Rate the dress

Rate the Dress: Anne of Denmark with horse and hound

Well, I’m off in Hawaii wearing much less elegant clothes than any of the Rate the Dresses.  I only have a general idea of how last week’s very purple frock rated based on the comments that came in before I went off.  So I’ll update this post later with a final count.

Update: the extremely purple 1860s dress came in at 7.2 out of 10, which was very consistent with the majority of the ratings.

We’ve seen Anne of Denmark before, showing off her exquisite bosom and throat.  This time she’s a little more covered up, befitting an outfit worn to walk the dogs (OK, not really) and possibly ride a horse, or at least stand regally in front of it.

Portrait of Anne of Denmark, 1617, by Paul van Somer (c. 1577 — 1621)

The outfit retains the late-Elizabethan ruff, but the transition to 17th century style is apparent.  Anne also seems to be transitioning to a more mature style of her own: gone are the pastels, the demure pose, replaced by rich colours and an assertive cocked arm.  Is the change in Anne’s style an improvement?  Or is she just a poor example of the changing times?

Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10


  1. Elise says

    I love it. She owns it. By the way, that is my favorite shade of green, and I have a soft spot for orangey-red. I feel like I am looking at a person, and not a portrait. 9/10

  2. I adore this era and I can’t get enough emerald green! The reddish decorations, however, are not to my liking. It may just be the manner in which the colors of the landscape clash with the deep tones of the dress, but the red–even the feathers on her amazingly gorgeous hat– do not look as regal as they could. However, the lace work, tabs, and collar are all beyond exquisite!


  3. Normally the Elizabethan era, early or late, leaves me cold, but this ensemble? Fantabulous! Restrained, confident, handsome. The colors of the outdoors in fall reflected in the dress. Perfect!

    9 of 10.

  4. The Mad Purple Chicken says

    I love it! The jaunty hat is so much better than the bulbous hairdo she had before. Just pull off the random specks of red and dye the feather a more neutral colour and it’s perfect.

    9/10, because of the red specks.

  5. Hmm…I’m having a hard time making up my mind on this one. I like the colour, and I always like a good hat, but I really don’t like the sleeves or the ruff/collar she’s wearing. (I sort of put that down to not being the biggest fan of Danish or 17thC fashion, though.)
    I don’t know, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but this ensemble leaves me feeling sort of “meh”.


  6. It is pretty, but there is nothing spectacular about it that makes me really like it. I second the “meh” comment from above. Nice, but not exciting.


  7. The dress is appropriate to the lady’s station and current activity, is covering everything that needs to be covered and is neither particularly attractive nor egregiously ugly. 5/10.

    The attitude, however, is dialled up to 11.

  8. Anne has attitude; she would “own” a burlap sack, if circumstance forced her to wear one.

    That being said, I rather like the dress, even though it has the detestable early 17th century nipple-baring neckline. The ruff and partlet moderate that, however, and otherwise the style is elegant, the color attractive and the fabric (judging by what the painter shows us) scrumptious. One orange red touch would have been okay, but the pair (neckline rose and waist bow) are a bit much; I’d lose the rose. Score: a 7.5.

  9. Hmmm… I don’t like the red accents and I feel a bit uneasy about that neckline (I can’t stop thinking she’s going to fall out of it), but overall I really like this one. I think a lot of that has to do with Anne. This dress wouldn’t be as interesting on anyone else, but Anne’s rocking it. 8/10

  10. Lynne says

    I think this is great! 10 out of 10. She looks so business-like – no messing with this lady. Very smart.

    And I love to touches of red on the green. The gauntlets! Beautiful.

  11. fidelio says

    SOme much of the clothing, for men and women both, fom this period is very awkqard, as it transitions from the extremes of late Elizabethan & early Jacobean into the Cavalier styles. But this is so much more balanced and sane–even the paned sleeves are not hideously overboard and unbalanced.

    I’d give it an 8/10.

  12. I love the green, and as stated previously, the attitude is well worth a million points. But I’m more or less ambivalent toward the whole ensemble..



  13. Hmmm…. the green is quite a nice shade, though I prefer a tad bluer. The shape of the bodice and the skirt are quite nice, particularly the big pleats. It’s also a nice example of a bold, assertive costume for someone who is no longer youthful (although a good portion of that might be her attitude!).

    Otherwise, though, there are lots of bits I don’t really like:
    – the red/orange accents (I agree with Catherine – neckline and waistline is too much)
    – the hat (often I really like the style of masculine hat plus big dress here I fear the colour is rather drab and it isn’t nearly as arresting as it could be)
    – the lace cuffs (I can appreciate the sheer amount of work in them but I rarely like those huge Jacobean lace cuffs – so impractical and they usually make the sleeve shape quite unattractive)
    – GAH the neckline! hideous!

    Overall: 7.
    On anyone else: likely a 5.5.

  14. Daniel says

    It looks very like a dirndl, doesn’t it? At least the green dress bit. I do dig the hat and generally I think it’s pretty practical by the standards of the time and the wearer, there’s actually something very contemporary about it. I could almost see it, in a shortened form with a softer collar, on a modern catwalk show. It’s growing on me the more i look at it, from that perspective, although I don’t know that i love it. So will say 8 out of 10.

  15. 7 of ten. I’m not a huge fan of elizabethean styles, but the 17th century details save it for me. I do love the color, but could do without the red bits and the ruff. The dress reminds me of the lastest incarnation of “The Three Musketeers” which I just watched sunday.
    Which by the way, if you haven’t seen it yet, rent it. The costumes are fabulous and slightly farbulous at the same time. Captured the overall 17th century look, but at the same times you pick out little details like the mens trousers being a little more narrow (which even at this early stage in my historical fashion learnings, I pick up on). But it still looked great, and the costumers saving grace is that in the bonus features they make a point to state that they went for the overall period look, but intentionally did not go 100% accurate for visual appeal.

  16. Black Tulip says

    Like the colour, but the ensemble isn’t really doing anything for me.

    (I do love the little owl in the top left, though. Slightly strangely painted, but so cute.)

      • Lynne says

        It is often a symbol of wisdom, and Anne seems to have held it together rather well.

  17. 8/10 on this one – The color, though not one I favor works so well and the vermillion accents are so perfect. I take a couple of points off for the low cut front filled with white, such an indoor morning look to my mind.
    Sue H

  18. Geoffwah says

    As this is a painting, rather than an actual garment, it’s hard to rate it, really. The way it’s been depicted, however, there are a few high and lowlights.

    High on the list is the fabric chosen for the dress particularly for the skirt. It looks sumptuous to touch yet looks somehow sturdy enough to endure a traipse along the expansive grounds of her equally expansive “home”.

    Bringing it back down low would be the shuttlecock gloves. No, Anne. No. Unless the frills are part of the blouse somehow, in which case it makes more sense. Also part of this would be the crazy ruching/slashing on the sleeves. This is where I think the artist might be failing us a bit. It looks like armor.

    Back up again for the half-ruff, which is super fierce. She’s workin’ it. That’s what her expression is all about. You can’t help but make that face when you’re backed up by a half-moon of fabric. Also, can we talk about how much I love these open, flowing sleeve things? Because I do. I love them. Not the blouse, but the sleeves of the dress that hang open. Yummo.

    Down low again for this era’s boob-crushing bodices. Yikes. Not a criticism of this outfit singly, but the whole look of the time. However, for bodices of this type, it looks incredibly tastefully put together. I like the chain across the front.

    Just as an aside, I do NOT love the shape and style of her hat, particularly the high, rounded crown, which I have always disliked because, to me, the taller the hat, the more dunce-like one appears. It gives a comedic effect which, if I’m not mistaken, not entirely intended.

    So like a 7 I guess. A bit higher than I anticipated rating it. C’mon, Anne. Let’s go have us some tea.

  19. I actually don’t mind this at all. I like the green and red together, the cut is alright and it also has lace, which is almost always a plus. The skirt looks a little strange, but that may be the lighting it was painted in. She also kind of looks like James Cromwell, but I’m ignoring that. I also love all of the details in the painting–they make it more fun.

    Seven and a half out of ten for a neat (but not perfect) dress.

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