SNARK WEEK: “Reign” Is Not Your Average Quinceañera


Our ultimate Snark Week throw-down is happening right now, between The Tudors and Reign (I am contractually obligated to insist that you vote RIGHT NOW if you haven’t), two television shows will go down in infamy for tossing the history baby out with the bathwater. The Tudors, obviously, paved the way for Reign, so it’s not surprising that Reign decided to turn historical inaccuracy to 11 in order to distinguish itself further from anything remotely historical in the plot. I’m going to even concede to Tudors the fact that at the very least, the show writers skimmed a history book or two in order to get the basics before peeing all over the lives of these people in the name of sex, drugs, and wild madrigal orgies.

Science, bitches.

So, for me, the biggest issue I have with Reign is that (everyone say it with me now) MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS WAS A REDHEAD. A six-foot-tall redhead, no less (sound like anyone we know?), who had all the things that made her a threat to my homegirl, QEI. She was taller, more redheaded, 10 years younger, FRONCH by upbringing (if not birth), legitimate, Roman Catholic and related to a couple different popes by marriage as well as blood, and apparently fertile as the day is long and really had no problem with marriage. In short, she was a major force to contend with as a reigning monarch, especially when she was the next door neighbor of England. Where Elizabeth was all about trying reign as a king and dodge the marriage/heir issue for as long as possible, Mary played the part of a Renaissance princess perfectly and–as Trystan likes to endlessly remind me–that made her a serious problem for England.

But I’m getting away from the whole issue at hand, and that is, once you realize how few fucks are given in Reign as to the basics of Mary Stuart, the human being, WHAT THE EVER LOVING HELL IS UP WITH THE COSTUMES IN REIGN???

2013-17 Reign

No fucks were given. None.

But even that isn’t really what this post is about. No… This post isn’t about analyzing the costumes, or the arguing about the designer’s “influences” or whatever bullshit is out there right now trying to justify the total schizophrenic approach to this series (is it a historical drama, or 90210 Goes To The Ren Faire? PICK ONE AND STICK WITH IT, FFS.). Nope, this post is actually about the clothes in the show and how, despite the fact that we have all been derisively sneering at them as cut-rate budget formals apparently bought from Ye Olde Prom Shack, the clothing that appears on Reign is so far out of our collective budgets as to be even more ridiculous when trying to wrap our heads around the network’s vision for this show.

Let’s take a little tour of some of the outfits in the show, so far:

This abomination HAS to be something we’d expect to see on sale at David’s Bridal:

2013-17 Reign


Nope. It’s a fucking Marchesa gown, and it can be yours for the low, low price of all six months of your paychecks combined:


It’s totally ok to cry.


Ok, so what about this one?

2013-17 Reign


Yeah, you probably won’t be caught dead in it, but only because it’s a freaking Oscar de la Renta, and you can’t even afford to stand in the same room as it, let alone put it on:

Now that we know its an Oscar de la Renta, is it ok to like it now?

Now that we know it’s an Oscar de la Renta, is it ok to like it now?


Ok, fine, so what about this fugtastic jacket, huh?

2013-17 Reign

She had to have beaten up a third world dictator and stolen it off his back.

That’s not FUG, people. That’s an Alexander McQueen, and even on sale, it cost more than my first car:

Hey, on sale for $1800, its basically the most affordable piece here so far.

Hey, it’s practically a screaming bargain!


Ok, so these are all clearly expensive ballgowns and jackets, what about this sad little peasant blouse? Did she find it in a Goodwill bin two hours before she was expected to wear something to the Ren Faire?

2013-17 Reign

Weve all been there.

Yeah, it’s pretty hideous, but sadly, it too is an Alexander McQueen and costs $950:

Well, with those pumps, it’s not so bad.

I could go on and on, but I think instead I’ll point you to which has a full 8 pages worth of posts on where to find/buy most of the clothes, jewelry, and accessories you see on Reign. I hope this post has prepared you prepared for the sticker shock, though.

Got any favorite clothing abominations from Reign? Unleash your snark in the comments!

11 Responses

  1. Al

    just because they’re expensive doesn’t make them less ugly. That fuchsia thing is a fashion disaster, I don’t care how much they paid for it!

  2. Jen

    What kills me is that, for that money, they could have had costumes that were HA.

  3. Penelope

    oh guys…I gotta say that this show had the most stunning and most beautiful dresses I ever saw on a tv show – historical or not….but if you ask me this show only borrowed a few names and locations and created sth entirely unhistorical. Still love it, though – especially the clothes. <3

  4. LLC

    Reign is the FIRST time that my historic costume blind friend called to say, “Have you seen it? the costumes don’t seem right!”
    So I researched the designer, she said that she wanted to make it more relevant to modern eyes!!!! EEK! Then call it a fantasy, not historic drama. !!!!!!!!

  5. Abi

    Are you sure for the ladies in waiting dresses they haven’t just raided the costume wardrobe of LOTR? All the really pseudo Norman long sleeves in crushed velvet remind me of the SCA in the late 70’s.

  6. Becca

    I have a Facebook friend who said: “I am a little obsessed with Reign. I love the costumes. I really think I belong in that time period.”

    It took everything in me not to start posting actually portraits of Mary Queen of Scots and saying, “yeah you would look good in a farthingale and neck ruff.”