The period drama dresses I desperately want

If I’m not reading or visiting an old manor house, castle or cathedral, I can probably be found watching a period drama. The Tudors is my favourite TV series, I’ve watched it so many times, and some of my favourite films include Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), Pride and Prejudice (2005), Little Women (1994) and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003).

One of the things I love most about period dramas are the costumes, and there are certain dresses that, if I had any sewing skills whatsoever, I would love to make and wear. Today I thought I’d share them with you!

(The majority of these costumes aren’t actually historically accurate… but they’re so pretty!)


Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991); Costume Designer: John Bloomfield

I adore this film and I’ve always loved this dress that Lady Marian wears to church, mainly because I’m slightly obsessed with her ye olde snood. I want to waltz through a medieval cathedral in a chiffon hood, too.


Dangerous Liaisons (1988); Costume Designer: James Acheson

I watched this film for the very first time this year, and before my mum put it on I had no idea it was set in 18th century France. I would have watched it a lot sooner if I had. Since watching it I’ve been obsessed with this yellow dress – yellow’s my favourite colour, after all, so I love it when it pops up in big, vibrant period drama dresses – and I desperately want to wear it and visit Versailles in it.


Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007); Costume Designer: Alexandra Byrne

LOOK AT THOSE SLEEVES. There’s something so ethereal about this dress – I love that Elizabeth I is wearing it in a scene where Sir Walter Raleigh is telling her about his life on the sea – and to be honest I’ve been obsessed with it since I first saw this film.


Sleepy Hollow (1999); Costume Designer: Colleen Atwood

It’s been ages since I last watched Sleepy Hollow – I need to watch it again this Halloween – and from the moment Katrina Van Tassel stepped out of the carriage onto the snowy streets of New York in this dress, I’ve wanted it. She looks like a peppermint humbug, and that’s what I’ve always considered to be my truest form.


The Tudors (2007-2010); Costume Designer: Joan Bergin

There are so many pretty dresses in The Tudors, but one of my favourite things about the whole show is Sarah Bolger’s performance as a young Mary Tudor. Mary I is so often dismissed as Bloody Mary, but she’s treated so sympathetically in this show and I love it and I loved this green dress of hers. It’s very pretty, as so many of the dresses on the show are, but I also love it because it’s the dress Mary wears at a time in her life when she’s very happy.

What about you? Do you ever watch a period drama and wish you could get your hands on one of the outfits?

17 thoughts on “The period drama dresses I desperately want

  1. bearmkwa says:

    I love sewing up historical garb. I tend to focus on 1790-1860’s as this is where the reenactment group I hang with portrays. My favorite part of the outfit, though, is the snood (or Kapp). I recently watched a Youtube on how to make an early 15th century capp/snood, and I’m going to try that one, soon. Anyway, outfits… hmmm, that’s a hard one. The past few years, I’ve been studying the undergarments of history. Quite a fascinating subject, especially the evolvement of the corset (they’re really very comfortable when you get used to them). I’ve got a set of frilly bloomers on my sewing table at the moment, in fact. I love almost any dress with a hoop! I’m not fond of low necklines (given I have little to display), so outfits I make are usually “neck-huggers”. The character I usually portray is an indentured servant who is also a Quaker/Shaker… this lends to more modest wear… long skirt (no hoop), long sleeves (often rolled up when I’m working around the fire), both in a dull, melancholy grey, a white underdress, and a white snood, or prayer Kapp (I need to replace that one as mine got a little singed when it slipped off and into the fire.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tooshorttooread says:

    I rewatched Golden Age recently and adored the costumes, her purple dress is amazing too, the tudors really knew how to dress! Claire’s yellow dress from Outlander always makes me think of your taste XD. I must admit to having a weakness for empire line dresses and 18th century fashions – and of course ye olde snood…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Mareli Thalwitzer says:

    Yes to the dress!! I also loved Robin Hood when I was much younger. I do believe I might still be able to give full monologues from it! LOL!!
    This was a great post and the blue dress that Elizabeth wore would be my first pick.

    Have a wonderful week! The Sunday Post #9

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lisa says:

    Oh my gosh yes! I love looking at all the period outfits (historically accurate or not). The Tudors was so great, and the costumes were amazing. I’d say check out season 2 of Outlander for the Paris costumes — just spectacular. And I agree with the comment above about The Witcher, especially Yennefer’s dress at the end with all the ropes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Emer @alittlehazebookblog says:

    I watched the tudors for Henry cavil……. πŸ˜…πŸ˜…πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ It’s a great show though. And the costuming, when they wear it lol, is fantastic. And omg Robin Hood prince of thieves is one of my favs. Even with the Kevin Costner very much not British accent πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tammy says:

    I want all these dresses!! I just discovered a You Tuber/Instagramer seamstress who makes her own period clothes and talks about them, i swear I could watch her videos all day! (sewstine -if you haven’t seen her definitely check her out!)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. GoAnnelies - In Another Era says:

    I’m also obsessed by period dramas. I’m rewatching The Tudors, which is also my favorite series, for the 7th time or something (I’m in season 3 at the moment). I also love the dresses of Cate Blanchet from the Elizabeth movies, especially the yellow one. The dresses of Versailles and Outlander are also very pretty :D.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dinipandareads says:

    Love these! I’ve heard many things about The Tudors show but I still haven’t watched it yet, even though I’ve been telling myself for years I should watch it. I think of all the dresses here Lady Marian’s and Mary’s are my fave 😍 Great post, Jess!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. dianthaa says:

    These are great!
    Have you watched The Witcher? I think the costume design was my favorite thing about the show.

    Liked by 1 person

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