All posts filed under: Rate the dress

Rate the Dress: 1780s formalwear and fascinating embroidery

Inspired by all the 1780s sewing and research I did for the Scroop Angelica gown, this week’s Rate the Dress pick is a 1780s dress that showcases the inventiveness and playfulness of 1780s fashion, even within the framework of a very formal dress. Last weeks (ish) rating: an 1860s formal afternoon dress The scores for last week’s dress were very consistent: 9/9 for almost half the ratings, with a sprinklings of 7, 8s and 10s just to keep it interesting. The Total: 8.9 out of 10 Just missing that tiny bit to make it 9! This week: an 1780s formal gown in embroidered silk I guess I’m in a very formal mood, because last week’s dress and this week’s dress are both quite formal, and have a certain stiff elegance to them. Look closely though, and this dress isn’t as stiff as it seems.  The masterful embroidery on the bodice is asymmetrical, providing visual interest and movement, and leading the eye up to the face.  The trims and and skirt embroidery also evoke texture and …

Evening dress, 1860–62, American, silk, Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; 2009.300.2976,

Rate the Dress: early 1860s formal foliage in bronze

It’s cold and winter-y and rainy here in NZ, and I planned to find something deliciously floral and summery and light to show you for this week’s Rate the Dress, but somehow my inspiration lists and boards just did not supply.  Instead this week’s pick is dark and lush and winter-y. Perhaps that will appeal to those of you suffering with hot weather?  You can dream of a time cool enough to wear it… Last weeks (ish) rating:  an 1890s tea gown in the aesthetic style Most of you liked last week’s dress, but few of you loved it.  It was just…nice.  But not amazing. The Total: 7.9 out of 10 Nice.  Not amazing. This week: an early 1860s formal gown in brocaded silk. The museum listing for this gown describes it as an evening dress, but, despite the lush brocaded fabric, I think it’s actually a formal afternoon dress.  The high neck and long sleeves are more consistent with daywear than evening wear in the late 1850s and early 1860s. The fabric is definitely …

Rate the Dress: Pink Aesthetic Tea Gown

This week’s Rate the Dress is a tea gown in the aesthetic style which combines the comfort and (relative) ease of wear that was originally supposed to be the point of a tea gown, with the luxurious fabrics and whimsical use of trim and design features that came to be the defining characteristic of a tea gown.