Poison Berry

Paneled midi dress - c/o Dressabelle

3/4 sleeve blouse - Taobao

Revlon Colourburst matte balm in 215 Shameless

Wine oxfords - c/o Charles & Keith

Vintage Cadali Taylor watch - c/o Late Rabbit

Imagine Emily The Strange turned french maid then gobbled down a carton of blueberries, I think that's what she would look like. Okay, sorry for the awful description. But actually my outfit today was inspired by servants in the 1900s. Not only their uniforms have always intrigued me, I also think they have a distinct look of order and unexplainable charm. People are always giving all their attention to the fancy, extravagant dresses in movies, obsessing over the amount of embellishments and how many craftsmen it took to construct a lavish gown. On the opposite end of things, there are the humble servants who only had two sets of uniform to last them years, whose only requirements were for their dresses to last. It's truly interesting how fashion alone could reveal the lifestyles of people and characters.

 A nurse-maid in 1900s, (right) a young 1920s servant in Downtown Abbey
Sources: 1, 2

Although servant uniforms are a lot less elaborate than the norms of their era, I think the functionality and comfort of it makes them relevant even till today; how the cuffs were made stiff so they could be rolled up for house chores, and the full skirt which allowed freedom to move. If you are just as interested in servant/ maid fashion as I am, do check out this modern editorial spread inspired by French maids!

My modern take on this theme involved switching the blouse to a more modern and minimalistic option as I thought one with collar may appear too school girl-ish. The clean white blouse contrasts perfectly against the darkness of the dress, really bringing out its rich berry hues. I love the pockets of the dress and the leafy textures of its fabric as you look closely. To keep the outfit realistic and wearable, I simply stuck to some wine oxfords which also added a vintage flair to the whole look.

Photos by Yun Jing