Rate the dress

Rate the Wedding Dress

UPDATE: Ratings on this dress closed on March 9th.

This week’s Rate the Dress is one that has been in my RTD file for a long time, but it’s never been the right one. This week is finally its time.

Last Week: 1780s pick ups and pleats 

For last week’s 1780s mint green concoction you either adored the colour, or hated it, and either loved the pleats, or found them fussy, and either thought the silhouette was fabulously shepherdess-y, or far too extreme and boxy, and either thought the fly fringe was a fascinating touch, or weird and hairy. Most of you who loved the things loved most of the things, if not all, and very few of you hated everything, leading to a score of…

The Total: 8.4 out of 10

A major improvement after last week, but not as good as a lot of other recent picks.

This week: 1780s pick ups and pleats 

Our Rate the Dress for the week is a 1907 wedding dress featuring a full helping of Edwardian frills, lace, and puffed sleeves.

Wedding dress, 1907, McCord Museum
Wedding dress, 1907, McCord Museum

It seems a little tiny bit old fashion for 1907, but perhaps the bride preferred more conservative silhouettes (if not fabrics and trims), or perhaps it’s been displayed with a slightly stiffer petticoat (and possibly even sleeve supports) than were intended by the dressmaker.

What do you think? Is the lavish use of lace just the thing for the one day when a woman really needed to stand out?

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

61 Comments

  1. Although I like the basic silhouette, the lashings of lace remind me more of a wedding cake than a wedding dress. I think it’s particularly a problem on the upper sleeve, since the style has so much volume already – puffs on puff just seems excessive. Overall I could appreciate the lace more if its use were more restrained, although it must have taken a great deal of skill and time to apply so much lace.
    7 of 10

  2. Elaine says

    I like the skirt – it’s very graceful and elegant, and the silhouette is attractive. I also like the lace pattern and the buttons or whatever they are down the front. The bodice and sleeves, however, are just too much lace for me. I think if the lower sleeves were smooth without the additional frills and the neckline weren’t so loose and overly lacy, I would like the entire dress a lot. As it is, based on the overall appearance I give it 6.5/10.

  3. dropping stitches says

    I appreciate the floral-patterned lace and the basic shape of the dress. The buttons give it a simplicity that keep it from being over the top. But I wish there were some feature made of just plain or sheer fabric. Like on the sleeves, maybe. Without that contrast, the lace loses some specialness and is just fabric. I want it to stand out but not be textural busy-ness. It’s pretty but no wow. I hope the bride wore her hair up in some complicated style.

    7/10

  4. The lace is all sticky-uppy, and the dress overly fussy, and I cannot find it in myself to really like it. Even though underneath it all there is a nice silhouette. 6/10

  5. Jan burden says

    I like the dress but not very keen on the lace. Don’t get me wrong I do love lace generally but I prefer it to be ver delicate and dainty. The leg of mutton sleeves do seem a bit old fashioned for 1907 and train is not long enough

  6. Kathy Hanyok says

    It looks like a sheep. Sorry but I can’t find anything but the shape of the skirt to admire.4/10

    • Julia says

      HA HA! I didn’t read your comment until after I’d done my rating but I’m glad to see my though wasn’t so far out after all!

  7. MrsC Maryanne says

    Lace people, is that Battenburg or Carrick Macross (sp?) or some other technique I don’t know about? It’s really lovely. I would like there to be somewhere on it that is not covered in it to give the eye a rest from the buzz, but that’s not how she was rollin’. ALL THE LACE PLEASE. Apart from the horizontal lace frills on the lower sleeve that I am not fond of, I think it’s sweet.
    7

    • “Rolling” actually sums up my feelings about it pretty well, even though it’s in a completely different sense – I realised what it most reminds me of is when you cover something in glue and roll it in glitter / sequins – it’s a dress someone rolled in lace! 😀
      And I agree with you on those horizontal ruffles, those are rather unfortunate.

    • It’s Battenburg for sure. Carrickmacross is muslin appliqued to net and would look “flatter”, so to speak.

      I wonder if the bride had it made for her, or if she made the dress herself- Battenburg lace was really popular around that time as a clothing embellishment and as a needlecraft.

  8. Heidilea says

    I love it! It’s frothy and pretty, it reminds me of whipped meringue, or waterfalls. The cut appears similar to the Folkwear Edwardian Wedding gown, minus the flounce. My own wedding gown purchased 100 years later was battenburg lace, so maybe I’m just a sucker for it.

    10/10

  9. Debbie Farthing says

    It’s pretty but it also seems somewhat clumsy. The transition from the bodice lace to the high neck insert is awkward and the the sleeves and skirt look stiff rather than graceful.
    6.5/10

  10. nofixedstars says

    it does look a bit behind the fashion curve of its day…

    i couldn’t see clearly what the little peach coloured bumpy things are that are deployed rather oddly down the front of the skirt, at the side(s), and on the sleeves—buttons? small floral ornaments? they do not win me. same with the stiff lace ruffles on the sleeves and possibly hem—if your dress is entirely made of lace, do you *really* want crunchy little ruffle bits too? the battenburg lace itself is nice enough, although not, i admit, the loveliest pattern i’ve seen in battenburg. something about its repeating circular floral pattern hints of a vast number of doilies sewn together… i begin to wonder what sort of veil this bride chose to wear, and i’m not sanguine about the possibilities. normally i am very partial to edwardian white lace frocks, whether wedding or tea gowns or garden party frocks, but this one reads more 1890s and it’s just a bit underwhelming for me. it manages to be both boring and off-putting at once. the person who commented that it looks like a sheep is not wrong…

    pros: it’s all white, thus colour cannot be off-putting.
    cons: spiky ruffles, stiff sleeves, odd lines of whatever-they-are decoration, and underwhelming lace.

    rating: 6/10

  11. I don’t mind the Edwardian silhouette of this dress, for the most part. There’s nothing wrong with putting a lot of lace on a dress, especially a wedding dress.

    But something about the quality of the lace on this dress makes it look as though it’s made, not of lace, but of fur. White fur. Not fluffy white fur, but puffy, coarse white fur. Ridges of fur around the lower arms. Combined with the puffy-top sleeves, I’d be thinking “polar bear bride” except for the gold buttons down the skirt.

    My first look at the pictures of this gown roused in me a feeling of revulsion, and things haven’t improved much since. It’s pretty much on a par with the Rate the Dress I’ve liked the least over the years, so I’m giving it the same rating.

    3.5 out of 10.

  12. Jess says

    Something about this dress reminds me of a period piece costume. Like, 60s does 1907. Maybe it’s the almost mod, graphic pattern of the flowers on the skirt, or the not quite 1907 silhouette, or all the drama of all the lace the trim shop had in stock that day. Maybe it’s because this dress would make an awesome ghost bride. Anyway, not bad. I think for all the elements that are included whoever designed it actually did a decent job taming all the extra. 7/10.

  13. vivien dwyer says

    a bit too much trim for me but like the skirt shape. Could do with a little ‘editing’ in the lace department too with perhaps something plain somewhere for contrast. Not bad…8/10

  14. Janine says

    I like the dress. The skirt looks like that it is cut from the whole length of fabric to avoid any cut the lace scallops at the bottom. Interesting technique, which would interesting to test. It is a similar dress in The Edwardian Modiste, so it might be not so old-fashioned. I think the buttons aged and get darker with the time. Light mother of pearl would give a bit sparkling but not that contrast.
    Overall a beautifull dress, displayed to stiff.
    9/10

  15. KhanIIbr says

    The style and the ge color is so elegant but the basic problem is that it’s showing the concern of just picking a lace and whatever you got put it on the dress _ there is no sequence! Everywhere on this dress seems frills, laces bla bla _ so for me with sorry 5/10

  16. Jamie LaMoreaux says

    I like the dress, I can just imagine the young bride persuading her mother to have it made up for her. she KNEW she looked incredible and lovely. and I am sure she did. I think her groom was delighted as she came towards him down the aisle. how can you dislike something the woman who bought it loved? it might not be right for your taste, but it was bought and worn by someone who adored it enough to save it. the sleeves, admittedly, are not to my taste, but I’m not going to wear it. 🙂 I’d say 9 out of 10.

  17. Jamie LaMoreaux says

    I like the dress, I can just imagine the young bride persuading her mother to have it made up for her. she KNEW she looked incredible and lovely. and I am sure she did. I think her groom was delighted as she came towards him down the aisle. how can you dislike something the woman who bought it loved? it might not be right for your taste, but it was bought and worn by someone who adored it enough to save it. the sleeves, admittedly, are not to my taste, but I’m not going to wear it. 🙂 I’d say 9 out of 10.

  18. Rateadress says

    The bad news: it‘s weird. The good news: it‘s weird. Weird is not ordinary. That‘s good. Weird things have the potential to be exquisite, ordinary things don‘t. I have never seen a neckline like this before. It almost looks avant-garde. It works with the boldly rounded front, the small waist and the layering of the lace. There is something voluptuous about it. But then…comes the skirt: basic, no connection to the lines of the bodice.If it was figure hugging around the hips, it would be more sensual. Below that the skirt could flare out a bit into a train but the sillhuette of it leaning generally more towards 1910 and less towards 1900. The sleeves would have to be as original and sophisticated as the bodice/ neckline, but they are not. I have nothing against the volume but the cuffs just look silly. Actually the dress has a 1980s vibe, which is a compliment vor a dress from 1907. I don‘t think, those orange spots all over the dress make any sense. It should be just monochromly creme-white, which again works with jewelry. The jewelry could actually be quite extravagant like that. But back to how it is now: A little weird, a little charming. 6.5

  19. Emma Louise says

    Generally I love the elegance of 1890/1900s style but I can’t like this example. I don’t like the lace, and as it is used everywhere I can’t escape it. To me it looks like a 1970s inspired net curtain.
    3/10

  20. Melissa says

    The silhouette is really lovely, but it’s just too.much.lace. It reminds me of some frothy confection and I find it over the top. All that lace also hides the shape of the dress instead of enhancing it.

  21. Pam says

    I like the dress and I’m not a fan of any place. I think it’s lovely and flows nicely from the bodice to the skirt it looks like the skirt was set up high on the bodice to drape and flow. The buttons/pearls appear in other places on the skirt and sleeves. I don’t care for the lace on the lower sleeve I think it detracts from dress. I rate it 9.

  22. ElOmbu says

    It’s a floofy white wedding dress and I LOVE it. I love all the lace, and the shape of the skirt, the sleeves, and the neckline. It’s like whipped cream on an ice-cream sundae. I’m going to throw the curve on this one.
    9/10

  23. Deb hurd says

    I have to give this an 8 out of 10, as it reminds me quite a bit of my own dress, which was also all lace but not at all “ruffly”.

  24. Christine says

    I think the dress was probably exquisite at the time. I like the shape but the lace looks like Grandma’s parlor curtains. The sleeves are too busy between the shape and the ruffles. The buttons down the front add an interesting detail, but they almost disappear in all the lace. 4/10.

  25. Judi says

    I feel about this dress just about the way I feel about a lot of contemporary wedding dresses. Just No.
    If the entire purpose of the design is “look at me” then it’s an epic fail. And this meets that standard for me.
    I’m usually much more positive, but I find little to redeem this gown. 4/10

  26. Pamela A Evans says

    Looking at the dress from that time period, it is gorgeous. Dress were hand made and the details of the dress are fabulous. The sleeves are a bit much on the bottom, but other than that the dress must have been a knock out for the period. I rate it a 9.

    • Colette says

      I think that dress is beautiful, I am a big lover of lace, I find it ultra feminine. This dress covers everything, yet calls attention to the feminine form and highlights a small waist and a full bust. What a beautiful dress, I give it a 9.9 score.

  27. Disien says

    I neither like or dislike this dress. It’s very conservative, but then that may reflect the bride and her circumstances. So it’s a “meh” from me, with a score to match

    5/10

  28. Olivia Hauptfleisch says

    I love it, it is very similar to what I wore at my wedding. I like the puffy sleeves but could do without the rows of ruffles on the lower sleeves. The scale of the lace flowers is almost modern. I always think of antique lace as having smaller patterns. It’s a bit fussy for modern tastes but I find charming. I like the lace “ belt” or flower “buckle” at the bottom of the neckline, or is that a two piece with a top and skirt. Whichever the two pieces meet and meld nicely. I can see this whole look updating beautifully. The little flowers don’t add anything to the style they seem to be there as an extra embellishment just to be there. Maybe to pick up the peach color on the sleeves or to add color. They are not needed. It certainly not a simple dress but I find it charming. 8/10

  29. Anna says

    The silhouette is fine, but well, the first word that comes to mind for me is “fluffy.” I don’t really like it – the ruffles around the lower halves of the sleeves look weird, the lines of flowers down the skirt don’t mesh well with the rest of the dress, and the texture is just off-putting.

    5/10

  30. Loryne says

    Love the style not too sure rings around bottom of sleeve area but the gown itself is gorgeous!

  31. Claudia says

    Absolutely gorgeous! I love it!!I wouldn’t change anything but leave off the buttons on the dress front skirt. Beautiful gown.

  32. Johanna says

    If you are going to use lace and frills, it’s best to just use as much as possible. I’m not a big fan of lace, but with this dress it’s so much that I can’t see the forest for all the trees. It’s just a big white cloud, and I actually like it a lot more than I thought I would. Not a favorite but a steady 8/10.

  33. Stasia Danyluk says

    Beautiful dress but I would get rid of the ruffles on the sleeves. And add a little more train.Ditch the buttons and perhaps add an insert of matte satin like fabric down the front to add a little more fullness to the lower part of the skirt

  34. I think the dress is lovely for the year that it was made. The lace is beautiful and I am always a sucker for beautifully detailed fabrics. It’s a winner in my opinion, the bride must have been a fashionista!

    7.5/ 10

  35. Heather says

    The silhouette is nice but the sheer amount of lace is a bit overwhelming. The fact that the lace has such a large pattern doesn’t help either.
    6/10

  36. I like the silhouette, but that lace. So much lace. All I can think of are lace doilies and table covered in lace tablecloths. It’s not fair, but that’s what I’m associating it with.

    4/10

  37. India says

    I wasn’t surprised to see you thought the dress was a little old fashioned for the time because my first thought when I saw it was that it looked dowdy – sort of a dream, fairytale dress for a girl with not a lot of fashion sense but a large budget. The bodice transition into the neckline is clumsy while the lower part of the sleeves hasn’t been well thought out.
    3/10

  38. Natalie says

    All-over-lace dresses were quite the thing in the Edwardian years, and pretty ones show up in photographs from the time. Am thinking of a gorgeous one worn by an upperclass young woman that appeared in one of the Metropolitan Museum of Arts bulletins in the 1980s. She looked like she had arisen from the froth of the sea and landed in New York’s Central Park. It is a stunning gown, the original of which is in the Met’s collection.

    Sadly, this particular all-lace confection doesn’t give me the same wow as that photo, or that dress, did. The lace seems more heavy-handed — the then-conservatively large sleeves aren’t helping.

    Am hoping our bride felt like a summer cloud or sea froth on her big day…

    4/10

  39. Julia says

    My first thought on looking at this dress: “Ugh, leg of mutton sleeves.” (don’t know if that’s correct term but bear with me.)
    Second thought: “It almost looks fuzzy.”
    Third thought: “This dress looks like a lamb.”
    Admittedly it looks nothing like a lamb but that was my first impression. I know, I know, it’s an odd first impression but that’s how my brain works sometimes.
    It’s actually a lovely dress; pretty lace, not too pigeon breasted, sleeves not too huge, nice skirt shape, pretty train, interesting sleeve details… What I would love is to see it on a real person. On the right blushing bride I think it would look smashing, but the way it is it isn’t doing much for me.
    I want to rate it 10 for potential and 5 for being just kind of blah by itself, so… 7/10

    • Diane McCoy says

      Buttons have to go, sleeves have to go, too heavy looking. Go sleeveless or, have delicate transparent material to compliment dress material. Have lace at wrists, v shape to middle finger. Bodice should appear corset like, giving torso and waist definition, with lift to bust. The style and material is too heavy, stiff, and cumbersome. Not whimsical and feminine, lacks fluidity. Give it a 2. Wear to church at best back in the day.

  40. Sara McDermott says

    Eek.

    I’m very fond of lace, and I appreciate the time and skill that constructing and assembling this quantity of tape lace must have taken. I fear this dress is too much of a good thing: eating a huge bowl of whipped cream at once; lace everywhere you look and awkwardly persuaded into being things it doesn’t want to be.

    The sleeves seem awkward at the head (like the lace motifs are fighting against being pleated), the bodice “lapels” don’t harmonize well with the rest of it, and I really don’t understand the tiny stiff ruffles in odd places.

    7/10?

  41. Sarah Davidoff says

    I might be too late for the count, but I’m honestly just happy to see an all-over tape lace dress from the period that doesn’t look unfortunate. A lot of the examples I’ve seen are dingy, sagging, and permanently kinked — not to mention missing the proper underdress to drape the big shapes correctly. If it weren’t for the trim on the sleeves and hem, I might even call it prime, but that froth is a tiny step too far to be perfection in my eyes. Especially since the textured volume look was much more emblematic of the 1890s. I hope her hair was also dressed a little behind the times; for some reason, if your wedding dress is going to look teased, you better have a poof of teased bangs and a high knot to go along with it. 8/10 if my score does count.

  42. Veronica says

    Very much a product of its time, and is of the particular Edwardian silhouette I rather like. The lace is a bit much, I think, but it sort of seems to come together nicely when looked at as a whole.
    7/10

  43. Camilla Flint says

    I can just imagine how completely thrilled a young Anne of Green Gables would be to see a bride in this dress!

  44. In 1907, if my parents presented me with gown, I’d be thrilled!
    Rating: 10/10

  45. Nancy A Zettervall says

    The place is definitely not Battenburg, because this place is made and placed in cutouts of solid fabric. It looks nothing like the lace used to make this gown. The name of this place is unknown to me.

  46. Holly Gutterson says

    my wedding dress has this same silouhette but hawaiian lace. I still have it in a vacu sealed boxed.

  47. I would take the sleeves off leave the bodice alone the skirt is perfect and make a cute short bolero jacket made of the sleeves

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