As anyone who follows me on Tumblr knows, I’m a huge fan of Agent Carter. It’s a wonderful, subversive, feminist show that deserves literally all the awards. Like. All of them. SAG awards. Oscars. Emmys. Nobels. Best New Webcomic. Etc. Literally all of the awards, I tell you. So it’ll come as no surprise if I were to tell you that I spent like, a very long time digging up everything I could on her gold dress. And, let me tell you, the going’s been hard. I feel like the gold dress that she wears in the pilot is just not appreciated enough; so I’ve dedicated an entire post to copying the look with modern things you can buy in stores that don’t require sewing skills, a few yards of lame fabric, and many bitter tears.
So, read on for a piece by piece breakdown of how you can copy Agent Carter’s gold evening gown look for yourself!
Okay, first off, I haven’t seen any decent photos of the entire full-length gown, and… here’s one. Look at it. Look at how glorious it is. It’s glorious. Now, we’ve got a fitted bodice here, with a halter neck, and a long, flowing, pleated skirt. It looks like a dream, to be honest! The lighting is very dark, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the dress is a kind of pale rose gold in color.
The dress has an open back, as well.
Her handbag is, conveniently enough, big enough to store a bomb and also is a very nice white satin with detailed beading. Really, quite lovely, but a bit bigger than what is currently fashionable.
Jewelry stays very simple – just the one blingy statement necklace, simple diamond stud earrings. Makeup is a classic 1940s look; thin shapely arches, natural eyes with big eyelashes, and gorgeous red lipstick. My grandmother, who was roughly my age in 1946, always used to complain to me about how the lipstick was too overdone at the time. I disagree, grandma, sorry! It looks really good. (I’ll be doing a makeup get the look on Agent Carter at a later date if I ever get around to getting off my ass and plucking my eyebrows.)
I’ve found that a lot of the stuff that’s like, reasonably priced, is kind of either or. Like… either you can get a gold maxi dress, or you can get something that fits the way the dress does but it’s not going to be gold; you could get a white and gold purse, maybe, but it’ll be incredibly modern and not at all like anything Peggy would own in 1946. So, I’ve had to improvise. Below are two different ways to get the gold dress look without spending a million dollars (you’ll still be broke tho sorry bro) – one’s a gold evening gown, and one’s a gorgeous skirt and top combo.
Look 1: The Evening gown
1. gold lame evening gown – Finding the perfect evening gown that doesn’t cost like, several months of rent proved impossible, so I went for merely “ridiculously big ticket purchase” tier with this dress. Fortunately, ASOS has a large selection of glittery gold dresses for around a hundred bucks or so, so I recommend starting your search there. V Label London Mortimer metallic maxi dress, $90, ASOS
2. snake collar necklace – Of all the necklaces I looked at (and trust me I’ve looked at plenty) this was the closest to the one Peggy wears in shape and style. Also, snakes, those are cool. ABS Allen Schwartz Snake Charmer collar necklace, $55, Amazon
3. beaded retro evening bag – definitely nothing like Peggy’s bag, but, unfortunately, that size of evening purse is not really in fashion right now, so no one makes it. However, this clutch is reminiscent of my grandmother’s vintage purses. Can it fit a bomb? I hope we’ll never have to find out. La Regale Beaded Clutch, $52, Macy’s
4. gold glitter nail polish – Maybe this wasn’t “in” back then, but, come on. It’s so pretty and it matches the dress. Rock at the Top gold glitter polish, $8.50, Essie
5. atomizer – for all your retro starktech bomb defusing needs. Atomizer, $22, Hobby Lobby
6. besame red lipstick – We all know this is the brand Peggy wears (thanks, Hayley Atwell!). Sleeping drugs optional. 1946 Red Velvet lipstick, $22, Besame
7. gold stapler – matches your dress when you beat a man’s face in with it. Gold Stapler, $27, Russel + Hazel
8. rose gold mary janes – completes the outfit while still having a bit of the 1940s glamour. Serenity 23 pumps, $25, Qupid
Look 2: Dress and a skirt
1. gold boatneck top – reminiscent of the straps on her dress, this top still has quite a bit of glamour to it. Gold top, $30, Jane Norman UK
2. pleated white gold skirt – pairing a gold skirt with a gold top would be overwhelming AND hard to match; so, go for a pale rose or white with a subtle gold shimmer to it. Like, it matches, but it’s not like TOO matchy-matchy or overdone? Don’t be a Sackville-Baggins about it. Skirt pictured is a River Island gold pleated skirt that sold out in between the making of the photos and the publishing of this post; however, NY&Co carry an eerily similar pleated gold lame skirt for $28.
3. leaf and gem necklace – rather than trying to find one more necklace that looks like Peggy’s, I picked something that I thought went well with the general feel of the outfit. Also it’s like four bucks or something so that’s pretty neat. 2028 Floral Statement Necklace, $48, Macy’s
4. Clutch purse – Ok totally not 1940s at all, but it’s quite cute, and it’s white and gold. Maybe as a side effect, Agent Carter will make the 1940s be “in” again? I’m a little bored with the 1920s and the 1950s tbh. White and Gold clutch, $15, River Island
5. Red Lipstick – A fun and slightly more expensive alternative to Besame. However, I can’t say I’ve ever been disappointed by YSL’s lipsticks! Rouge Pur Couture red lipstick, $35, Yves Saint Laurent Beauty
6. Ribboned Mary Janes – keeping with the floral theme of the outfit, and still vaguely late-1940sish. Mary Jane Pumps, $16, Walmart
7. Gold leaf and black ribbon sash – the leaves match the necklace; the ribbon matches the shoes. Like the infamous Lebowski rug, it ties the look together. Gold and black lace sash, $25, lovelikestyle
8. Gold nail polish – I have a love affair with gold polishes, so sue me. L’Oreal Colour Riche topcoat in Gold Lurex, $6
Have you dug up fun things that would look great as part of an attempt at the Gold Dress? If so, leave a comment, and tell me all about it so I can add it to my Peggy Carter pinterest board and cry a lot. Also, join us on Twitter so we can scream at you about our feelings.
image sources: screencaps from Agent Carter 1.01 on ABC, produced by Marvel. Product photos as referenced.