Sorry, kids, I got distracted from my episode by episode review of the new, rebooted Roots (2016)! But I really should talk about episode 4, just to be completionist. Sadly there is no Gallery of Shittily Dressed Extras or anything else excessively fun to snark, which tempers my enthusiasm…
In this final episode, a number of years have passed. Chicken George has spent all this time in England. He’s finally able to purchase his freedom and he returns to the South to track down his family. Cue racist dirtbags, the Civil War, and the end of slavery. Throw in some family reconciliation and a bit of spying, and you’ve got your episode!
Let’s talk costumes…
I pinged my friend Bridget Bradley-Scaife, who knows a ton more than I ever would want to about US Civil War era women’s costuming, and here’s what she said about this dress:
Yes, they did have short sleeves. Often used on sheer dresses with low necks or jewel-neck dresses. Often worn by younger women and girls. The high collar is strange with this style of dress. Also a back-opening dress indicates a young girl or teen, not a woman. Back openings are for children’s dress in this era except for formal wear. The trim is a bit heavy for this style of gown … Truthfully it looks more like a 1840s style dress than a 1860s. Maybe not, just looked at the seam lines … was thinking that because of the back-opening which you do see in the 1840s.
Bridget sent me a bunch of images of what this style of gown should look like in the 1860s:
Finally Bridget says that the below image is the “Closest thing I found to the one on the show but is probably late 1840s/early 1850s”:
And, that’s it for me and Roots!
Have you watched the 2016 Roots yet? What did you think of the last episode, and that short-sleeved dress?