20th Century, Rate the dress

Rate the Dress: Youthful chic in 1935

Last week I showed you an 18th century inspired 1880s dress, and you liked it, except for the shirring and sleeve trims, but thought it a trifle insipid, so it rated a rather meh 6.9 out of 10.

This week, let’s brighten things up a bit with a 1930s fashion plate, featuring a skirt and trim in deep orange.

This outfit is described as:

Jaquette mi-ajustee en flanelle rayee perpendiculairement, garnie de soie ecossaise. Jupe en lainage chine blanc sur fond orange. Boutons orange. Chemisier en flamisol blanc.

Or in English, roughly (since my ability to  speak/read French is confined to knowing all the textile words!)

Girl’s street ensemble: A semi-fitted  jacket in vertically striped flannel, trimmed with plaid silk.  Skirt of orange wool, flecked with white.  Orange buttons.  Blouse of white flamisol (a midweight plain weave silk popular in the ’30s, with a twisted crepe weft, and a rough silk warp, giving it an aesthetic that modern fashion writers would describe as ‘luxe casual’).

What do you think?  Elegant and suitably youthful, with the double whammy of ’30s & French chic?  Or is it too matchy-matchy, with every accessory in orange or white?  Do you prefer the orange hat, or the white one?

Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10.


  1. 10!!! This is perfection itself – youthful but not too youthful, and perfectly 1930s!! I love it!

  2. I think the ensemble is exquisite even though that shade of red-orange is very much not my color. A perfect 10 for silhouette, color harmonies, and snappy details.

  3. Oh, and about the hat question; I like both hats. They give different looks; a casual, lounging look for the orange beret, and a more business-like look for the white fedora.

  4. 8.5/10. Elegant, lovely textures and patterns keeping the surfaces interesting, and despite the fact I generally claim to detest orange, I do like this deep orange. Very chic overall, and both hats work well – I think the orange hat is great with the blouse, but the white hat more pleasing with the overall ensemble as the orange hat with the buttons and other details would make it look like a bunch of orange blobs. The check accents do seem a bit out of place with the gentle stripes on the jacket AND the nubbly texture of the skirt, so not a perfect 10/10, but definitely a 8.5/10

  5. I’ve always adored these illustrations from the 30’s and the beautiful color. I would have to agree with Catherine with a perfect 10!

  6. Kathy says

    Cute 7 of 10 I like the orange hat slightly better than the white one and I love the lapels on the jacket.

  7. holly says

    fabulous details; checks and flecks! oversize buttons & lapels, 10/10 thank you for the palate cleanser

  8. This is very chic. I love the illustrations, though I think I’m more drawn to the one without the jacket. I like the white hat better than the orange. I think this outfit could be mixed and matched a bit because of the hats and jacket. I give it a 9/10

  9. Rachel says

    I’ve been on an orange kick lately, so no complaints color-wise. Love the shoes, plaid, buttons, pockets. A little iffy on the blouse’s collars, but I love the way it looks under the jacket. Not sure if I want the lapels quite that big, but then, not sure I don’t either. Both hats are great, but I’m leaning more towards the white one. Overall, the long thin lines of the 30s aren’t my favorite, but there’s just so much I like here.


  10. What a smart outfit! Would I wear that particular shade of vermillion? No. But would it look rather nice on someone else? Almost undoubtedly. I really like the white hat too! So elegant. 10 for 10!

  11. Lynne says

    Love it! 9.5 out of 10 (because I need to keep something in reserve for the really amazing).

    Orange hat. Especially without the jacket, but I would think it would also look great with. I do like those Robin Hood hats!

    Love the blouse – wonderful collar, great concealed button front, interesting flared three-quarter sleeves, neat little bit of orange (on the blouse? or a brooch?) at the point of the neckline. Someone should make this. Several someones?

    The orange, the flecks, the textured blouse fabric – all great.

    We had a sports outfit from a similar period to rate, a while ago – with dark green and orange, I think. I love the orange and white/cream.

    And full marks for lay-out, whoever that designer was.

    • Elise says

      Were they called Robin Hood hats? I know that there were several Robin Hood films in the 30s–it was the depression, after all–was there a clothing impact?

      • Elise says

        Oh, 9/10. It’s really quite lovely, and I like how it can have different looks with different accessories.

  12. Claire says

    Oh yes! How delightful! 9 out of 10 from me for the 1930’s splendor. I took a point off for the deep orange (not very me). As for the hat, white if wearing the jacket and orange if the jacket is removed. There is nothing quite like a 1930’s ensemble.

  13. I prefer the orange hat, myself: it balances out the orange on the lower half. Unfortunately the flecked orange looks rather unwell – rashy, perhaps?
    I love the sleek 30s lines, but the fly in the ointment is how few people actually look good in both white and orange.

  14. Beatrix says

    Oh gorgeous, tasteful, chic, exquisitely tailored.
    What is it with the French & orange? Like 99% of the Hermes bags I see are some brilliant shade of tangerine, feu, capucine, or even mango.
    The fly in the ointment for me is how few people are that tall, willowy & or ‘gamine’ to actually look that sleek in that ensemble.
    9/10 in revenge for those of us with less than svelte figures.

  15. A great ensembel! I love the white hat, gives the dress a more adult look, and the gloves with the wide joints are absolutely amazing! The whole dress is very slim and well designed, this is the perfect ’30s figure! Robin Hood hat? Well Errol Flynn was more than handsome! Bring back the men of the ’30s!!! 😀 10/10

  16. Helene says

    I love the stylish 30s. I love the long lines, the attention to detail. I’d wear this, and I want more than one outfit, I want a red one, a green one and a violet one for spring.
    What I love most of all is the gloves.
    This is worth a 10.

  17. Gail Ann Thompson says

    10, absolutely. Love the orange on white collar and especially the belt in the back of the jacket. White hat, better to call attention to the face.

  18. juliaergane says

    10/10 However, I would not wear orange. Red on the blue side of the spectrum is my bright of choice.

  19. Emma says

    I give it a 10/10 I have all of these fashion plates printed off and I think they’re all adorable. I’d be happy to wear the skirt to work.

  20. I prefer the orange hat. And for the outfit, a little on the matching coordinates side but the pieces are great together and on their own.
    I say, this figure sure is boyish. I wonder how it looks with hips under the skirt.

  21. I think it’s a lovely ensemble. I don’t know if it reads as particularly “youthful” to me now. I mean, I can only imagine the ridicule that the media would heap upon any 18-21 year old celebrity who dared to wear such an outfit, regardless of the occasion. That said, it’s a beautiful look, and the orange hat is my fav. 10/10.

  22. It’s a solid “meh” from me I’m afraid. I don’t dislike it, but it doesn’t do anything for me. 5/10

  23. Sarah Grace` says

    10/10! I think this lovely, even though I am not generally an orange fan. Would definitely wear this.

  24. I’m mentally shortening her to normal proportions and placing it in a certain Czech crimi series set in 1920s and 30s, and I like what I see, in a nice everyday way. It’s not overly exciting, but it’s not boring, just right for a walking / street outfit.
    Although I don’t like either of the hats so very much. They’re both of the somewhat oddly shaped plain 30s kind I still don’t get.

  25. Ignoring the ridiculously inhuman proportions, the outfit is very cute!
    I’m not a big fan of orange, but it’s very well coordinated.
    I prefer the white hat.


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