As neither patterned fabric nor bold contrast were exactly popular last week, this week I’ve picked something completely different: a monochrome Empire era dress that would be boring, except for subtle details that set it apart.
Last Week: an 1890s day dress with all the trimmings
Whatever you saw in last week’s Rorschart test of a dress, it certainly gave you something to talk about. It’s the first Rate the Dress in quite a while to break 50+ comments! Some of you thought it was way, way too much (Lynne said her eyes felt they needed a lie down after looking at it). Others loved how bold it was, how unafraid to really embrace the trends of the time. And some of you were weirded out by the ground fabric, particularly in combination with the strong red velvet.
However you felt about it, you felt about it strongly. I don’t think we’ve ever had quite so many 2s and 10s all on the same Rate the Dress!
The Total: 6 out of 10
If you goal in this dress was to be admired by all, you wouldn’t succeed. But if your goal was to be memorable and talked about, well, sartorial mission accomplished!
This week: an Empire era dress with subtle hues and subtle ruffles.
After last week’s dress, I thought I’d better show something restful and muted. And you can’t really get any more muted than this pale mouse grey silk frock, or any simpler than a Regency sheath. But this dress isn’t quite as simple as it looks: it has a number of secrets.
First, the colour. It’s possible that the grey-brown hue is very close to the dresses original colour: just a tiny bit faded with time. But the shade of the dress is also one that a number of the more unstable dye colours fade to.
Certain black dyes (like the ones used to quickly dye Queen Victoria’s ‘Privy Council’ mourning dress when she inherited the throne three decades later) can fade to this colour, as will some purples, some richer browns, and some blues. So this dress may not have been quite as subtle in its original incarnation.
Nor is it quite a boring, bog-standard high-waisted, classically inspired Empire Era dress: it has a few details that set it apart, like the squared off train.
And the tiny ruffled details that tie together the oversleeves (the dress can almost certainly be worn with short short sleeves as well as with the long undersleeves), the bodice detailing, and the slits of the apron front.
You can just see the ruffled detail of the apron-front slits here:
What do you think?
Do you like the pairing of the single darker colour (whatever it was) with the fashionable Empire silhouette, and the small details?
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. Phrase criticism as your opinion, rather than a flat fact. 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