Rate the dress

Rate the Dress: Seasonal Sparkle

Evening dress, 1910, Silk satin, chiffon, beads Turun museokeskus

I took a week off Rate the Dress to rest after the excitement of launching the Amalia Jacket, and the rush of the holidays. But I’m back now, and to celebrate I’ve picked a seasonally appropriate sparkly dress in festive red.

Last Week: an 1830s morning dress of printed cotton

The morning dress was quite popular, despite the lack of pattern matching on the bodice. To be sure, not everyone was a fan of the print, or the sleeves.

So, with a few points off here and there, but an overall positive reception, the dress came in at…

The Total: 7.7 out of 10

There was an unusually high percentage of comments from people on this dress who loved it, but failed to rate it! Had they left a rating, it might have been higher.

This week: a 1910s evening

After weeks of pale, non-colour dresses I felt we were quite overdue for something bright coloured. This 1910s evening dress in rich pink-red with elaborate sparkly beading, seemed the perfect festive choice. It even has star motifs on the bodice and sleeves!

Evening dress, 1910, Silk satin, chiffon, beads Turun museokeskus
Evening dress, 1910, Silk satin, chiffon, beads Turun museokeskus

The dress is unassuming in cut, with a relatively high neckline, loose elbow length sleeves that are either cut on or set in using the most simple method, and a column skirt that flares out into the slightest trumpet and train effect at the hem. The whole thing relies on the bold colour and beaded details for visual impact.

Peeks of the cerise silk bounce the eye from hem to waist to neck to sleeves, but the overlay of beading keeps the colour from being overwhelming. The central star and waves of beading on the bodice highlight the fashionably low bust, and fashionably high waist, of 1910.

What do you think?  Is this the perfect holiday party attire for 110 years ago?

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.


  1. Oh, I want it! The arrangement of patterns is lovely, and the color choices sophisticated. The simplicity of the style really allows the “fancy bits’ to shine.
    10 of 10

  2. It’s not my color, but I rather like this dress! The beading pattern is very well executed, there are appropriate and attractive color contrasts, and the cerise color is beautiful. The fit is conservative, even plain, but that doesn’t stop this gown from being attractive, in my opinion.

    9 out of 10

  3. Vicki Jane says

    You just know she felt sassy and confident in this frock!


  4. nofixedstars says

    i think it is gorgeous—colour, ornamentation, lines, everything. i’d wear it in a heartbeat.

    rating: 10/10

  5. Elaine says

    I love the color and the beadwork, and the simple shape allows them to shine. The bodice, especially the neck, looks a bit matronly to me. It might look quite different on a real body, though. 9/10.

  6. HelenG says

    I like the colour of this dress and appreciate the intricate beading. My overall impression though is that it looks a bit dowdy and Mumsy. 6/10

  7. Daniel Milford-Cottam says

    6 out of 10.

    My first reaction was “nice dress, nothing showstopping, lovely colours, a bit uninspired but very tasteful and refined, safe 8.”

    Then I began noticing all the little details. Like how the waistband runs over and cuts off the design of the embroidery on the bodice. The unevenness of the satin exposure around the hem. If you’re going to do asymmetry then generally, maybe don’t have a hard horizontal band of pattern/embellishment so close to the asymmetry as it makes the proportions kinda weird. The way one satin undersleeve hangs down a good inch past the embroidered net oversleeve, where the other doesn’t.

    There’s too many things wrong with this dress for a decent score, so that’s why my rating is 6.

  8. Lylassandra says

    Not usually my era, but I love the color and embellishment! Unfortunately, the bodice doesn’t do anything for me. There’s something about the cut of the bodice/ shape of the neckline/ set of the sleeves combo that’s setting off Mother of the Bride vibes for me. On the other hand, like some of the flaws pointed out above, some of that may be due to modern-day sagging of the delicate fabric or slight missteps in display, so I won’t take too much off. The red is a really charming shade. 8/10.

  9. palepinkbertha says

    I like it a lot! Lovely color, and the beadwork is quite nice as well. The fit is a bit conservative for my taste, but I do still think it’s quite charming, if a bit aunt-ish. However, my main issue with this otherwise very charming dress is the skirt, specifically the beadwork towards the bottom. I can tell that the goal is asymmetry, but it’s not nearly pronounced enough to read as such, giving it more of a crooked look than anything. Overall, though, this dress is a win for me! I would personally make some adjustments, but overall I think it’s very unique and stylish. 7.5/10

  10. Michelle says

    Have to agree with the Mother of the Bride comment regarding the bodice…maybe it’s the sleeve length combined with the modest neckline. That being said, I *love* the color, embellishments, and lines of the skirt. It’s a 9 for me.

  11. Squim says

    This is stunnng, and I can just imagine the glitter in a low-light festive Edwardian dinner environment. I think it’s lovely. 9/10

  12. San Yuen says

    The waistband and sleeves seem thick and somewhat ill-fitted, although it may look a little different on. I would like to see the back too. 6/10

  13. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    I would definitely wear this. Dinner party material.

    I’m overlooking some uneven spots, because it is probably the dress summy and staging.


  14. Absolutely beautiful. Gorgeous colour and embellishments. The shape wouldn’t suit my pear shape but on a different body it would be magnificent

  15. Penny says

    Whoever wore it must have looked charming! She probably shimmered like starlight when she came into the room. I’d wear a copy.

  16. Mariana says

    This isn’t usually my favorite decade or silhouette, but something about this dress is just captivating me! Stunning.

  17. Lisa A says

    Gorgeous, and on the right person would definitely accentuate an hourglass figure. Although I do see how the V neck and mid-sleeves are used today for matronly clothes, I think in wearing, this dress would probably be a bit sexy, then or now. I imagine the skirt just flowing over the hips, and the flashes of the bare red satin on neckline and sleeves complementing one’s bare skin. I love how the asymmetrical curve at the bottom skirt overlay complements the curved lines of beading on the bodice. I wonder, too, if the front of the bodice isn’t tucked a bit too much into the waistband, as I notice on the sides of the bodice a bit of blouson effect that isn’t present at the front. If so, I think the lower beading curve on the bodice would originally have been visible. Not only do I think it’s the perfect holiday dress for 1910, I’d wear it today! 10/10

  18. Kathy Hanyok says

    I love the color of this gown and the details of the beadwork. However, along with several others, I find the neckline dowdy and the placement of the waist band odd. I do love the cut of the hem line with that beautiful silk peeking out.Lower the neckline, fluff out the bodice and sleeves a little and I’m totally there. As is, 8/10.

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