All posts filed under: Rate the dress

1900s day dress, 1900s fashion

Rate the Dress: a ca 1900 day dress gets the blues

Last week’s 1750s Robe a la Francaise was far better received than I had anticipated.  I thought the muddy colours and square shape would put people off.  If they weren’t enough, there was the lacklustre presentation and dreadful wig. Despite all those, you found the back pleating sufficiently swooshy, and the fabric sufficiently luxurious, to keep all your ratings at 6 and above.  The ratings averaged out at 8.3 out of 10.  8 (or 8.5) was the most commonly rated # for the dress, so for once the ratings reflect the general reaction. This week: A ca. 1900 day dress This week I’ve chosen something in a nice bright, bold colour: a ca 1900 day dress in deep blue printed silk: The silhouette of this dress, with its drooping bell sleeves, not-yet-excessive pigeon breast, and gored skirt with ruffled hem, is absolutely typical of fashionable 1900s dress.  The S-curve has yet to reach its most outrageous proportions, but is definitely in evidence.  The only throw-back is the sleeve heads, which retain a slight fullness. The …

Robe a la francaise, brocaded silk & metal, ca. 1755, Museo de Roma

Rate the Dress: a Robe a la Francaise in rococo brown, ca 1755

I can usually anticipate some of the reactions to a Rate the Dress, but I was completely blindsided by the initial reactions to last week’s royal fancy dress.  Sure, it wasn’t a court jacket, but badly made seems a harsh accusation for a 200+ year old costume that still looks nearly pristine!  The frat boy comparisons did crack me up.  Isn’t it odd how our modern perceptions of a ‘look’ completely change how we see it in a historical garment? However, after the initial wails of ‘tacky’ and ‘cheap’, a whole bunch of you swooped in with 10/10 ratings.  There were 14x 10/10 ratings, compared to only 11x of any other #!  The enthusiasts pointing out that the costume was awfully fun, did exactly what it said on the tin, and was quite practical for a theatrical performance.  After all, a real bear skin would have been extremely hot and heavy and hard to move gracefully in! Thanks to all those 10s, Karl got a 8.4 out of 10.  Rrrrowr! (sorry, I couldn’t resist!) This …

wild man co

Rate the Dress: 18th century Wild Man costume

Last week’s Rate the Dress was a natural-form day dress in palest blue and silvery ecru.  To no-ones surprise ever, the rosette bows festooning the lower front bodice of the dress were not popular.   You deemed the rest of the dress both boring and fussy. It didn’t score a single 10/10 rating.  The ratings, like the dress trim, mainly slid to the bottom of the rating heap.  Overall ‘Whirlpool: The Dress’, as Rachel dubbed it, managed a paltry 6.6 out of 10. Moving on: it’s time to look at a historical fancy dress for our annual Halloween Rate the Dress! Before there was Tarzan, there was Hercules, Bacchus, and Wild Men: all costumes involving animal skins, and greenery.  Variations on the theme date back to the ancient Greeks & Romans, (and possibly earlier).  Wild Man costumes were popular throughout the Middle Ages.  In the 18th century the wild man idea became linked to a romanticisation of nature and untouched society. Thanks to the Swedish monarchy’s fantastic habit of keeping their clothing, we have an extant …