129 thoughts on “Top 5 Reasons I Hate This Fucking Dress From The White Princess


    I was already rolling on the floor laughing out loud at this point! Gads, this is hideous! The “skirt” looks like someone threw a horse blanket across her lap – but that would be an insult to horses!


    I’ve been saying that so much that my phone autocompleted it.

    1. I think we’ve all been conditioned to yell “your hair should be up” now. lol

  3. It all hurts, but the skirt and top mismatched fabric has given me an eye twitch.

    1. Ooooo… There’s an idea! Frock Flicks, can you do another survey to vote for “Crappiest Historical Costume”? Please? Pretty please??

        1. If you have infinite amounts of free time you could have a once a decade fug tournament ala the fug girls… but you’d have to have enough patrons that one of you could go full time. Hmmmm…. fundraising goal??

  4. I love this site. I learn a lot and I get a major laugh out of the snarky shared frustration. I wish Variety would read here before publishing fawning articles about how amazing the costumes are. I’d love to see you guys fisk one of those articles.

  5. When I was a kid my dad had one of those cheesey 70s conversion vans, his homemade project. The curtains, cushions & bedspread were the exact same fabric as that skirt. The walls were supposed to be covered in it,too, but he never got around to finishing it. We had yards & yards of that stuff left over for years. I made doll clothes out of it. That dress makes me twitchy because of that awful van of embarrassment..

  6. You have eloqently hit all the low points of this travesty. I keep thinking this show is punking us?!?

  7. lol I think my fav part is all the extra lacings. My guess is that they did only have a bit of the fabric and that why we get the tragic skirt. Great post!

  8. But..but…they gave her a shift, AND it shows! Doesn’t that prove how historically accurate they are!?! I’m still stuck on sister Cecily’s bare arms from the first episode. I think they are channeling the Tudors and Reign, and that. is. never. good. Never.

  9. It really does feel like a competition for the crappiest historical costumes. So far, Reign wins that, but this is pretty close.

    1. At least Reign never stated they went for historically accutare clothes! They made market researches, their targets were the 16-24 years old young women who dig these prom dress look in historical series, and have rich parents who buy these for them to prom around :D One point ot Reign in this regard!

    2. This all seems like yet another chapter in the dumbing down of the viewing audience. There is a trope among costumers that somehow modern audiences are unable to cope with historically accurate garb. For me, it started with the 2005 Robin Hood—which many of us dubbed Robin Hoodie—and has deteriorated from there.

      1. Just need to make a comment here. This thing about the trope that modern audiences cannot cope with historically accurate costumes, does NOT come from designers. It comes from Studios and Networks, who firmly believe that. It is just beginning to change a bit, as some of us have successfully worked very hard to prove that wrong.

        1. And thankfully it has been shows like Outlander who are proving the studios and networks wrong.

        2. While it’s true that fine designers like you are often forced to bow to the whims of studios and networks, the designer for the 2005 Robin Hood actually gave an interview in which she said she deliberately “modernized” the costume design to reach a more contemporary, younger audience that wouldn’t understand true late-12th-century clothing. Some of the garments looked as if they came straight out of TopShop.

          The series also featured a chocolate cake in one episode.

        3. Just out of curiosity, Terry, has frock flicks been helpful in any way within your community to show the networks, “ummm, you’re wrong and here’s why.”? There is a clarion call for people wanting to see historical costume brought to life! There’s only so much i can get from a painting… when i see 18th century formal French court garb that you did so beautifully, I get it on a whole different level.

  10. You know when you put it like that, it absolutely awful! I hate Cecily’s dress… it’s too flat, not what they would be wearing at court! I think the only reason why I don’t have a problem with Lady Margaret’s dress is because it makes her look mean! Lol

    The entire show’s fashion is not unbelievable gorgeous like I figured it would be and that’s one of my favorite things about these historical shows. :(

  11. What offends me most is your fucking language. I could hardly understand what you were saying as every other word is fucking. Grow up.

    1. “One of the benefits of being a mature, well-educated woman is that you are not afraid of expletives. And you have no fear to put a fool in his place.” -Dame Judi Motherfucking Dench

      1. Can I be Dame Judi when I grow up? She’s effing amazing. Her tour de force roles – Elizabeth I, Victoria, Lady Bracknell -are so amazeballs. She’s a national treasure but better. I’d pay money to see her read the phone book. She and Meryl Streep

    2. LauraB:
      If you are easily offended by the blue language used by the owners of this site, might I recommend that you please read something less offensive to your sensibilities. Perhaps the Dugger Family Blog would be more your speed.

  12. I count go on a two week rant on how much I Fucking hate all the costumes! None of them are historically accurate nor look good on any of the actresses! My favorite WTF costume was the black theater department top and the fucking stupid red skirt!

  13. Seriously bad costuming but what was the point of the crack at Ivanka? What does she have to do with it? Are all blonde actresses now open to Ivanka jokes?

      1. I agree. I haven’t seen this show, but when I first saw the picture I thought “Where did I see this actress before? She looks so familiar but I can’t remember seeing anything that featured her” and a moment later I realized I was confusing her with Ivanka Trump.

  14. My God, you are so right in this post!
    And to think that I used to imagine this show will do a much better job that The White Queen did. There the costumes were plain, incredibly boring and did not suit the characters and felt more like a necessary prop than a tool that is supposed to help tell the story. Here the costumes also do not suit the characters, but now they are overdone and so overwhelmed, like they throw something from each epoque for good measure. Such a shame because they had such good opportunity to imrove upon their predecessor :/
    But the good thing that comes fro mit are definately your posts, cannot wait for more of them! :D
    Btw: I do not know if I can mention it but I noticed a small mistake in the text – I think that under argument number three it sould say “Margaret of York” instead of “Margaret of Anjou”
    Thanks for the amazing post :)

    1. Good point about how The White Queen was underdone and this is overdone. And thanks for the Margaret correction!

  15. So terrible. And not even any redemption points for “well it’s historically inaccurate but at least it’s pretty.” Because it’s hideous.

    …and, herald in me can’t sit down: I can date Liz to 1630s, Lizabeth to 1540s. so… maybe?

    1. Yay for historical geekitude! But, maybe isn’t documentation! I know it exists by Jane Austen’s time, but “Lizzie” just makes me think of Sweet Valley High.

      1. Elizabeth I was certainly never known as Lizzie. Bess would be the more appropriate nickname.

    2. I agree with this! Inaccurate we’re used to, but hideous on top is too much!

      And I was afraid we wouldn’t be able to comment on that monster… Well, you people are going to get my Wednesday frustration.
      Sooo… crack knuckles

      1- Hair down: Floozy, loose woman, trollop! But truly? I think the HRA (Hairpin Restriction Agency) saw those costumes and decided this shooting wasn’t worthy of the standard three hairpins allotment.
      Can’t say I blame them.

      2- Metal grommets: Your descendants are cursed to the 13 generation. (says the woman currently hand sewing her own grommets in her 18 century stays)

      3- Pet peeves of mine: You’re fucking too thin! Honestly, that emaciated look we find so sexy these days would have made our ancestors recoil with disgust. (And, yeah! I’m a grown up!)

      4-WTF did they smoke while designing this? ‘Cause I want some.
      I think I could live with the teal paisley, as ugly as it is, if the whole dress was made of it.
      But like the one that was on display Wednesday, it’s the mix and (un)match that’s killing me.

      5- that lace thing looks like a snail took a stroll on that velvet “skirt”… Speaking of it, what’s with that shape? In fact, what happened to the hips supposed to be beneath that?

      6- Will avoid watching this like the plague. My liver can thank me later…

      1. My husband suggests a reverse drinking game for those watching their liver: drink when you see something historically accurate. Only downside, you may end up a teetotaler by the end!

        1. Or start with several glasses of your favourite tipple before watching. And switch to something very expensive when something’s historically accurate. You will never finish it open the Chateau Mouton Rothschild ’60.

  16. I thought this was the best post EVER, but then I saw the previous post. ROFLMAO. I don’t know if I can sit through this, but hate-watching it might actually be fun if I were drinking. Can we make a drinking game out of this? Take a shot every time someone has inappropriate lacing? Bad fabric? Hair down? I think I would be really shitfaced by the end of the first episode.

  17. Do you think they’re purposely making awful costumes to rile us up and get free publicity? Maybe they know more people will watch because we’ve been telling our friends “you will not believe what they wore this time!”

  18. Loads of valid criticisms, but (and I can’t believe I’m defending this thing,) are you SURE those are metal grommets? Because they really, really look like lacing rings. You can see the whole cord on top of the fabric, not passing through.

    The dress is terrible. For ALL THE REASONS. Just, maybe not metal grommets.

          1. I can now say with authority that there is only ONE (too many) side/side-back lacing, but there is some horrific upper-center-back lacing that I missed under all those hair extensions:
            White Princess

            Also, behold all the eczema lace in its glory!
            White Princess
            White Princess

            1. OMG that is ugly. One of the ugliest costumes I have ever had the misstortune to see. Those photos really expose just how hideous it is. .

  19. You know what the eczema lace reminds me of? The patterns the water worms make on the rocks down in the Redwood Shores Lagoon where I work. Seriously, water worms create colonies that look JUST LIKE THAT!

      1. Statuesque: Your comment has made my day. I doff my chapeau to you, Madame.

    1. It doesn’t even seem to be any kind of repeating pattern. Looks more like they opened a can of silly string and just started spraying her skirt :)

  20. “Eczema Skirt Thing” grabs heart “Elizabeth, I’m coming to join you!” LOL This is hilariously accurate.

  21. I so want to add to the Wikipedia entry for this series [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_White_Princess_(miniseries)] about how bad and historically inaccurate the costumes are. and use this site as my reference. But I will leave that to the Frock women to do.

  22. 1) It looks like a bad high school Romeo and Juliet costume.

    2) It looks like a bad high school Romeo and Juliet costume, made out of old curtains and upholstery fabric

    3) It looks like a bad high school Romeo and Juliet costume, made out of old curtains and upholstery fabric – that my cat had vomited on many times!!!!

    My eyes… I need a stiff drink!

    This is why HIstory nerds and costume geeks can’t have nice things. And it hurts.

  23. This dress is haunting me in my nightmares together with the one from Episode 3.
    The Margaret Beaufort dress (the one with the surcoat) is on my flop 5 because I’m convinced the fabric is polyester and polyamide mix (and I think you can hear the fabric in some scenes).

    Panne velvet, the bane of my existence.

  24. I’m the first to defend historical anachronisms when they serve a clear and interesting narrative/thematic purpose, but this is just too much… there is no reason for this aberration. It doesn’t further any thematic idea without the story nor enhances the story itself… it only serves as an eye sore. So frustrating. It’s ugly, inacurate and useless…

  25. From the tomb of Duke John the Fearless of Burgundy – a picture says 1000 words

    1. file:///C:/Users/Owner/Pictures/mypics/from%20the%20court%20of%20Burgundy.htm

      complete link

  26. Wow, what a train wreck (and that’s putting it politely). I wonder what’s the costumer’s excuse for this abortion. This is definitely in the 5 beers and a tequila chaser category.

  27. Love, love, love this page!!!! I have only started watching to see these awful costumes. And they are awful.

  28. What’s with that belt? It’s the cherry on the horrible sundae.

    That whole thing just hurts my eyes!

  29. Okay, I’ve recovered from alternatively barfing and ROTFLI-ing, his us On if several reasons I’m not watching.

    EofY was a cultured intelligent Queen who if I’m not mistaken sort of took a backseat to her mom-in-law in governing/advising Henry VII but what duties she did carry out – I don’t mean childbirth- she did it in an intelligent and perceptive manner. She gave alms to the poor, etc. She wasn’t a big endower – if that’s a word. (It’s late and I’m very tired –
    person who found a college/gives money to them like Margaret Beaufort was, but actions were in keeping with being Henry’s Queen.
    She wasn’t a twit. PG tends to portray slot of women that way. I’ve said before how much I detest and abhor her books. No research, shoddy plots, etc.

  30. Wow, this would look bad, even on the “Tudors,” “Reign,” and “Once Upon a Time” all rolled together. You seriously need to write an e-mail or physical letter to the costume designer of this show and demand to know what she’s been snorting, injecting, or smoking for the past few years. Even for a fairy-tale show this awful dress wouldn’t work!

    Is it becoming the default refuge for costumers to run to the cheapest renfaire closet whenever there’s a time period in history they don’t like or can’t figure out? I mean, come on! The 15th century is actually where some of the coolest northern European medieval styles came from! (I also like the 1300s too). Some of the stuff people wear at real RENAISSANCE FAIRES look better than that garbage! I saw the last “White Princess” article about something like this, and kept saying to myself “Looks like Joan Bergin just threw up.”

    These costumes look like something most women would not be caught dead in if they weren’t paid to wear them. I think the actress was thinking the same thing when they photographed her, lol.

  31. I made 5 bucks off a friend because I bet them you would blog about this dress before the big overall post for the show. We had to pause while we were watching the episode, we were laughing so hard at it.

  32. The dress is vaguely Italian Renaissance — laced on sleeves, stomacher with lacing over it, the short, upper sleeves — but even that is BAD Italian. Lacing rings may be metal (mine are) but they are not seen. My question to the costume “designer” is “How effing hard would it have been to do it right?” Good lord, I made a gown from that time period with a steeple hennin and floor-length veil many years ago for an SCA event. It probably cost me less than $50 and looked infinitely better than anything I’ve seen from “The White Princess.”

  33. Irony: when the show’s script takes a dig at the costume design.

    Episode three:

    Cecily [staring into her sister’s closet]: I wouldn’t want to be a queen. The clothes are too ugly.

    I feel like these dresses are TRYING to be pretty, and instead, they are HIDEOUS. Less is more, people.

    Still, I will take this dress 100,000 x more on screen than the burlap sack Lizzie is wearing for most of episode three.

  34. This is undoubtedly the ugliest dress I can ever remember seeing in a movie or TV show. Forget “accurate”; it’s not even ATTRACTIVE. And I have never before seen a neckline that curved UP in like that. An upside-down curve? I mean, WTF? WTFF?

    1. That should be “curved UP in front like that”. Sorry; just thinking about that dress makes my eyes roll around like demented marbles on a slanted floor.

  35. This is tons worse than Reign. Reign’s costume designer wasn’t going for historical accuracy, but what would appeal to teens & teens. This is also worse than the Tudors.
    I formally crown this show the worse costumes ever on a TV/movie historical film.
    And I agree that the cast, crew, hair & makeup people need to 1) women have their hair up and covered. 2) only young girls and a certain class of women wore their hair down. They were known as prostitutes, where’s, trulls, etc.

    Why didn’t they adapt correctly Roselyn Geillis’ EoY/H7 book Dragon & the Rose?

  36. I was going to post this last week, but the site was wonky and I forgot, etc. etc. etc. (Seriously, trying to wrap up grad school will turn your brain into musch…) Anyway, the costumer is one Phoebe DeGaye, who’s worked on a number of films and TV programs, and actually won a Craft BAFTA a couple of years back for costuming The Muskateers, so I suspect she actually does know her stuff; my sinking feeling is that she’s having to give the director/producers what THEY want…and what THEY want is shitty beyond all belief!

    I suppose it stands to reason the mind-blowing horrendous results so far would be for a Phillippa Gregory “novel” (I use that term loosely here); the woman is singlehandedly responsible for at least one, and possibly two, generations growing up to believe completely outrageous and criminally wrongheaded things about English history, particularly about the women involved–I’m going to say right now that, IMNSHO, she’s more of a misogynist toward royal and noble women of the 15th and 16th centuries than most of the male historians of recent years. strangled wretching sounds Based on what I’ve read about the show’s plots so far, it sounds as if she depicted all of the women involved as a nest of vipers (some more so than others); while the women did indeed do their best to promote and protect their own family members, however, there was only so much they could do, as the real power then law very much in the hands of the royal men. I’d love to see some decent histories written about women like Margaret Beaufort, who was married at 12 and gave birth to Henry at 13 after his father’s death, sustaining so much damage during childbirth that she was never able to bear another child (she was extremely petite to begin with, and remained that way as an adult), but who still remarried twice, both times happily. Of course she was obsessed with protecting Henry–he was all she had, and he spent most of his childhood and young adulthood either held as a benign hostage by the Yorkists, or on the run on the Continent. On the other side, the Yorkist women did everything they could for their husbands, brothers, and sons, because they were their loved ones–why is this a surprise? (There’s a reason GRRM based Game of Thrones on the Wars of the Roses, folks–they were incredible bloody, with a handful of families, all related through Edward III, trying to kill each other to gain possession of the Crown.) OK, I’m getting way off subject here, but to wrap up: (1) the costumer most likely knows how things should be done, but isn’t being allowed to do them properly, and (2) Phillippa Gregory is a crap writer with delusions of her own grandeur.

    1. Totally agree with you there, Robintmp, on both subjects. I refuse to read PG for those reasons. Anne Easter Smith’s series is tons better as romance/historical fiction and there’s no witchcraft regarding Jacqueline of Luxembourg Duchess Dowager of Bedford (EoY mom) and is pro-Richard III .

    2. I remember when I was in university being gobsmacked that the main lecturer on a course on magic and witchcraft in early modern Europe i.e. An expert on the period who was a PhD from Cambridge and FRHS to boot; gave a positive endorsement of Gregory’s novels from a historical standpoint. I’m not making that up. I guess that no matter how well qualified you are there’s no accounting for taste.

      Personally I’ve only read one of Gregory’s novels Eartly Joys (pre TOBG), which is about the Trasdecants, and their interactions with the great and the good during James 6&1 and later Charles 1, mostly focusing on John Trasdecant the elder being in love with the Duke of Buckingham (who if you ever do a top 5 seventeenth century people who need movies should be on the list – he was a very interesting man and quite unfairly maligned by history I think). I hated it as it was full of bad history (yes Philippa, I get it you’ve read Christpher Hill and Alan Bray’s books – still doesn’t make you legit) and a lot of bad homophobic and misogynist stereotypes.

      1. If it’s worth anything I should point out that the lecturer in question (equivalent of a mid ranked professor in the USA – this was a New Zealand university) was a man, amd not the sort of person you’d expect to read PG novels.

    3. I just can’t let this go. So SPOILERS. I just finished watching episode 5 and… you think what Philippa Gregory did to Margaret Beaufort was bad?! Emma Frost has her smother Jasper Tudor to death, to protect Henry from finding out she murdered the Princes in the Tower. Part of me is terribly offended; the other part of me was hysterically laughing too hard to cope (defense mechanism.) / END SPOILERS

      But wait just a damn minute — this costume designer did the BBC’s “The Musketeers”?!? That show is 100% costuming inaccurate IMO, but the costumes there are either awesome in a totally Steampunked way or absolutely stunning on screen, which makes me ask — what the HELL happened here?!?

  37. Oh, my…so I followed the eBay link for shits and giggle, and found THIS: http://www.ebay.com/itm/WHITE-PRINCESS-LIZZIE-JODIE-COMER-PRODUCTION-USED-BIRTHING-TOOLS-SET-EP-103-/182557059283?hash=item2a813fa8d3

    It’s the “used” part that gets me…

    (Yes, I know, they didn’t actually use them to deliver anyone’s baby, but still…and yes, there are a few other costumes over there right now, although nothing else of such awfulness as the teal eczema hideousity.)

  38. She was wearing this dress when she was pregnant with Arthur too, I guess fugly maternity dresses have been around for ages. At one point Lizzie’s Mother told Lady Margaret that her gown was too tight because of the pregnancy and she had to go change her dress. It was just a plan to get Lizzie alone somewhere for plotting and intrigue. In that scene her Mother was only playing around with a couple of the shittons of laces. What a letdown she didn’t change into something else.

  39. And ANOTHER thing about White Princess: the hideously bad job of making the actress blonde. Brassy, unconvincingly. dark roots — are there no wigs (Emilia Clarke doesn’t have white hair, now does she? And she looked fine in GoT.)? Did the production run out of money for hair dye? What??

  40. It’s interesting that it’s on Starz, home of the much superior show Outlander (seriously better costumes, acting, writing, sets even). I guess they can’t get Terry to work on all of their shows :(

    Also has everyone else noticed all the Welsh flags they have up all the time. I thought that flag was actually really modern, like from the 1950s? And all of the banners look like they are from a high school drama production.

  41. The husband glanced at the phone as I was reading and snorting with laughter and said (in his best Westley impression) “Dear God, what is that /thing/!”

    He was even more confused when I told him it was supposed to be historical costuming.

  42. I absolutely love this outfit. If it was not for this disastrous ensemble, I would never have found Frockflicks. :P
    This ‘garb’ they have put her in, is the worst thing I’ve ever seen any leading lady wear in a quasi-historical TV series.
    To be fair, I usually block out most of the costume flaws in TV series. DH and I love history, and usually he is the one to pick apart historical TV. But, moreso from a military angle in his case. However while watching this out of desperation, I can still clearly recall the conversation between us.

    It started with me uttering… “Oh my god..” followed by him saying. “What the fuck is she wearing..” and me replying with “I dunno…”

    I was convinced that their had to be some sort of documented evidence for something that resembled that outfit, because I’ve never seen something look so glaringly wrong. Why would they put her in such an unflattering gown?
    Anyway, obviously never found a picture on what it might of been based on.. but I did find Frockflicks.

  43. I’m not defending this outfit, but I think the “reason” for it is because “Lizzie” is pregnant while she’s wearing it and there’s a scene where she has to leave an event, ostensibly to loosen her laces to not restrict the baby (but actually to conspire with her mum in private). I think it’s the costumer designer trying to make the laces super obvious so that that scene makes sense. (Why there need to be 17 sets of laces, I don’t know.) I think they’re implying it’s some kind of Tudor maternity separates, that can be let out.

    I mean, it still looks all wrong in every way you all just said. But I think that might sort of maybe kind of explain it a little?

  44. The as mentioned outfit isn’t great… however her costumes in the last few episodes are absolutely incredible … sooo stunning …

  45. I can’t get past the heinous fabric choices. That dress looks like someone skinned my nan’s parlor furniture. They seemed to have shredded all her doilies too and hot glued the remains down the bottom front.

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