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Rate the Dress: White dresses with blue satin sashes

Dress, cotton with blue silk sash and bow, French, ca. 1860, KSUM 1983.1.2071 a-h.

I’m late again with Rate the Dress, but this time for happier reasons: I’ve been working on a couple of projects that I’m finding very fulfilling and engaging, and taking time to do things just for me. So I played Scrabble with Mr D instead of writing a blog post last week! (I won. He says using words like ‘bast’, ‘bodkin’, and ‘mercer’ is unfair and shouldn’t be allowed)

Last Fortnight: late Victorian marquisette madness

Some of you loved last week’s dress for its bold statement, unusual fabric, and elegant silhouette. Others liked it, but found it a bit headache inducing. And some just hated everything about it: very bold fabric and an 1890s cut aren’t generally popular here on Rate the Dress.

Thank you to Daniel for all the extra information on last week’s dress: where it ended up, and the dodgy alterations.

The Total: 7.5 out of 10

This is the rating that came up most often with this dress, and for once the mode was the mean.

(although some of you rated on things that were presentation or condition, which isn’t really supposed to be counted! If I discount those it goes up to 7.9 out of 10…).

This week: a ca. 1860 ballgown in white cotton with blue silk trimmings

I’ve repeated the ‘all one fabric with touches of blue’ theme of the previous dress, albeit in a much more restful fabric, since some of you found the marquisette to be a little too much.  

Dress ca. 1860, Kent State University Museum
Dress, cotton with blue silk sash and bow, French, ca. 1860,
Kent State University Museum 1983.1.2071 a-h.

This ca 1860 ball gown features the classic combination of a white dress with blue sash and bows: the vivid hue of the silk, and its sheen, adding contrast to the matte white of the sheer dress.

Although the fabrics and patterns are much more subdued than in the last Rate the Dress, there’s a lot going on in this dress: three tiers of ruffles round the skirt hem, another at just the right length for the wearer to fiddle with it, further ruffles on the sleeves, a lush lace-trimmed berthe, a heavily gathered faux chemise with ribbon drawstring, and all those bows!

Dress, cotton with blue silk sash and bow, French, ca. 1860, KSUM 1983.1.2071 a-h.
Dress, cotton with blue silk sash and bow, French, ca. 1860,
Kent State University Museum 1983.1.2071 a-h.

Triple bows on the berthe, double bows with long hanging tails on the sleeves, and a truly enormous bow on the back (click through the captions to the catalogue record to see it).

Like the alternate version of last week’s dress, I’m not entirely convinced this dress hasn’t been altered – and I’m very dubious about the authenticity the hat that goes with it.

But we aren’t rating the hat, and we are rating the dress as it is!

So what do you think?

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.

35 Comments

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