29 October belated Tess round-up


It’s half-term, Scooby Doo is on my telly, Asda-own-brand Weetabix is all over my sofa and I am sidestepping the work I should be doing and writing this instead.

First, did anyone see It Takes Two last night? Was Caroline Flack wearing Claudia’s black-and-white dress from Sunday night’s programme? It looked like it — perhaps she’d tried to make her own at home with tights and kitchen roll, like we did, then decided it was easier to borrow the actual frock.

Anyway, a few more Sunday Tesses found their way into both my inbox and http://www.facebook.com/dressliketess. First up, here’s Char from Hertfordshire. Love the sequin detail

26 Oct Char Tess 1

And here’s DLikeT co-editor Amanda’s Tess, proving that glitter glue will always cover a camel toe. Something I think we could all learn there, ladies. From now on I’m getting my eveningwear in Hobbycraft.

26 Oct Amanda Tess 2 26 Oct Amanda Tess 1

Finally, possibly my all-time favourite “reaction shot” from Ms Daly herself. It’s Rosie’s Tess, and she’s just had an argument with a cotton-wool ball.

26 Oct Rosie Tess 1

Halloween weekend coming up… so if you’ve accidentally laddered any black tights** this week, save ’em for the inevitable black frocks.

see you Saturday

**More than 20 years ago, I lived and worked in the USA for a few months. I remember one of my office co-workers finding the phrase “I have a ladder in my tights” (rather than a run in my panty hose) properly hysterically funny. Every time I snag my legwear I am reminded of this



26 October meanwhile, down south…

… Amanda made this rather fab Exploria, complete with poppy.

26 Oct Amanda Claudia 1

Oh yes. Frankly we’re over the moon Amanda is playing tonight. When we left her house this morning, her front room was a battlefield, strewn with sleep-deprived adults, pyjama-clad kids and a Girls’ World from the 1970s.


26 October all quiet on the Tess-tern front


Oh. White jumpsuit and Claude in a black and white minidress. Meh.

Anyway, it’s a bit quiet here. The kids are in bed (early), I’m back home and Mr DLikeT is my only companion. And that white jumpsuit… well, once again, kitchen roll is a Dress Like Tess-er’s best friend.

As for Claudia… let’s get the black tights out again, shall we? Hang on… we can use a bit of Tess’s spare kitchen roll around the neck. Waste not, want not…

So… here’s a Tess, with that Tess off the telly

26 Oct Imogen Tess 1

And here’s Ms Winkleperson

26 Oct Imogen Claudia 1

Oh good grief. Judy and Anton SAVED? Crikey. Probably should have voted last night instead of glugging fizz and discussing how many of the competitors went to stage school.

Is anything going on at http://www.facebook.com/dressliketess?


26 October **warning — contains a man in a duster**


As our Strictly party descended (ascended?) into several gallons of discount prosecco, a kids’ dance routine so literal Pan’s People would have been proud and the surprise appearance of a tall bloke into our “House of a Dozen Females”, over on http://www.facebook.com/dressliketess, creativity ruled.

First up. though, let’s lift the lid on Dress Like Tess. Let’s stuff our hands into the sequin jar and see what’s inside. Here is some actual Tess-ery. The kids make ’em all, honest.

25 Oct elf workshop

So here’s a Claudia from a first-time Dress Like Tess-er, Harriet (that’s her on the right). Ooooooh would you look at the detail on the sleeves. From the back corner of Amanda’s dining table I couldn’t even see the sleeves…

25 Oct Harry Claudia 1 25 Oct Harry Claudia 1

On the other side of the table, Char gave us this:

25 Oct Char Claudia 1

My Claudia passed out…

25 Oct Imogen Claudia 1

And as usual Exploria herself looked Gaudier than Claudia

25 Oct Amanda Claudia 1

But let’s return to facebook, where regular player Sal in North London came up with this cracking Tess made from an old shirt

25 Oct Sal Tess 1

Nice work, Sal.

Up in Yorkshire, first-time Tess-er Kate Harrison did this:

25 Oct Kate Harrison Tess 1

Fab-you-luss. And in Norwich, Jim (and allegedly his daughter too but we’re thinking mainly Jim), made this:

25 Oct Partons Tess 1


And then we said hello to another new Dress Like Tess player, Rebecca Griffith, who did this:

25 Oct Rebecca Griffith Tess 1

That’s one happy Tess.

But then, with a screeching of brakes, all Tess-ery came to a halt as this landed on our page. Brace yourselves — this might just be the best Dress Like Tess we’ve ever had. And yet in some ways perhaps the worst.

25 Oct Garry Tess 1

We have questions… ranging from “whose dress is that?” to “oh my giddy aunt… why?” but we’re going to keep those to ourselves.

But in pioneering the SelfTess, this man (we’ll call him Mr H) started a trend. Back on facebook, and back in Yorkshire, Kate Harrison and Kathyrn Rhodes told us that they didn’t like to be outdone by “a very attractive yet dusty man” (their words, readers, their words)… and they sent in these:

25 Oct Kathryn Rhodes Tess 1 25 Oct Kate Harrison Tess 2

Genius. It’s girls as Tess… If Ms Daly herself isn’t marketing a range of eveningwear for the under-12s by Christmas she’s missing a trick.

Anyway, back at the house of Tess, the kids got up at 5.30am (really), and we’ve already driven back to the DLikeT nerve centre and are wondering whether this cup of tea will sort us out or whether gin and tonic would be more useful.

Strictly’s back on tonight, and we’re mildly overexcited about what we might receive.




25 October a houseful of lovely


We’re actually at a Dress Like Tess party tonight! In front of the telly, seven girls aged between two and 10 are watching Strictly. The DLikeT co-editors are at the table, frantically cutting up tights and old leggings and shouting stuff like: “anyone want some sheer tights for Tess’s top?”

Tess is in orange woohoo! Claudia is in something like purple. Chocolates have been consumed and wrappers have been reused.

Now then, let me explain a bit about tonight’s players. As well as me and Amanda, three other grown-up wimmin are here: Harry, Rosie and Char. We’ve all known each other since the early 1990s and frankly there’s a lot of love in this room.

Regular readers (really? are there?) will know Rosie from Farsley. She’s here! Here’s her Quality Street Tess.

25 Oct Rosie Tess 1


Here’s mine… made from leggings and tights.

25 Oct Imogen Tess 1

We are all yelling things like “have you got any loom bands?” “Has Claudia been on yet?” and our youngest player (aged just two) is hopefully standing right in front of the telly holding dolls.

Harry, who hasn’t played before, is really quite excited about making a Claudia. Meanwhile, here’s a Tess from Char. Oh yes we love the hair

25 Oct Char Tess 1

And finally… here’s DLikeT co-ed Amanda’s Tiny Tess. Love love love

25 Oct Amanda Tess 1

Steve Backshall hasn’t been on yet, but the general consensus is that when he is, small people will be bulldozed out the way so we can ogle the muscles  In fact, what’s happened is that the grown-ups are playing and now the older kids have actually left the room to go and make up a dance routine.

At the table, we are waist-deep in “Claudia”s. “It’s like some sort of elf workshop,” says Amanda . One of my mothersinlaw (stand back, you’ll all want two) sent me some purple fabric for Dress Like Tess purposes. Woohoo. And having just stuck glitter glue rather hopelessly on some purple fabric, it turns out someone else brought ACTUAL STICK ON JEWELS! Goodness.

Right. Let’s head to http://www.facebook.com/dressliketess and see what’s going on over there.


19 October here come the Tesses

Wow — I was furiously chucking sequins at Wilko Barbies and http://www.facebook.com/dressliketess was alive!

First, let’s head to West Yorkshire, where we have a new player. Hello Kathryn Rhodes! Great Tess. Also loving the way your screenshot has actual Tess’s hand on your Tess’s head. Ish.

19 Oct Kathryn Rhodes Tess 1


Staying in the county of tea and G Boycott, let’s see what regular DLikeT-er Rosie’s up to. And it’s a big Hello Kitty to Hello Kitty, once again playing the part of Claudia Winkleperson

19 Oct Rosie Claudia


Meanwhile, Polly Pocket has returned to DLikeT (hooray), and here she is as Tess

19 Oct Rosie Tess

And finally let’s head to north London, where regular Dress Like Tess contributor Sally has dressed her Tess in kitchen roll and black pen. And if that isn’t the very essence of Dress Like Tess, we don’t know what is. While I was arseing about with felt and sellotape, Sal went back to DLikeT basics. Dress Like Tess as it should be. One doll, random household items. Nice work.

19 Oct Sal Tess




19 October results show

Hello again

Mr DressLikeTess has taken it upon himself to read bedtime stories to the smaller members of the household so it’s just me, in front of the box, de-sellotaping dolls. I might save those bits of black tights. I think we all know we’ll be using them again.

Any road, some choreographed fun with blue glitter and sequins has just occurred. Here come the slebs, and heeeere’s Tess, wearing… white with a square ncekline, and Claude in something delicious in the blue-sequins zone. Oh, now this is tricky. I could refashion the dress nearly 7-y-o made last night, and I happen to know there’s a treacle tin full of blue sequins in what I laughably call the craft cupboard, but is there time to glue them on?

No, of course there isn’t. I’ve spent the last two minutes trying to find the end of the sellotape.

Judy and Anton? Through to next week? You’re having a giraffe. Mark and Karen in the dance-off? Good grief.

And is Lady Gaga channeling Cleo Laine? Why?

Anyway, Tess seems a bit perturbed here. Perhaps it’s because her sleeve is falling off.

19 October Imogen Tess

And I have actually just thrown sequins at Claudia.

19 October Imogen Claudia

Thankfully, there is hope! The Hertfordshire half of the DLikeT team has come to the rescue with Gaudier than Claudia. Claudia the Exploria. Aces. Nice work, Amanda.

19 Oct Amanda Claudia 1

That ribbon is brilliant. Have you been spying at Elstree?

Oh, hang on. My email is pinging again. It’s Amanda’s Tess!

19 Oct Amanda Tess

Shout outs indeed! You’re a ruddy genius.

And the dance-off rages as I type. I suspect the judges *might* not have judged solely on the dance-off…