All posts filed under: Rate the dress

Rate the Dress: a red & white striped 1880s ensemble

Sometimes I get bored and stressed doing Rate the Dress, and feel like calling it off, and sometimes there aren’t many responses, but then we have weeks like last week, where Rate the Dress triggers fascinating discussions on how the garment is displayed, and if/which display is more correct, and how you can tell when a dress was displayed based on the style of display (which implies that we often aren’t really getting a true ‘period’ look at a garment much of the time), and it’s all well worth it. So, whether or not you loved the 1780s yellow chinoserie frock from last week, I think we can call it a success.  At 8.5 out of 10 though, it was pretty successful in the aesthetic respect too though! For this weeks Rate the Dress, I wanted to pick an outfit that might have been worn with an Olivia bonnet, so I went rummaging amongst my saved links to 1880s frocks, and instead of finding something to pair with an Olivia bonnet, I got distracted and …

Rate the Dress: yellow chinoiserie of the 1780s

Last week’s Rate the Dress was a cherry-bedecked Worth gown, and while it got a lot of love, the general consensus was that the cherry pattern wasn’t quite balanced properly across the dress, and the pigeon breast wasn’t entirely working, even if one was a fan of pigeon breasts.  Plus, the sleeves had so clearly seen better days that it was hard to envision exactly what those better days looked like.  So, all these pulled the dress down to a nice-but-not-fabulous 8.1 out of 10. This week’s Rate the Dress is 110 years earlier than last week’s, an entirely different colour, and an entirely different style of dress, and yet to me there is an aesthetic resonance between the two.  Something in the back pleats, the very round flowers, and the puffed cuffs its shown with in the fully dressed version make me think of the two dresses together, and so showing you this one this week just makes sense: The Met describes this close-backed 1780s dress of floral silk as a Robe à la Polonaise, and …

Rate the Dress: Cherry Bad or Cherry Good?

Last week, rather than having a standard Rate the Dress, I did my annual Rate the Oscars post.  So we have to go back a fortnight to Henrietta Cavendish Holles, Countess of Oxford, and her blue-striped riding habit.  While some of you really loved it, and most of you agreed that she was wearing it with confidence, the universal opinion was that it just wasn’t working, and the riding habit came in at 6.5 out of 10 – which is right where most of the votes were clustered. For this week’s Rate the Dress I’ve picked one based on my recent obsession with 1890s-1910s gored skirts, thanks to the Scroop Fantail skirt.  You could get a very similar shape to the dress below from the Fantail by adding a second side gore, and gathering the side and back gores, instead of pleating.  And adding lots, and LOTS of petticoats! (yes, I’ve been looking at museum catalogues for four months while I worked on the Fantail, thinking ‘yes, if you just did x and x very …