66 thoughts on “How We Are Different From Other Movie/TV Reviews

  1. its amazing that this post needs to be written, mainly because I read this websites for two reasons:
    1: to giggle at your sense of humour & marvel at your snark
    2: to be educated on something that I think is so important, accurate costuming. Before this site, I watched an historical drama and went ‘nice’ at the costumes. Now I look at the costume and after the ‘nice’, go, ‘be nicer if it had x’ or ‘you can tell y is modern’.
    I never gave a thought to hair until this site!
    So, thank you for educating me on the bad, and the good of costumes x

    1. Dude, it happens every time one of our posts goes viral. Some clueless person wanders in from some post linked in a friend’s FB, takes one look at what’s being said, and has an EPIC MELTDOWN because WE DON’T UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS JUST ENTERTAINMENT.

      Whatever. We love getting a chance to link to our FAQ.

      1. A few years ago there was an excellent column in the Guardian reviewing films from a historical perspective.There was always at least one post complaining “but it’s just entertainment”. head, desk, bang. Some people really don’t want to be informed.

    2. I read and love you because you do what you do, and you do it well. Please don’t even consider changing anything!

    3. Agree with Misty Smith, and here I would add a 3. reason: To know more historical movies and series, than represented on TV and cinemas! Most of us would never hear about, for example A woman rebels, etc. But due to you, we do and we can watch these, too :) Thank you for being here, doing all the research and marking the accurate and inaccurate things! Keep on going!

  2. Standing Ovation!!!! Love you guys – will you be at the Pirate Festival next month?

      1. Look forward to seeing you all. Here’s hoping we get to be neighbors again :). BTW, my daughters adore you all, and don’t be surprised if they both come by looking to pepper you with questions.

    1. At Frock Flicks “dude”, “man”, and “guys” are all perfectly acceptable. Also, “bitch”. As in “Hey, bitches, WRITE SOME GODDAMN ARTICLES.” — Trystan L. Bass every day on Facebook.

          1. OH my goddess! I’m CRYING right now with the effort to not literally LOL, because I’d probably SNORT. Which is a bit awkward, since my desk is right in front of HR! Now – back to it, bitches!!

      1. Such a wonderful site, but can the bitchy grammarian in me also note it should be ‘they’re’, and not ‘their’ for consistent accuracy here?!


  3. I appreciate what you do. Not only do you vent similar frustrations to mine, I have learned a lot from your posts. I don’t mind when people see a ‘bad historical costume’ and find it PRETTY. SOME OF THEM ARE. (I’m looking at Anne Boleyn in Season 2 of The Tudors. I would kill for that short-sleeved crimson dress.) But please, people, do not call it accurate.

    You point out the inaccuracies. You are goddesses of historical fashion. The peons thank you/

        1. You are the three graces of Historical fashion! Daughters of… Hmm, lemme think…
          I think Clio, of course, the Muse of History… And probably Hades! Very Goth, and let’s be honest, is the Disney anime, he had the best lines!
          Snark to the death, baby!

          PS: I live near Dijon, were the Duke of Burgundy had his main palace. Garden does NOT look like that (since there isn’t one), and never looked like that (when there was one)
          They even got the plants wrong! LOL!

  4. All I can say is thank you for doing this, and thank you for putting the complainers straight! I’ve learnt SO much from what you do here, and I’ve laughed SO hard. You’re incredible. <3

  5. I’ll add another standing ovation. Like Misty I’ve learned a lot from you guys on what is good, bad and indifferent costuming.

    I also like it when industry people come on as explain why they made the choices they did and then actually listen to you guys when you point on simple things that they can change to be more accurate.

    Would love it if you guys did a post showing off some of the clothing/costumes you’ve made.

      1. Me too! When I put it in my comment, I had to look at it twice, to make sure I wasn’t spelling it “ovulation”. LOLOL

    1. And we do have articles where we specifically say “we know that the film/TV industry has constraints” — we get that. But we can still critique costume on the basis of accuracy. Bec. we’re not being unrealistic & saying use super-expensive fabrics & hand-sew everything & make it precisely like it would have been done in 1642 or whenever. Just don’t make it look so much like 2017, fer chrissakes :)

      1. I keep thinking of the back and forth between you guys and Terry Dresbach from Outlander. It was some really good dialogue about what is expected of costume designers and their desire to be as accurate as possible.

  6. I came for the fashion history and but the snark got my heart!

    I understand that, I can find a historical costume beautiful and fun, even if wrong, but I prefer to know what it SHOULD be if done the right way. I’m constantly thinking about the rants you girls would make watching the historical soap operas here in Brazil.

    I learn sooo much with you girls, and always check the fashion history books and what you’re saying, for how right/wrong the movies are.

    Thanks for you service and don’t let the bitchness die!!

    1. I agree with what you are saying. Anyway, I want to know how bad the historical soap operas are in Brazil! Please give me (and the other readers of this article) some pictures so we can lol.

      1. Right now my main problem is a soap opera” Novo Mundo”, set in 1817-1822, around the time of Brazil’s independence. Is really a good soap opera, on the biggest channel, and usually with lots of money.

        The link is of Domitila de Castro, the most important mistress of the Prince http://gshow.globo.com/novelas/novo-mundo/personagem/domitila/

        and some of the main romantic characters, including the Prince Dom Pedro I and Princess Leopoldina https://www.areavip.com.br/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/novo-mundo-joaquim-anna-e-leopoldina-d-pedro_.jpg

        1. Oh my, that is bad. Sometimes the clothes look like they’re from the 20s, but most of the time they just scream 21st century. Like this one I particularly hated when I looked up the show on Google: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C5hghlqWYAAILf9.jpg and this one http://s2.glbimg.com/Ten_-zfwea-qz1mrT43e5QUYkUs=/1080×608/top/smart/https://i.s3.glbimg.com/v1/AUTH_e84042ef78cb4708aeebdf1c68c6cbd6/internal_photos/bs/2017/O/V/Mcom9iS0SR9SQhmNvTbg/20170102-ca-novo-mundo-015.jpg

          Also, the problem of free-range bangs and free-flowing hair: no matter how poor you are, at least put your damn hair up.

    2. I’d love to watch more non-US/British historical shows, but we’re limited to what we can get most easily on cable & streaming here. Netflix has been slowly adding more global series (that’s how I got Magnificent Century, heh).

        1. Feel free to send the link (fyi: links get caught in spam filters, so we have to manually approve them, but we do :). That said, I often don’t get around to watching things on YouTube bec. I prefer watching on my bigger TV screen. I’m old! I have bad eyes! Also, ergonomics are better w/a TV than a laptop :)

          1. I can send it via your Facebook page. Agree that watching programmes on a computer can be tiring on the eyes and yes, the visuals do look better on a TV screen.

  7. I’d trust your knowledge of historical costume way more than those idiots in that interview. I’ve read many of your articles, and you three really know your stuff. Obviously, that reporter had never watched the show, nor, like you said, taken a look at 15th century English medieval clothing.

    That’s what bothers me the most about these crappy costume dramas, like “White Princess,” “Reign,” and “The Tudors.” Not everyone studies history, or fashion history, and the dumbest viewers (or just people who are ignorant of history) will look at that and say “Wow, they really dressed that way back then? Cool!” and have no idea they’re being visually hoodwinked by cheap-ass costumers that have severe Rectal Cranial Inversions going on.

    And you wonder why the mainstream media has lost their credibility in the past decade? They’ve got idiots on the payroll.

  8. If costume designers own it and said ” I wanted to add a modern frivolity to the look” or ” it’s what the director wanted (shrug)” and just came clean about it, it would be fine, their design choices, just DON’T say it’s well researched, because panne velvet just isn’t historical for anything but the 1970’s or 90’s. 😒

    1. Exactly!!!! I always just sort of want them to come clean. We know, and we understand that they’re given (often unrealistic) expectations. Just tell us that.

  9. I stumbled upon this blog via “An Historian Goes to the Movies” and I’ve enjoyed reading your blog because while I’m an amateur historian, I don’t have any specialised knowledge when it comes to historical fashion and I find that I’m learning a lot from your blog.

    Having written a lot about “Downton Abbey”, what I’ve noticed is that the more they hype up the costumes, the quality of the narrative suffered and unsurprisingly they don’t get it right either 100%.

  10. I agree wholeheartedly with all of the posts. I follow FrockFlicks bc
    1) I do know about about historical dress – obs not as much as you ladies do and it is painful to watch historical films/TV series with awful, hideous and inaccurate clothes. (White Queen, Braveheart and etc. I mean some of the Anne Boleyn clothes in the Tudors were gorgy, but accurate – nope. I gave them a B- (I’m a huge Natalie Dormer fan). Reign is fun…
    2) I love the SNARK.
    3) always willing to learn more about period Dress.
    4) And I’m really bothered about incorrect corsets, no Bobby Pins/Kirby Clips, and why isn’t her hair covered?

    Keep up the great fantastic job.

  11. I love the snark and I’ve learned tons since I started reading the site. I have even repented of the sin of metal grommets thanks to you ladies! (except in the clothing made for me as gifts, in which case I smile, say thank you, and sew over the grommets later).

  12. Speaking of accuracy and coherence – in that picture of “Margaret of York” I get the feeling that palms were not known in 15th century Burgundy.

  13. LOVE the snark! Keep it coming! Really, I love you guys. My significant other has run out of eye rolls watching me try to guess by the hair and make-up when historically set movies were actually made. Like the beehives in Dr. Zhivago or the 80s poodle perms on all the ladies regardless of the actual era in which the movie is set. I love that you guys get it, and I’ve been learning so much!!

  14. Women can also geek out over the two minutes in a baseball game – while enjoying your snark and deep knowledge of historical style and costuming.

    (I’m a sportswriter who also has a deep and abiding passion for textile, so that caught my eye.)

    1. It wasn’t intended as a gendered point — just that sports reporting (& other topics) can be super specific & arcane, & nobody has a problem with that. But when reporting on fashion history gets super specific & arcane, ppl say “whoa, there, it’s just entertainment, don’t take it so seriously!”

      Oh wait, maybe there is a gendered element … fashion, textiles, & costume are seen as a female domain, at least today. So paying attention to it is trivial & unimportant bec. whatever women talk about is obviously not serious. If it were sports, then maybe it’d be taken seriously. UGH.

      1. And always have been. I mean, when you look at the history of fashion history, it took James Laver, art historian and all-round sweetheart by all reports, to make “The Study of Costume Respectable,” and he was never a fashion curator, he was focused on paintings, drawings and prints and how to date them accurately by reference to clothing.

        I mean, isn’t it nice that a nice man came along and said “hey, maybe we should, you know, actually LOOK at the frocks, otherwise we won’t be able to date our paintings,”

        One of my favourite people (she’d have been 101 this year, may she rest in peace) was a redoubtable curator of costume for the National Trust during the 1970s-1990s and apparently the male powers that be referred to her as “X and her old clothes.”

        So yes. Still a long way to go before the study of fashion and dress can be genuinely considered to be as valid as other fields of art and design.

  15. I adore this site because you go the extra step beyond “Why did you make her wear that, you evil fashion Nazi?” (Come back, Television Without Pity!) to “How This Could Have Been Okay with a Match and Some Actual Silk.” Fruitful snark is so much more satisfying. Please keep doing more responsible reporting than the “Velvet and Fur? Seems Legit.” crowd.

  16. There’s always gonna be haters. But personally, this website is more educational for me than 99% of the rest of what I read online. As a fan of history and costuming, I’d rather have some entertaining snark (and good screencaps). I wholeheartedly enjoy and support what you gals do!

  17. This posts reminds me of an exchange I had years ago about a historical movie.

    Me: X movie sucked. There’s a laundry list of inaccuracies.

    Jerk: Who cares?


  18. I can already tell that the comparison to the specialized knowledge of sportsball (and the intense investment of its fans) is going to come in VERY handy the next time someone asks me “Why do you even care?”

  19. I have always said that if it just as easy to do it right as to do it wrong. Probably cheaper too. Thank you for this service.

  20. I love it! This is a perfect way of putting it. When you said, ““ When the latest historical costume movie comes out and Generic Movie Critic is easily impressed by the  ‘lush costumes,’ sorry, they don’t know jack. They can’t tell a farthingale from a française, and they think all corsets look the same.” I started laughing out loud! That quote is amazing!

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