not on a scale of 1 to 10.  Thanks in advance!)

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