Ugly Period Drama Dresses

My reaction to most of these:

Yes, there are some ugly Period Drama dresses, despite the fact that I seem to insist that 'every dress in this movie is AMAZING', and that, 'Gah I love her wardrobe.' I thought it would be fun to devote an entire post towards the bashing of those ugly dresses that either didn't flatter the character, looked completely comical rather than completely smashing, or just were downright ugly. Let's start - this ought to be fun. :-)

"What an ugly bonnet, Lydia. What possessed you to buy it?"

UGHHH, Cora's wardrobe isn't bad in general, but this dress is extremely unflattering, in my opinion. It highlights her figure in all the bad ways and the colours clash in all the bad ways as well. And then the gold? With the red? I don't like it. (Seriously, O'Brien is the better dressed one in this picture. When in doubt, stick to black - that's solid fashion advice.)

Suit yourself Anne, suit yourself, but I haven't the foggiest idea what you're so enraptured about. In the book, where you got an adorable double-puffed brown gloria dress, I can imagine it - fully imagine it. But in the Period Drama??? With the oversized collar, the Henry-the-Eighth-sleeves, and the unflattering milky blue - you look quite bad. (Please don't smash me over the head with th-- )

Ha. Ha. We alllll know what a fan I am of P&P05, right? (Sarcasm.) One of the reasons why I hate it is Caroline Bingley's Netherfield Ball "GOWN." I like to say that she forgot to put on her dress and that she's dancing around in her underwear because THAT IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE. Look - spaghetti straps. She's got spaghetti straps. (I'm going. Bye. Bye guys.)

Yes, this is probably the prettiest dress in this post, but it isn't pretty. Edith's wardrobe in the later series is AMAZINGNESS (Edith looks stellar in 20's clothes), but some of her outfits - mainly this one - have disappointed me. It looks especially vile when she actually stands up in it and walks. It's like someone added some sickly orange old drapes over a clashing blue blouse. I'm not loving it.

Molly, I love you, I love you --- buuuut really? You in a watermelon-sleeved dress and slithery, slinky feathers in your hair? Stick to adorable attires, they flatter you so much more. Yes, you look elegant, but you also look a bit ridiculous. The sleeves. I mean - I know - it's the fashion. Buuuut - it's ugly.

I know these dresses are made to look the sisters ridiculous, but I couldn't not mention one of their absurd matching ensembles in this post! Their clothes are actually hilarious - always over-the-top, always matching, always interesting, always ridiculous. They do prove with their outfits that they're good at sewing though, which is the point, because they own a dress-shop.

HAHAHA. LET US ALL LAUGH. Seriously, Bright Star made me rather queasy because of the moany main character, the odd mushy romance and... YUCK THE COSTUMES. The girl (Abbie, I think?) is supposed to be a seamstress with a sense of creativity, but I think she's a seamstress with a sense of clownish-creation-ridiculous-laughing-stock-creativity. (Or whatever.) Basically, I think her entire wardrobe is dreadful. I mean... just LOOK AT THE COLLAR. (And look at this vile dress.) (AND THIS ONE.) (And this hat!) (I know, ewww.)

And last and probably also least - we have Scarlett's red 'dress.' With tule around the elbows, ostrich feathers tumbling dramatically from the shoulders and a Marylin Monroe-dress bodice. Yes. Haha. You'd find someone wearing this after the Civil War, wouldn't you? ;-P I LOVE most of Scarlett's dresses, even the ones that aren't historically accurate, but OH THIS ONE. It's dreadful! I do not like it, not one little bit. :-P


  1. Anne's dress! Ugh. I find Diana's way prettier.

  2. A sincere request: in a future post (if you haven't already) will you please review the fashion in the 1939 Gone with the Wind in full. (I mean, just pick Scarlett if you want, but you know I'd read an entry on EVERY SINGLE DRESS/SUIT.) You've mentioned before the dresses aren't correct for the period in the adaptation, which makes me CURIOUS. I know nothing of fashion in history and would LOVE to read more. :) I know you have other things to do [4 days] but at some point. She says earnestly.

    Also, I laughed several times at this post. First, when I saw the title of this post in my reader. Then when I saw Anne Shirley's dress above, and your remarks. Indeed. On that. Then when I saw the remarks on the Bright Star ensemble.

    Tops! (Hats.)

    1. What a good idea! :-D I did once do a post on my 'ten favourite GWTW dresses' here:http://naomiblog15.blogspot.be/2014/10/gone-with-wind-favourite-costumes.html, but it was a while ago, and I didn't dwell upon historical inaccuracies.
      Most of the dresses in GWTW are AMAZING; but some of Scarlett's outfits nearer the end look much too modern for the era. :-)
      But yes, I'd like to do another post on the costumes in GWTW, Jillian. :-)

    2. THANK YOU!! :-) I remember reading that other post on Gone with the Wind! I also remember agreeing with all your choices, especially "blue dress" and "sweet dress." I'm not sure why I never commented. Maybe we hadn't met yet. :) HORRAY FOR YOUR TRIP. Have fun, Naomi. x

  3. I rather agree with you on most cases. Pearl and Ruby are very adorably-ridiculous aren't they? They could have a post of their own really! And yes on Anne's dress, and Scarlett's! Molly's dress is rather out of character for her! Bright Star however is a harder case. Her clothes were rather unusual for a Regency repro movie, but are pretty spot on in a fashion-plate sense. The whole movie had rather its own feel, it felt like a melancholy poem, which was rather the point I think. =) I enjoyed her outfits very much. Caroline B.'s dress though, I am with you all the way to the moon and back!

    1. Yes, I DO get the feel of the movie (Bright Star), but it reaaally wasn't my cup of tea.
      Haha, glad you agree with Caroline's dress! :-)

  4. Anne's sleeves are RIDICULOUS. It's like she wants to look like a football player or something.:P

    ~Rilla Blythe

  5. Loved this! AND I SAY THE SAME FOR ANNE'S DRESS!! And Molly's! I've never really understood the craze over puffed sleeves, but those certain puffed sleeves really are just meh.

  6. Hahaha! Wow. Some of these are quite...yeah. Words cannot express it. :P

    That gif at the beginning was perfect, by the way. And yes, Anne's dress. I like the color, but I always did think the sleeves were ridiculous. The sleeves on Diana's dress were more flattering, in my opinion.

    Oh! Horrors! That dress of Caroline Bingley's!! EXACTLY! Is that even a dress??? SO AWFUL!!

    Yup. I prefer Molly in simpler attire, too. And that dress from Bright Star...haha...it really does look rather clownish. ;)

    This was fun, Naomi!! You come up with the most creative ideas for posts. Always a delight to read. :D

    ~Miss March

    1. I like the colour, but it clashes with her hair. Diana's dress had the kind of sleeves Anne's dress had in the book - with two puffs on each sleeve. :-)

      Thank you, Miss March!

  7. I'm pretty much in agreement with you on all of these :D By the way, I was a bit surprised not to see any of the stepmother's/stepsisters' dresses from Cinderella 2015. Or does that not count as a period drama? I suppose it doesn't, seeing as it doesn't seem to be set in any one era. If that's the case, then never-mind.

    1. Well, I tried not to add dresses that were 'supposed to look ridiculous', you know. I added one case (the Pratt sisters from Lark Rise). But yes, their outfits were RIDICULOUS, and meant to be so. :-P

  8. I find this fantastic! xD Buuuut you forgot about the sisters on the newest Cinderella..but perhaps they were MEANT to look ridiculous. And they do. :P Seriously though...this post is so spot on. lol!

    oh. and what about Laura's dress?? From lark rise to candleford *cringes* https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/4e/3e/a8/4e3ea890c34052936e9dd8f44173412e.jpg AND THAT HAT.

    1. Yes, they were totally meant to look ridiculous, haha. :-)

      That dress of Laura's isn't TOO bad! It's quite simple. BUT THE HAT IS A NIGHTMARE. If I ever do a post on 'ugly hats' I shall definitely mention it. (Seriously, the hat annoyed me soooo much in season one. It's like an upside-down basket.)

  9. Oh, the book to movie translations of the puffed sleeved dress of Anne's is quite heartbreaking. I blame the '80s.

  10. YESSSS!!! I got so excited when I saw this post on my dashboard. Wonderful. Now, let's see:

    YES. Anne's dress. NO, IT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE THAT!!! Ugh! Stop! That dress bothers me so much. I mean, how hard would it have been to make it accurate? Seriously.

    "Caroline Bingley's" "dress" is--REALLY? You'd think, wouldn't you, that a society lady like her would remember to put her dress on. I mean, wouldn't she have a servant to help her? Why did her brother let her go out like that? Oh, well, that one's easy--we all know how clueless that "Mr. Bingley" is. :)

    I actually kind of liked Molly in that dress, but it's true that it's ridiculous. I just found it to be quite the improvement over the plaid. :)

    The Pratt Sisters!! Yes, their dresses always amused me. Haha.

    This is a great post, Naomi! I love it!

    1. I KNOWWW. Her dress in the book got such a lovely description; couldn't they have actually TRIED??? :-P

      Ha. That's it. Her brother was so clueless and she forgot and Darcy was too busy moping about his tattered clothes.

      Yes, Molly's plaid dress is bad as well. However, I think it suits her better than the ball gown.

    2. I totally agree with you Noami. They are ridiculous, even Cora's dress.
      Lovely post by the way.

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  12. I was wondering if you'd post before your departure. ;) (Pssst! Only 3 1/2 days! Exactly! How crazy is THAT?!!!!)

    Well that first picture doesn't look too bad in my opinion, but I'm beginning to see how it's not flattering to the lady in particular. It's not bad, but with all the resources people have these days, you wonder why they didn't come up with anything better. ;)

    Hmm. Slightly disagree about the Anne dress. I love the colour myself, but I don't particularly like it on Anne (her hair colour ruins it) and I'm not a huge fan of the collar or high & frilly neck part, although I like the lace. But I don't mind the sleeves, and can understand why she loved it. I personally wouldn't go for either Diana or Anne's as a dream dress (mine would be more along the lines of Cinderella's blue ball gown... ohhh), but I still don't mind Anne's dress. :D

    Well, *I* like P&P '05, but I do NOT like Miss Bingley's dress. It is just drastically disappointing. (I don't like the other Miss Bingley's dress on P&P '95 either, though. :P) The straps need to be thicker, at the very least, and it needs to have decoration of SOME SORT. It's so BORING. (Also neckline adjustment, but that's obvious.)

    Oh... well I agree about Edith's. It ain't that pretty at all. :P

    Umm... NO. I disagree. :P I like Molly's dress! I do not like the hair one bit, but the dress I do. I like the sleeves and the glitter and the white and the crispness. I really do love all the white dresses she wears in the movie. I love white dresses in movies in general. I love wearing white dresses. :P (Obviously I have a soft spot for white dresses.)

    AHAHAHA. The Pratt Sisters! They make me laugh. ;) I love their costumes, personally, because they suit them so well, and they're SO PERFECT! And SO WELL put together!

    EWW. Bright Star costumes look downright AWFUL. *shudder*

    I don't greatly like Scarlett's but it's not plain awful.
    I don't know what's wrong with me right now. I'm in too peaceful a frame of mind. ;P
    Haha, "I do not like it, not one little bit". Methinks that sounds like Dr. Seuss, no? ;)

    I'm sure I've seen dresses I greatly dislike but I can't think of many right now. I can think of one, haha, but it's no great shock. The one Maria wears when she meets Captain von Trapp. "Well the poor didn't want this one." It's practically hideous. Hehe. Poor dear thing.
    I also dislike quite a few dresses of P&P '95 (can't believe I'm saying this to YOU, heh), specifically some gowns Jane wears. They're too icky or boring or slick or... I don't know. Something not pretty. (The necklines, also.)

    ~Miss Meg

  13. That Thomas gif will make me smile every time. ;-)

    Oh, I didn't tell you about the photo place in Missouri where I had my picture taken wearing a replica of Scarlett's red party dress, did I? Well. Um, I went to a photo place in Missouri where I had my picture taken wearing a replica of Scarlett's red party dress.


    1. YOU DID??????? I am jealous. (Even though I don't like the dress, haha.)

  14. Period drama dresses--what fun!!! (Even if some of them are ugly. Let us discuss fashion and have a swell time. *rubs hands together*)

    Cora's dress . . . mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I don't think the shape really flatters her, but I DO love the colors. Red + gold. Jessica is a fan :-)

    (I can't ever wear black, by the way. It looks terrible on me. So I never buy black dresses, even though they're a classic and all that . . .)

    Huh . . . I think Edith's dress is kinda pretty. The shape, maybe not; but the colors? YES PLEASE. I love them. So yeah :-)

    But I DO NOT APPROVE of Anne Shirley's dress. That is not pretty at ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL. Do your job, costume-design-people, and don't come up with such ridiculous creations. Okay? Okay.

  15. Well, I do agree that period dramas can be so off base in their costume department. Either the clothes look ugly or they aren't period accurate or they don't suit the wearer. I may not agree with all of you conclusions, but the Pratt sisters definitely take a high score, that and the photo from Bright Star looks rather awful.


  16. Totally agree on all of these!! Ugh. Even Anne's dress. Poor thing. It just doesn't flatter her that well. :(

  17. Aaahhahaha I loved this post! And I think an Ugly Hats post would be positively smashing. My mom and I like poking fun at some of the more hideous ones-there was a picture book I read when I was little called She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head! about the ladies who founded the Massachusetts Audubon Society and we always say some of the most awful hats look like they came out of that book!

  18. Goodness me! Some of these are truly awful!!

  19. I actually have not seen very many of these movies/TV shows, but of the ones I have seen:
    1. I hated Anne's dress when I saw it. Besides the fact that it looks like it was made for someone older, it does not become her at all. The first time I actually saw the blue dress was actually on a cartoon version of Anne of Green Gables, and I am seriously wondering what the facination with blue is. (Don't ever watch that cartoon, it doesn't hardly follow the book in the slightest.)
    2. I very much disliked Pride and Prejudice 2005, and the costumes were no exception. Miss Bingley's dresses, especially. So not proper for the day and age, and Elizabeth never wears gloves to a ball, which is very unladylike.
    3. Molly's dress: I always figured that Lady Harriet put her up to it. I liked Lady Harriet's sense of style, for the most part, until she cut her hair towards the end of the movie. If she cose it, then the outfit that Molly has on makes sense.
    4. I have watched some of Lark Rise to Candleford, (or Lark Rising, as my dad calls it, I think he really thinks that's what it's called), and Ruby and Pearl's outfits are really something else.

    Two more days!





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