Rate the dress

Rate the Dress: Georgian Pinks

Woman's Dress and Petticoat, England, 1770-1780, Silk plain weave (taffeta) with discontinuous silk supplemetary weft patterning, M.57.24.8a-b

It takes at least 45 minutes to write a Rate the Dress Post (find dress, download images, format if necessary, upload, write post, link everything), and lately, I’ve just struggled to find the time.  It’s the end of the year at Toi Whakaari (graduation is tomorrow!), work is hectic, and the weather is warming up, so when I have down time I just want to be outside.

So this weeks Rate the Dress pick reminds me of spring flowers and strawberry ice cream.  It’s possibly a little un-complicated, because I’m not in an over-thinking mood.  Hopefully it’s enough for you to rate though!

Last week:  an 1870s evening dress ensemble — complete with shoes

So, that’s a no on the very gold front and very green back then.  And many of you found the mis-matched shoes annoying rather than witty – or if they were witty, that didn’t carry over into the dress.  Daniel called the dress “ugly-chic austere luxury”.  A few of you did love the dress, but on the whole the scores were some of the most uniform a dress has every gotten – a sea of 6s & 7s, for a dress of two halves that didn’t come together as a cohesive whole.

The Total: 7 out of 10

Worse than the week before, and very reflective of the overall sentiment!

This week: an 1770s-80s pink gown

LACMA identifies this dress as a Robe a la Anglaise (with the centre back of the bodice and the skirt cut as one piece), but looking at the images, I think it’s an Italian gown, with the skirt and bodice cut completely separately.

Or perhaps it has some elements of the construction of both types of dresses?  When fashion is in transition garments don’t always fall into one category or another.  Modern Mantua Maker did a wonderful instagram thread showing how the pink striped dress at the Met has elements of the cut and construction of both Anglaise & Italian gowns.

This is certainly a simpler and more straightforward dress than the striped Met dress.  Skirt, petticoat, self fabric trims.  Sorted.  It probably also has simpler construction.

Does its simplicity work?  Does it make you feel all rosy and happy?

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.  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, so I can find it!  And 0 is not on a scale of 1 to 10.  Thanks in advance!)


  1. It is beautiful. Just the sort of thing that makes me love late 18th century clothing. I love the color, the silhouette, the fabric, everything.

    10 out of 10.

  2. Oh, how lovely! It may be simple, but the fabric has the sophisticated simplicity of gourmet French pastry, and the fichu and sleeve flounces are the perfect accompaniment. I’m not normally drawn to pink, but this is a particularly appealing shade.

    10 of 10

  3. Aw, I love it! Very pretty. What are the round smooth things stuck on the skirt? There are two in the same horizontal plane, above the half-way point of the skirt. You can see them in both views, but they don’t seem to be anywhere else on the outfit. Something to do with conservation?

    • Oh I’m glad someone else noticed them. I couldn’t understand why they were there.

      • But I do like the simplicity of it, especially the very plain trim.

    • Lillianne Barrett says

      If you go to the LACMA connection given at the both of the second picture the description talks about buttons and braid used to hold the overskirt in swags at the back, which is obviously not the way it is currently presented. There are additional pictures which show more buttons in the same horizontal plane. I cannot see the braid they speak of, so maybe it is of a colour that blends in or maybe it is on the under side.

      • Lillianne Barrett says

        That should read “bottom” not “both”, darn autofill!

        • Lillianne Barrett says

          I give the dress a 10/10, it is a joy to see a dress so sweetly simple and unfussy.

  4. Brigitte PELLUET says

    J’aime beaucoup les lignes pures et simples, la “croupe en particulier est superbe!

  5. Claire Payne says

    Sometimes simplicity speaks volumes. I love this dress. I love the shade of pink and the right size floral print of the fabric. I am not a fan of ruffles but these ruffles add just the right amount of interest and are not extravagant. Very nice indeed.

    9 out of 10 from me thank you.

  6. Heather says

    Absolutely gorgeous! The fabric is beautiful, the lines of the dress are beautiful, the self-fabric trim adds just the right about of interest to the otherwise simple dress, everything is wonderful. 10/10 Perfect example of what I love about Georgian fashion.

  7. Sam Sam says

    It’s gorgeous, the colour is perfect, I love the simplicity, the pattern. There’s details but they’re simple and refined. I’d love to see a close up of the pattern in the lace.


  8. Magdalena says

    I love the silhouette and the general happy, rosy vibe I get from it! Wonderful dress, this.

  9. JessieRoo says

    Oh, it’s dreamy! I think the pastry and ice cream comparisons are pretty spot on-it’s perfect in its simplicity, just like a strawberry (the dress) shortcake with a puff of whipped cream (the fichu) on top! I’d happily wear it as everyday clothing, though I might have to shorten the hem a bit for safety’s sake (mine and the dress’s).


  10. Lynne says

    Yes – rosy and happy. Just what today needed. Love that dusty pink. Such a fresh and pretty dress.

    10 out of 10.

  11. Heh, it’s like you’re continuing my search for 18th century gown terminology in the HSM group with this. And complicating it further!
    I like it a lot. Less than others, though; I suspect that’s personal colour preference – I’d be all over it if it were blue.

  12. India says

    This is perfect. Simple. Elegant. Feminine. Restrained. Everything you could ever want in a dress. 10

  13. Frances Dorrestein says

    I adore it. The shape is perfection and it has just the right amount of trim to be a simple dress that is so, so right. I believe that gownslike this are why the 18th century is so popular to sew.

  14. Kim Spence says

    It’s simply beautiful, and beautiful in its simplicity. Lovely silhouette, with just enough swish in the skirts. The fabric is soft and springlike and gorgeous. I love the trim.

    I can’t think of a bad thing to say (other than, it’s not mine). 10!

  15. Crumpled Rag says

    I’m not generally a fan of pink, but this dress is beautiful. It looks simple, but all the ruffles and trim made of the same fabric make it look delightful, bringing out the decoration, with the contrast of the white sleeves and fichu.


  16. Susan says

    Lovely, simple dress. I’d wear it( if a time traveller). 10/10

  17. Ava Loy says

    The trim is divine. I don’t quite love the pink, and wish it was a shade darker. It isn’t quite pink, or salmon or apricot. But this is my own hang up, as I try to not wear garments close to my skin tone. But who knows how this color has changed since it was first dyed? Even though I’m unsure about the hue, the pattern is lovely, and has a nice balance of positive and negative space. The white fichu and cloud-like sleeves keep the skin toned fabric from being an issue. I do love the sleeves. The dress design is perfect. It has enough embellishment to make it elegant, but not overdone. And the trim is expertly applied. I do have a question regarding the circles on the dress. Are they covering loops for pulling up the overskirt? Or are they part of the woven pattern? This dress seems elegant, fancy, but is still very wearable for long periods of time.


  18. Deborah Thomas-Wilton says

    One of the eras I do and a perfect 10. And it’s my color as well.

  19. Elaine says

    Count me as another fan of the elegant simplicity and beautiful fabric of this dress. 9.5

    • Elaine says

      I just went to the original website to get a closer look at the sleeve ruffles and scarf. They are exquisite! Can I change my score from 9.5 to 10?

  20. Really really lovely, perhaps helped for me by the freshness of the white fluffy neckline thing. As you can see I am no expert so not including a rating.

    I thought the blank circles were some kind of museum security thing? Surely if they were original to the dress they would be ornamented somehow?


  21. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    OH WOW!
    Lovely, beautifully cut and fitted, it reeks of wealth without any bling at all. Unless you count the fabric. The “discontinuous silk supplementary weft patterning” means someone had to weave in each flower as they came to that part of the fabric.


  22. Veronica says

    This has inspired me to finally actually comment (I’ve been one of those ghosts checking up on the blog every week, and never engaging). And the dress is gorgeous! While I agree that the colour isn’t really my style (Jewel tones for me, or that lovely rich yellow-gold fabric I see in paintings of the era all the time and wish I had modern dress in! Anybody know what I’m talking about?), but the cut is very elegant. I love the sleeve trims (the proper term escapes me), the ruffles and buttons are period (and the one thing I hate about the time period, but I’ll forgive it). Now, if only I had the opportunity to wear it! (Or something similar! Perhaps in a gayer colour.)

  23. Wendy says

    beautiful, simple, elegant. it does seem to me to needs one more thing to give it the last bit of “oomph” but i can’t think what! and I love pink. 9.5/10

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