SNARK WEEK: Top 10 WTFrock Moments in The Tudors


If you like historical costume and haven’t been living under a rock since 2010, you know all about The Tudors — Showtime’s soap-opera version of the life and loves of King Henry VIII. We don’t need to tell you that the costuming is a bullsh*t fantasy version of 16th-century forced through a lens of sex, cheap budgets, and who gives a crap. At least, we hope we don’t need to explain why it’s bad. If you’re not clear on what constitutes historically accurate Tudor costume, please to be go reading The Tudor Tailor, for starters, then come back so you can snark with us, kthx.

Since picking the good costumes out of that steaming pile would be a royal PITA, let’s have some fun and count down 10 of the most What The FROCK?!?! things worn in Showtime’s The Tudors series, starting with…


1. Jane Seymour in Rumpled Orange

2007-10 The Tudors

Princess seams for a princess? No ironing, or is that all rumpled because Henry’s already given her a bit of the ol’ hide ‘n seek?


2. Catherine of Aragon’s Hat-Thing

2007-10 The Tudors



3. Margaret Tudor Goes Off-the-Shoulder

2007-10 The Tudors

“I’m a fictional character! So who needs historically accurate clothes!”


4. Henry Ditches the Sleeves

2007-10 The Tudors

Sleeves are for wimps like Francis I.


5. Catherine Howard’s Airy-Fairy Dress


Borrowed from Dangerous Beauty. Or a belly dance festival.


6. Anne Boleyn’s Yellow Fascinator


Right in line with modern British royalty.


7. Henry’s Burger King Crown


As if that smarmy mustache weren’t bad enough.


8. Catherine Howard’s Blue & Gold Dress


They really knew how to make Katherine look young and stupid. Put her in the most ridiculous outfits ever, plus hair extensions up the wazoo.


9. Poor Anne of Cleves

The Tudors

They really didn’t have a clue here. They just slapped some random “ethnic” prints together with chunky necklaces and invented weird headdresses.


10. The So-Called Masquerade Costumes


Complete with white corsets, coffee-filter neck ruffs, and tutus for the gals and Hefty-garbage-bag gladiator costumes for the guys. It’s an allegory! Yes, an allegory for “we have no budget, did no research, and don’t know crap about the 16th century!”


Oh yes, there were so many more to choose from! But these were my 10 faves. What did I miss? What costume horrors are burned into your brain by this show? Share!


22 Responses

  1. Aurelia

    Oh look!! They stole the courtesan outfit from Dangerous Beauty for Catherine Howard!

  2. Lhizz

    “Where the hell *IS* Cleves, anyway?”
    “I dunno, maybe somewhere in Africa?”
    “Yeah, why the hell not?”

  3. Catherine Scholar

    OMG those are freaking elephants on Anne of Cleve’s dress!

    • Kendra

      Maybe they were trying to show that Henry didn’t like Anne because she was an elephant? I have no idea.

  4. Stephanie

    What is sad is the costumes on Reign makes this show look like a documentary.

  5. Staz

    What about that weird purple slip-thing that Anne Boleyn wore when she was accusing Henry of having a harem? OMG, I loved and hated it at the same time because as pretty as it was, no one in their right mind would be caught dead in it. I actually can’t find an image on it! It was in season 2.

  6. M

    LOL. I actually enjoyed the neck ruffs. Which I’m sure makes me a woman without style.

  7. SG

    Multiple instances of fitted sleeves attached only at the shoulder with no shift. More skin does not equal sexy when we’re talking about armpits.

  8. Alpine, RN

    I feel like Anne of Cleves hat was stolen from the Byzantine empire…and then screwed up in transit :-p

  9. Tadarida

    About Anne of Cleeves’ headdress thing – I spent years hating it and thinking it was completely made up. However, last few days I was researching German renaissance clothing (since it seems there were a few distinctive styles and everything gets tossed together). And imagine my surprise when I found this: It’s a 1470s headdress from Swabia and… doesn’t it look like the one Anne is wearing? It has similar shape shape, it has the pearls on the base, it only lacks the stones. So while it is from a completely different region and from a different time period, the costumers did actually refer to something!

    It’s no excuse for the dress though…

  10. Allison Caylor

    I know this is an old post but had to let you guys know that I was having a really hard day and this post made it so much better. I laughed out loud at “Burger King crown.”

  11. Olivia

    And not just white corsets… White mesh corsets. I can definitely see Ann’s breast outline between the boning channels. Wonderful.

  12. Tiffany

    I know I’m super late to this party, but any thoughts on the winter hat Anne wears? The furry thing with three white balls?