It’s back… back… back!

So… 12 slebs have already been announced for this year’s Strictly (here at Dress Like Tess HQ we’re still a bit giddy about the prospect of Steve Backshall in a top-off dancing scenario). The series launches on 7 September and that means it must be time to start rummaging through the old-fabric bag for Dress Like Tess goodies.

If you’re new to the world of Dress Like Tess, you may have a few questions. We’re guessing the first one is “Why?”

Well, here’s the thing. Tess Daly is a super-competent presenter and it’s fantastic that at last a young woman is fronting a “jewel in the crown” primetime BBC1 show. She’s also a statuesque blonde of model proportions. However, some of her Strictly frocks are downright odd. Tess could look good in a bin bag, but that doesn’t mean the Strictly team needs to conduct that particular experiment… Idle Facebook speculation during the last series of Strictly about how to make Tess’s dresses led to a Barbie in a bin bag, which led to the hem-hem phenomenon that is Dress Like Tess, in which literally half a dozen people spent their Strictly Saturday nights re-creating Tess’s outfit on a doll, sending Dress Like Tess a picture and telling us how they made the dress.

So, now you’re probably wondering how do you play along?

Easy. Get a doll, get some household items or old fabric and come up with an approximation of Tess’s dress. Tin foil, old socks, tights, sellotape and glitter will be your best friends. Send us a picture to the email address we’ll give you each Saturday/Sunday night (depending on who’s editing the blog that week). Tell us a bit about yourself too. We’ll put the pictures on here and I’ll probably Tweet them as well.

We can hear some of you saying: “Yeah, but we don’t have dolls. They’re a gross misrepresentation of the female form/We only have Action Man/They’re broken.” Don’t worry. Last season we saw Tesses fashioned from a stylist’s mannequin, a rolling pin, a bottle of prosecco, a Hello Kitty and someone’s thumb. Be creative…

So start saving the wrappers from luxury chocolates. Nick a couple of sheets of pink loo roll from the pub toilets. Find a black sock that’s past its best (seriously… she wears a lot of black).

And don’t forget this year that you don’t have to dress Tess — take the “Gaudier than Claudia” option and re-create the frocks of Ms Winkleman.

Let the countdown commence… Share this around with any strange people you know who find themselves watching Strictly and are dab hands with a doll and a gluestick.