“Reign” Fashion Disasters, or Dear Gods, Kill Me Now

I am not a fashion-nazi.  I am not going to complain because the hem is a bit off or you’re not using the right buttons.  I’m not going to quibble over whether that dress is from the 1550s or the 1560s.  Nor am I expecting a CW show to have costumes as sumptuous as those on The Tudors, which could afford a much larger budget.

But can’t CW’s Reign at least go for “vaguely Renaissance”?  I’d quip about it’s lack of historical accuracy measuring up to the lack of accuracy in the plot, but, seriously, the costuming makes the plot look like an academic work.

To start, let’s create a few baselines from which to measure.  This is a 16th century portrait of Mary Queen of Scots, the main character in Reign:

HIstorical image of Mary Queen of Scots

And this is how she was dressed in the 1971 movie Mary Queen of Scots:

Mary as played by Vanessa Redgrave in 1971
Mary as played by Vanessa Redgrave, on right, in 1971.  Elizabeth I is on left.  Kind of dumpy, but the right general shape.

Here’s an image from The Tudors depicting Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and two ladies-in-waiting.

The women’s dresses aren’t too bad (discounting the cleavage), although I’m not sure why the girl on the left has an off the shoulder neckline.  Headpieces are considerably erroneous.  Henry is by far the least accurately dressed, although it still gives the feeling of Renaissance fashion.

And another image from The Tudors, just in case you meet someone who rants about crazy costumes for the show.  It comes from YouKnowYouLoveFashion.com, which may be my new favorite site.

Anny Boleyn With something on her head
Purple eyeshadow, sleeveless bodice, face glitter, gold doily on the head…not The Tudors finest costume moment.

And more recently from Dr. Who:

Elizabeth I in Doctor Who
Joanna Page as Elizabeth I. This is seriously awful with bad fabric, a poor fit, crumpled skirt, etc.  But it still has recognizable elements of a Renaissance dress.

And the creators of Reign even know the basics of Renaissance clothing:

Most honest promotional image ever.  Young hot actors in a love triangle.  Also theoretically historical.  And...we're done.
Smooth hoop skirt, proper neckline, mostly correct bodice (although it’s awfully pointy).  We’ve got all the basics of a Renaissance dress here.

So why-oh-why was I greeted earlier this week with this?


I’d totally rock this for Steampunk.  But steampunk is based on the 19th century, not 16th.  There’s only so far I’m willing to go as far as correct period.  Steampunk is also not historically correct: no 19th century woman would wear this either.

Also, sweetheart, you clearly have not finished dressing since corsets are underwear.  Sure, you see them as outerwear in goth clubs and steampunk events, but that’s “dressing up.”

I wish I could find an image of the whole dress, because it sweeps backward into a bustle-like shape.  Again, 19th century, not 16th.  But my search for such a photo led me to ones from other episodes, a few shown below.

And then there’s her wedding dress:

Mary in Reign in Wedding Dress
I’m pretty sure they found this at David’s Bridal.  Also, again with the underwear as outerwear.  And what’s up with the bridesmaids?  Was the wedding themed “ancient Greek”?

And a modern fashion pretending to be historical:

REign dress designed by Alexander McQueen
Again, cool for steampunk.  Hell, I’d wear that top every chance I got.  But NOT RENAISSANCE.  Designed by Alexander McQueen.

The above image comes from OnScreenStyle.com.  They’re selling dresses from Reign as everyday wear.  The writer states: “So, yes, clothes from 1557 France do exist today, and it’s not going to cost you your head to get them!”

It took a lot of consideration before I was confident that this wasn’t satire.

This next one comes from ShopYourTV.com, who will sell this to you for the low, low price of $1100.

Reign Dress completely out of period
My best guess here is 19th century nightgown.

And another:

Mary from Reign in Black Dress
Chiffon, sleeveless, peekaboo embroidery, simple round collar, no trim…seriously, what the hell?  And then the royal headband to top it off.

Another from You Know You Love Fashion from an article entitled Reign WTF of the Week:

mary in Reign with rediculous gold outfit
I’d complain about the dress if it weren’t for the fact I’m mesmerized by the NBC peacock sprouting around her neck.

This is a still from the show:

Ladies in Waiting from Reign
The ladies-in-waiting attend prom!
Prom Night in Reign
More prom pics.  We’re not even trying at this point. 
Also, tiara.  At Mary’s wedding, everyone has these adorable tiaras, perfect for a modern wedding but 100% ridiculous in this context.


  1. Makes you wonder if they fired their historical costume designer to save some money.

    1. Agree!!
      Using a bunch of prom dresses .. just because they are long

      1. I agree wholeheartedly! I was actually stunned into watching an entire episode.

        I wear corsets every day of my life. I know an 1890 silhouette when I see one and what’s up with the creepy cave girl who’s dress was stolen from Laura Ingles?

        That’s a late 19th century dress.

        I can watch it if I don’t look at them as historical figures. I know way too much about the actual history to enjoy the show if I look at it as anything but fiction.

        They obviously have the budget to do this well, there’s just no real effort put into it.

        With just a little attention to detail and these shows could reach MUCH larger audiences. They could go from being background noise or thoughtless distraction to winning awards…but hey, why bother?

        (I feel bad for these actors and actresses. They get stuck in these weird B roles and all of a sudden, they’re un-castable.

        For instance, the cast of The Vampire Diaries and the Originals After being vampires for 16 years, people can’t see them as anything but and it’s quite distracting.)

    2. I was expecting the King to come out with a polyester blue prom tux and a disco ball. I grew up with these clothes, and this approach to period dressing is like a giddy pre-teen opening up the attic trunk of her Prom Queen pageant winning Grandma. There is a way you move with costumes that affect the characters physical movements. I think Johnny Depp would have done a superb job in these dresses, which also look as though the Producer made the AD tun to Goodwill.

  2. Good lord. o.O So many reasons to NOT watch this dreck, ever.

    1. Actually this show is really amazing regardless of what they are wearing so you should give it a shot

  3. omg puhleez the show is amazing loser u dont watch it so u obiviously dont know! and wth u dont need to be so technical about the dresses

    1. They could at least try a LITTLE, seriously come on!

    2. Totally agree! And I love the costumes!

  4. Apparently the costume designer lacks access even to books & Google. They aren’t even *trying* on that show.

  5. True they aren’t accurate but my oh my are they gorgeous so I get over it lol

  6. I was very excited when I first saw the commercial and the posters then I watched the show and after 15 minutes gave up completely, it is not period, it is not queen Mary, it has nothing of what it was marketed as. And its not budget, because some of those are brand names and expensive fabrics so they could have used the money for a period look. Very disappointing.

    1. The Tudors was a disappointment.

  7. The designers (and the writers) were only trying to loosely match the historical design and actual story. They saw this as an opportunity to put a contemporary spin on the factual story and period appropriate dress, in order to make the story more interesting to a larger audience and also go in a direction that no tv show really has before. Anyone with a simple middle school education would be able to see that the costumes would be completely inappropriate in the time of Mary Queen of Scots, but that is not laziness on the part of the costume designer or the writer and rather a creative use of true period dress as a basis for the costumes seen in the show. The first picture you showed of the true Mary Queen of Scots showed her in a black and hold gown very similar to one the character wears in the show, just an example of how the costume designer made something that was historically accurate into a gown which someone in this day and age would covet. Instead of complaining about how historically inaccurate the clothing or plot is and accusing the designers of laziness and cutting corners (which is obviously not the case) you could instead appreciate the costumes for their beauty and how much time must have been put into each and every one of them. Or maybe the show just isn’t for you. If you want a completely historically accurate show, the CW probably isn’t the place to look.

    1. I agree entirely. I’m a history buff myself, but I absolutely love this show for creating an interesting — albeit not factually accurate — storyline that reaches a broad audience and encourages people who might not otherwise be interested to look more deeply into history. Let’s be honest here, most people between the ages of 13 and 30 would automatically switch off the channel if they turned on a show with actual, historically-accurate costuming because most people don’t feel a connection to history. By updating the wardrobe, the designers have made it easier for modern young adults to relate to history.

  8. I’m with that person ^^^. They obviously changed the plot, (because if Frances was to die early on from an ear infection, there would be no show-duh!) Obviously they also took liberties with costume designing to keep regular(modern) people interested. Oh, and coming from a Medieval Reenactor (seamstress,) a good many of your observations are off. So do your research first honey….your article hurts my brain ( Greek wedding party? ) try Italian 14-15th century and French 10-14th century inspired. Greek and Romans wore much lighter, linen, cotton, rectangular shaped dresses, either short or long, had completely different hairstyles, and totally different jewelry and shoes. So, for the Gods’s sake, give it a rest honey! Don’t watch it if you don’t like it. Also, if you want to fuss, know exactly WHAT you are fussing about.

    Good Day 🙂

    1. Omg thank you said everything I wanted to tell her seriously Greek wedding party my god

  9. C’mon! Reign is just a ‘historical’ Gossip Girl… and it’s GREAT

  10. i agree with you. i was sooo freaking excited about this show when the teasers were first revealed. I didnt mind that it would have historical inaccuracies as long as i had a show about Queen Mary and that period of time in history. however, i couldnt watch past the first episode due to the fashion blunders. yes the fashion is nice and i would buy it all in a heart beat BUT if you are showing something from renaissance period then you have to at least TRY to make it look like its that period. im not being picky at all here but at least dont make the fashion those girls wear look like something I would wear today. Maybe its just me but it really is a big turn off

  11. Maebelline, you’re an idiot. For someone who claims to be a medieval reenactor, you have no concept of what medieval dress is like, if you think that wedding picture was inspired by “10th-15th century French and Italian fashions”. Please educate yourself before spouting rubbish: http://justadram.tumblr.com/post/61424859403/meta-monday-clothing

  12. You do realize that this is fictional and NOT a historically accurate show at all, right? They never once tried to pose as being so. I personally find the fashion refreshing and beautiful, nothing wrong with it at all. Of course, if they were attempting to be historically accurate I would probably be upset, but they are not.

    1. I love history, I hate that people don’t know their histories and they are corrupted by these production companies. Agreed “Not a historically accurate show at all” but they are “pose(ing) as being so”. Using actual historical figure’s names to create a show around, is just propoganda and leads to ignorance. CW please do better, in fact all producers etc, please do better. I like fantasy as much as the next but the 1950s drab dresses and Marilyn’s wardrobe, is not appealing and constantly distracts and detracts from any entertainment value in this show. History is surprising and interesting without it being messed with. Fantasty is better when creatation is inspired by an original thought. I know the writers and producers can do so much better, and I realise that the publics appitites have been led.

      Please lead in a better and with more creative integrity.

      1. Apologies for the typos. I can spell 😀

  13. Ahahaha, the show has NEVER tried for historical accuracy, it simply took a part of history and put a spin on it, it’s highly fictionalised- I doubt King Henry’s ghost ever possessed a maid…
    If people are upset at the show for costumes, I suggest they look elsewhere because this show has never pretended that it’s trying to be historically accurate.
    All that aside, the costumes themselves are absolutely BEAUTIFUL, this post is full of unwarranted snark really..

    1. Author

      If you don’t want snark, you’re reading the wrong blog.

      What’s the point of a “historical” drama if you put no history in it? It’s like doing a show about the Revolutionary War except everyone has ray guns and the British win.

      Them not even trying for accuracy is the entire point here.

      1. I definitely agree, and love the bit about the ray gun! Queen Mary’s life was so fascinating that they don’t need to ruin it with all these crappy costumes. Although I will admit the drama is fun to get into. I still would rather see how it really happened, but it’s hard to know that for sure even with historians’ opinions on the matter. I would love to get my hands on a time machine and become a friend of Mary Beton or Seton (two of Mary’s real ladies – there was another Mary and they were called the Four Maries, if I remember correctly).

  14. The designs are absolutely gorgeous. I haven’t seen designs as beautifully done for this type of movie since Gone With the Wind. The customes bring excitement to the series which keeps my interest. I love the clothing & jewelry,
    Watching pride & prejedious with Collin Firth compared to watching it with Kiera Knightly was no comparison. I think the clothing made an impact I couldn’t stand the designs Kiera Knightly wore. I’m told they were more realistic to those times but I couldn stand to watch & yet I totally love the storyline.

  15. I was done when I saw Mary wearing a maxi dress and head band for a crown.

  16. One factor is there is a sponsor selling prom dresses with a tie-in to the show. Even if the designer knew correct styles (many do) they are often overidden by the art director or producer. I believe that happened on The Tudors and Elizabeth. I haven’t heard if this is the case with this designer yet.

  17. One factor is there is a sponsor selling prom dresses with a tie-in to the show. Even if the designer knew correct styles (many do) they are often overidden by the art director or producer. I believe that happened on The Tudors and Elizabeth. I haven’t heard if this is the case with this designer yet.

  18. Watched the first episode, but due to the howling mistakes re: the costumes, I could watch no more. Even though the series is fictional, it is based of true characters. Perhaps the costume designer should have made space costumes as then the series could be called “Mary Queen of Scots at the inter-galatic court!!

    1. Seriously, it’s not that bad. I can sew….I mean make costumes, dresses, suits, ect. I’ve done research at different times for period costumes, so I’m somewhat familar with the different trends. My opinion is that they are taking period costumes, which are usually butt ugly, updating them to make for better eye appeal. And seriously, you aren’t going to watch a show because the fashion is period perfecy? Reality check, the show is about the characters and the event around them

      But I have spotted some major bloppers. One of the early episodes Mary is wLking away from the camera and you can see a hidden zipper going straight down her back. A hidden zipper is one that the carefully place two flap/folds of fabric over so that the zipper blends in and it looks like a seam….but if you sew, you know what it is as soon as you see it

      BIGGEST BLOOPER – brides did not wear white to their weddings until the Victorian era, which started approximately 1830. During this era they dressed and shrouded their dead in white so the color signified death. Brides wore whatever color they wanted to wear, bright, earth tones, dark…..whatever.

      1. Bigger History of Fashion Blooper-yours. Mary Queen of Scots wore a white dress which was a very uncommon choice given hertime. Google it. Eyewitness accounts compare it to the whiteness of lillies.

  19. I JUST decided to watch reign, and first thing I noticed was those stupid dresses, sleevless modern prom dresses, just ruined all from the very beginning, I can’t take this seriously.

  20. Thanks for sharing that link. I’ve sewed a few period costumes and know basics but am not an expert… I’m just starting the series and I look at it as, yes the clothes are not era perfect, but era perfect is sometimes freaking butt ugly. So I don’t mind the updating, it a show about the people and events around them (add in artistic license )

    But I have been trying to keep a tall of the hidden zipper I’m seeing all over the place. Once even directly up Mary’s back as she walks away from the camera. Saw another on her shoulder in episode 2 or 3, the black/white very sleeveless dress with the frill at her neck. If you look close you can see the bump of the hidden zipper on her left shoulder going from arm to neck.

    I also liked your link because it pointed out that women didn’t expose their hair. I had forgotten that. It was only uncovered in the privacy of their bed chamber, and sometimes not then

    Which leads me to my next observation and I’m only on epi 13!! The wedding. I attached an article on wedding practices that does metion the tradition of a bride getting married “in her hair” (yeah, read a LOT of historic romance novels) to show her youth and innocence.

    One thing it doesn’t mention. Is clothing color for weddings. White was a color that was avoided because the dressed their dead in white and sometmes wrapped them in white shrouds (Shourd of Turin anyone????) The pictures do show brides in many different styles and colors.

    Honestly everyone needs to stop gripping about the era clothing and enjoy the show. Now if you find you don’t like the show due to acting, content or the actors themselves, stop watching.


  21. If you want historically accurate dresses, the CW is clearly not for you. Their main focus is to attract a large audience, not to turn the show into another history movie. Think about it. If they actually took the time to create historically actuate dresses, the focus on the show would be centered around their mostly ugly dresses rather than the plot. If you’re paying more attention to the costumes rather than what the characters are saying, I’m sorry to say it but maybe you just shouldn’t be watching shoes by the CW. The Vampire Diaries is another show that jumps back in time to the 1800s, and their dresses are completely off, too. But does it really matter what they’re wearing if the plot is amazing? To be honest, I’m glad the dresses aren’t perfectly accurate. It would probably look cheap and hideous. And that factor would lose audience members. There’s a reason they are on their 3rd season. They’re obviously doing something right. So if you want historically accurate dresses, go watch the history channel, because you clearly won’t be disappointed there.

    1. Then they fail, because the characters and plot are complete and utter disasters. These are not the historical characters. They’re not even particularly compelling characters–they are more like something you’d find in one of those bargain-bin-3-for-$1 romance books that they clearance at supermarkets. The plots are absurd. The show could have shot for at least doing something right with the style, but instead they treated their audience to sloppy design there, as well. There is not one part of this show that does not come off as laziness in action; it’s a big-budget high school media project with less charm and effort.

      1. I believe that if the show were actually 100% historically accurate, it would be totally boring as hell. This is not a TV show made for history buffs to shit on, it’s a period drama on a channel meant for entertainment. If you want cheap, disappointing crap, you can go to another channel. This show is greatly under appreciated and the characters are actually quite well rounded as although some may seem bad, they’re never 100%bad. If you’ve ever learned anything in an English class, you’d know that characters like Catherine are turning points for quality and theme. This is a good ass show with beautiful fashion and actors/actresses. Whoever executed them obviously worked hard and put a lot of effort into making stylish yet old fashioned dresses. If you wanted historically accurate, I’d reckon you’d be more disappointed than you think. Down playing the talents of the writers, actors and designers who worked so hard to produce and provide this show for actually appreciative people is quite rude. I’d enjoy seeing you create something like it in any of your lifetimes. Good luck

        1. Hear hear Maddie!!!

  22. It’s the CW. Dammit, I’m so tired of people getting on their soap boxes about the Hollywood spin. If you want accuracy, watch a documentary.

  23. I am a history nerd, especially when it comes to Tudor/Rennaissance times. What I am disappointed about is that The creators of Reign don’t see Mary Stuart’s real life story as interesting enough for TV. Why not make up a Queen if you are going to distort her story so much.
    -Ridiculous dresses. Yes the dresses are gorgeous but come on….can’t we educate and entertain people at the same time?
    -The accents. Was Australia even discovered back then?

    – totally hot Francis and Bash
    I am a little bit addicted to Reign, as long as I try to forget the fact it’s based on a real person.

  24. I love the show! But I’m not watching it to get a historical perspective, it’s a teen angst drama, comparable to a Tudor version of gossip girl. I swoon on all the dresses yet i know it’s not accurate. I just enjoy this twist on an interesting story. There’s plenty of tv shows out there that I don’t like, so I just don’t watch them!

  25. I loved the zipper in one episode.

  26. I began watching Reign on Netflix, thinking that it was a BBC production or something. I had no idea it was a CW production! So, the further into the first episode I got, the more confused I became. Why were the girls wearing prom dresses? How could they be exposing their bare arms and bare heads, especially in conservative, Catholic France? I kept thinking I had missed something on my Humanities studies at college, during my class in historical costumes.

    It was only by Google Google and coming to this site did I discover the root of all the inaccuracies. CW; that explains it,

  27. All of you need to shut up. The outfits on this show are beautiful and very thing you wrote is absolute rubbish. This is a show on the CW! If you want accuracy then read a history book!

  28. All of you need to shut up. The outfits on this show are beautiful and everything you wrote is absolute rubbish. This is a show on the CW! If you want accuracy then read a history book!

  29. I fully agree, this time piece could be so good if only they portrayed things with historical accuracy. Elizabeth was chosen as the character and doesn’t even have red hair, that was kind of a huge part of Elizabeth ….fury, red hair. Then the costumes, bleck. My dreams contain hither quality clothing and contain more attention to detail. This show’s fashion is like a prom in 1999.

  30. I fully agree, this time piece could be so good if only they portrayed things with historical accuracy. Elizabeth was chosen as the character and doesn’t even have red hair, that was kind of a huge part of Elizabeth ….fury, red hair. Then the costumes, bleck. My dreams contain hither quality clothing and contain more attention to detail. This show’s fashion is like a prom in 1999.

  31. the one thing that bothers me the most is that all the wedding dresses are white. No one wore a white wedding dress until Queen Victoria did so in 1840. She kicked off that very modern fashion trend. Before that, wedding gowns came in many colors, and for many folks would have been a Sunday best and would have been worn again. Of course royals probably would only wear a wedding gown once. Even after Victoria’s wedding, white took a while to catch on. I actually have my great grandmother’s wedding dress. It was two pieces. A skirt and a top, and it was a deep chocolate brown with some gold lace and trim. Only the top has survived. (She was so tiny that I had my portrait taken in it when I was about 9 years old, just for nostalgia, because I was the only one who could fit in it). She would have been married around 1910, because that’s the year my grandma was born, so I’m sure the wedding was a year or two before that. But it was certainly as much as 30 years after Victoria started the trend of wearing white wedding dresses. No in in the 1550’s would have worn white wedding dresses. They probably didn’t even have the ability to bleach fabric to a true white. Silk would have been extremely hard to come by, and astronomically expensive, but could have been had by Royals… probably at great difficulty.

    Now days it’s virtually unheard of to wear anything BUT white wedding gowns, but everyone assumes that it’s ALWAYS been done that way.

  32. I have to agree that massive creative license was taken with this show. I can overlook “hidden” zippers, headbands for crowns, underwear as outerwear, etc. But to hear Lorde, “Royals” being played at one of the parties….that’s a bit much. And btw, if you read your history, Marie Stewart, Queen of Scots DID wear white when she got married.

  33. For people who know historical costuming, the dresses are distracting. I think I could live with it if they picked on era and stuck with it, but as said having the entire history of western costuming represented in one shot is irritating. This current laissez-faire attitude toward costuming is disappointing.

  34. If they followed accurately all the historical events of the time there would be no show… its entertainment not a documentary. If you want historical accuracy go watch the history channel..i love the show and if your so bent over back to know the history of which the characters are based grab a book and read about them… Idiots…

  35. i’ts different, i think it would be boring if was perfectly accurate, even being a tv show about the past we have enough of accurate movies about these eras, let the actors show what the amazing fashion designers can do nowadays.

  36. I couldn’t care if the attire isn’t accurate. The show is good and the dresses are absolutely gorgeous. They’re so elaborate and detailed. They take my breath away. And have you noticed that Queen Mary has like a billion crowns? I did! They’re so pretty. It makes me want to buy a ton of crowns which would be a waste of money unless I attend some kind of ball.

  37. Reign has always been intended to outline the rise and life of Mary queen of scots with a modern twist there are many historical aspects to the show and don’t get me wrong I love the Tudors however the Tudors is set to show the exact story of Henry the 8th and is designed to appeal to historic lovers and lovers of the story of Henry whereas reign is set to represent a whimsical feel that entices a huge audience who don’t necessarily love history.

    1. The Tudors isnt even completely historically acurate though… They turned his two sisters into one character and completely made up a few major plotlines.

  38. OMG – I thought it would be a fun bit of fluff – but had to switch off that rubbish after 30min. The last ten minutes I spent gawking at the mix of costumes. Mock tudor, steam punk, todays prom wear, tiaras galore, open hair, heels and ballerinas. And since it is historic heyy – let’s do some of that outlander costumes – 18th century – but hey, historic… gnahhhh.
    I will not even get started about the story. Even hunky Nostradamus (!) couldn’t make me watch more of that. Thanks for your post!

  39. It’s like Jurassic park all over again. News flash! If you hadn’t noticed most of the tv shows and movies that are made today are based on history, books, stories etc. and yet none of them are accurate, but you still watch it!!!
    If you’re gonna complain about how this show’s plot and costumes are inaccurate and unwatchable then you might as well stop watching tv period. Except for cartoons that popped up out of no where and are made from the imagination of the writers.

  40. I couldn’t watch it either. The costumes were too distracting.

  41. I thought I Was the only one Who noticed unfidelity about time of costumes. You should watch some Brazilian TV classic series of past times that were much more faithfull to the times reallities spanding much less money. Even so I Still like the show

  42. I have just started watching Reign on Netflix. I am not a history buff and generaly just interested in basic history of different places and things. I really enjoy the show and costumes and the storyline, though a bit juvenile, thats to be expected.

    With that said, I was curious about things that happen in the show and characters that show up. So, I started researching. And I don’t mean Wiki anything researching. I mean really researching. I have learned so much about these people. Sometimes, I don’t understand the made up parts of historical shows because these people’s real lives were just as amazing, sad, unbelievable, exciting, tortured, and jaw dropping as the shows.(because it is a tv show and ESPECIALLY because it is a CW show, I take the show at face value)

    I got on historical tv shows kick when I watched Versailles. AMAZING! Very accurate to Louis XIV’s real life, from what I have read.

    I think these shows could be a great catalyst for learning the real history, fashion or otherwise.

  43. The costumes aren’t meant to be historically accurate. I mean, the show is geared toward teenagers and is set to modern music. If you aren’t intelligent enough to figure out by now that they MEANT for the costumes to be the way they are, then someone as stupid as you simply isn’t worthy of existing. Seriously. I mean, the costume designer has even explained before in interviews that the costumes are inspired by history, but with a distinctly modern twist. The costumes, most of the time, however, do give a nod to their historical inspirations, which has also been seen in a side-by-side comparison of photos from the show vs. photos from history, such as this one: http://reignfanatics.tumblr.com/post/145391913336/reign-merchandise-httpbitly1ehmtsx

    So do the world a favor and quit being an imbecile and trashing on costumes that look better than anything you’ve ever worn.

  44. 15 minutes into the first episode I had to pause it and walk away. The costuming is truly God-awful…but then I reconsidered after remembering how much I liked “A Knight’s Tale” with it’s quasi-modern outfits and awesome soundtrack. It’s really okay if you view it as a fantasy vice historical show.

  45. loop at series 1 – ep 13 – Kenna’s heels at 25 mins in… pretty sure i have the same pair now

  46. look at series 1 – ep 13 – Kenna’s heels at 25 mins in… pretty sure i have the same pair now

  47. look at series 1 – ep 13 – Kenna’s heels at 25 mins in… pretty sure i have the same pair now

    1. Yessss!! Omg!! I have been slightly mini-cringing at so many of the ridiculous wardrobe disasters throughout the show, but then shrugging them off as ‘oh well, not TOO horrible’. But then this scene plays out….where a sexy looking platform, high heeled sandal, that is obviously of our era, emerges from the opening in her robe!! I am not extremely worried about absolute wardrobe accuracy but COME ONNN!! At least TRYYYYY wardrobe and footwear that was designed BEFORE 1980!!! That was a bit much for me! Why not just have her wear GO-GO boots??!!

  48. I watched it for the first time today and laughed at it. I do not mind a twist in the plot, but promoting a show as “historical” but not even trying to dress up properly is sacrilegious. Also people throwing out excuses like “they did that to keep people interested”, are you kidding me? There are plenty of shows and movies set in middle ages or the renaissance era which does not make use of such contemporary spin on dresses with very good following among the young people (Game of Thrones anyone?). It’s a simple fact that they costume designers are not trying, not even a little. The show is done very incomplete. Forget the costumes, even the score is hilarious. I mean a historical show with makes use of folk music? Ha! Even more ridiculous is not even one actor seems to care about doing their accents properly as they allow their native accents run free. At least try to emulate a semi-English accent if you can! Reign fans are pathetic in defending this show as all their excuses can be counterargued by citing shows set in historical times.

  49. I’ve been watching reign since it started and I love it! I’m also an actress and theatre director and from an artistic point of view the costumes and also music within the show come from artistic angle and concept of working in modern day trends to make the show appear sexier and appeal to a younger audience.
    For example, In the dances and feasts; the music in the background is from artists like Adele and Lady GaGa (played on the lute haha!)
    For this reason the costumes use renaissance themes throughout such as fabric and patterns but are reworked with help from sponsoring designers like Alexander McQueen and Givenchy.
    This is all lightly tied with a fairytale (brother Grimm) feel to make it feel magical and ethereal all to make girls wish and guys lust!

    So I don’t think it’s lack of attention to detail and historical context it’s a take on history (similar to how nowadays producers have made Shakespearean plays modernised,) they’ve given it a little spritz!

  50. Listen you fucking bitches, you all have ABSOLUTELY no idea wtf youre saying. The dresses are AMAZING and so is the show. If you bitches would have paid enough attention in history class, you would know that everything in the show is accurate and that just because you dont fucking watch the show, doesnt mean that you can critisize it. So SHOVE IT!!!

  51. After watching about 17 episodes of Reign so far I have become obsessed with the costumes which have really begun to rock. I have a passion for history, especially The Tudor Dynasty onwards. I have studied it quite intensively and write about it. I know my period costume too. From the very first episode it was plain to see their aim was neither historical accuracy nor costume authenticity. I admit sone of the early episode costumes looked too modern, hairstyles too, but then it found its groove and I was totally hooked. I also make boudoir dolls from a variety of eras. I research their costumes and then use recycled clothing, fabric and jewellery to create the look. I have a wonderful gothic Anne Boleyn. What the costume designers on Reign are creating is rather spectacular, and I am already itching to try out some of their ideas. Mary’s outfits are to die for, and oh my god, her crowns too. I adore her cloaks and furs. Her ladies, which in real life were all called Mary (Marie ) are turning out in some stunners too. Catherine de Medici, also has a fabulous wardrobe. Historically it takes great liberties, but the producers weren’t aiming for accuracy. It a fictional portrayal of Mary Queen of Scots early life. I love this whimsical version, which is a breath of fresh air. I can always return to my real studies when I like.

    I would never seek historical accuracy from an American produced show or movie about this era as they typically fail to convey the atmosphere and struggle to allow characters look their plain, drab selives or stick to the facts. Look to English productions or collaborations as they do this stuff so well. The actors are all very pretty or handsome in this show when in truth they were quite ugly and had bad teeth. No one would watch if this part was accurately portrayed! However, Mary Queen of Scots was by all accounts a stunner from childhood with a pleasant disposition and well educated. She was also very tolerant of her subjects’ varying religious beliefs, and tried to play fair, which made enemies for her. Mary’s character in this fictional series bears evidence of this nature too. I will continue to watch and hopefully they will release a collection of costumes for us to view in more detail. Not the pieces bought online, but the ones they cleverly crafted, embroidered and beaded. They are works of art.

    If anyone is interested in checking out historical fly on the wall insights from this era, and several others, check out Lucy Worsley’s historical documentaries on YouTube. Lucy Worsley is an English historian and custodian of Hampton Court in London, one of Henry VIII’s palaces. Lucy is a delight to watch and listen to.

    Oh, love the soundtrack too. Regarding miseducating teenagers with inaccurate portrayals of history, maybe they should note this during the intro of each episode. I could imagine history shy teenagers assuming it fact otherwise.

  52. I watch this programme purely for entertainment I know it is not accurate but it is fun to watch and I love the costumes even if they are nothing like the real costumes of that era if you want to learn about history watch a boring documentary or look it up. I like the drama true or not

  53. I couldn’t get past the first episode because the costumes bothered me too much. I can only watch a “historical” drama if the costumes are, for the most part accurate. A little artistic license is ok (eg.the Tudors), but when they don’t even bother to make the costumes look anything remotely like the era the series is supposed to take place, it distracts me. It’s like making a movie about the Titanic and having the women wear blue jeans and mini skirts.

  54. This show is hilarious. As a costumer, I can honestly say that the styling could fly if the designers had used real fabrics. Using pleather, upholstery fabric from the sale bin, and jewels from the dollar store ruined what could have been an interesting take on the period. It is really evident when it’s Alexander McQueen and when it’s polyester organza and rick rack. It’s really funny. Enjoying it.

  55. A friend told me about the show as she loves historical series and knows I do too. So last night I sat down to watch it with eager anticipation as it touches a part of history of my home country (France), which I love.
    And boy did I struggle to watch through as from the very beginning I was constantly distracted by either the, oh so, inaccurate costumes and as for the filming locations!! I know this is a low budget series but seriously!! They are not even trying for a modicum of historical accuracy. And sadly the plot is not enough to make me overlook these ‘details’. I may not be able to stick with the series.

  56. Reign has a ton of potential if it weren’t for the fact the producers were so blatant about inserting modern fashion and calling it historical drama…I get it. They need to appeal to the masses…I guess. It is a retail nightmare to say the least. I wonder how many teenage girls put their foot down with mom and dad to get that ONE dress from that ONE scene in ‘Reign’. Seriously. What was up with that plaid prom dress on Mary? No thank you.

  57. I think( as already suggested) that they are appealing to the viewers. The music is modern too but I like the show overall I don’t mind the tweaks.

  58. The outfits in this show got me to wonder as well. They definitely do not look from the correct time period they are in, but consider how accurate any show is nowadays. The goal of the producers and people who make the show is to appeal to as large an audience as possible in order to make it a success. The dresses chosen for this show are obviously for eye candy to a particular young audience, who will love it more for the cute clothes, no matter how bad the actors and screenplay are. Overall, it is an adorable little show, with a continuous drama, beautiful people, lots of romance, and cute dresses. What more could a tween, teen, or young adult want in this modern, extremely media exposed world? If the costumes were depicted as actual renaissance dresses, the ratings would go down because it would not be up to social standards of what one expects to see, such as bare skin, breasts, and cute accessories. Think about it.

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  61. The show wasnt meant to be historically accurate. It’s supposed to be a retelling with a modern twist so of course the dresses arent going to be like the dresses they wore back then

  62. The show wasnt meant to be historically accurate. It’s supposed to be a retelling with a modern twist so of course the dresses arent going to be like the dresses they wore back then

  63. I saw men in like episode 3-4 in American Apperal Turtlesneck sweaters. I can’t watch anymore prom scenes

  64. FYI: The photograph from the 1971 film MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS depicts Vanessa Redgrave as Mary, but the other character “to the left” is one of the four Maries, not Elizabeth. The gowns were by Margaret Furse, Oscar winning costume designer.

  65. I think you’ve missed the point of Reign. It was never meant to be historically accurate at all. The plot, the music, the costumes … “Reign” was a beautiful attempt to bring a very contemporary spin on Mary’s life. It is engaging, romantic, gorgeous, and wholly inaccurate. And I think most people who have seen it totally recognize that. There are more than one ways to approach this modern method – Marie Antoinette, which was mostly accurate, with modern music and some big breaks in fashion accuracy (mainly in the colors and fabrics used). There is the Tudors, which verges on correct, but still straddles some fine lines. Then there is just going all out contemporary, using history as a backdrop for a new story that has some roots in truth. I’m 110% fine with Reign’s approach. I think it’s artful and beautiful and lush. I’m under zero illusions that anyone on staff had the remotest intentions of producing a show meant to be accurate. And that’s ok, because it’s obvious. Just enjoy or don’t watch! 🙂

  66. ” Reign’s” costume designs made me regret even more not becoming a costume designer …I might have saved the show if I had.

  67. I love the show and even thoughit is not accurate, you must agree that the show itself is heart wrenching and the costumes are breath taking non the less.

  68. If they had limited funds for costuming, why didn’t they simply go with stark primary colored garments like Francis’s red black jackets. It was visually all over the place, and cheapened the production. So hard on the eyes and not at all interesting. I haven’t gotten to turtle necks yet, but the Spanks Lycra bodice and 3″ heels were just silly and made me want to turn the show off.

  69. Couldn’t watch more than 3 minutes of this hogwash. The moment I saw someone stepping out of carriage in WHITE KITTEN HEEL SLINGBACKS I was like, ” I am DONE”. The ladies in waiting? Game a break. Like Clueless girls from school. I just can’t with this. I need at least some degree of historical integration ……..For me part of the whole reason for watching a historical drama is the clothing as it denotes an atmosphere in itself. This is some school play.

      1. I guess I am saying that appears to me that you are researching the topic with resources that only agrees with your viewpoint otherwards being biased despite what you claim. And everyone here who is commenting in agreement maybe equally biased on the subject.

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