Monday, 27 April 2015

When Calls the Heart - TV Series Costumes

I am a big fan of  the When Calls the Heart tv series, and was so excited when the new series aired over the weekend, but what is with the costumes and hairstyles???!!! As a historical clothing enthusiast, I can't help but get slightly irritated by the clear lack of historical accuracy when it comes to the costumes the actors wear and how their hair is styled, in both this series and the last. For a show that is set in the 1910s many of the outfits look like vintage-inspired modern clothes, or just plain modern.


Here are a few examples:

(Hallmark website)
The women look alright, but Jack (gentleman on the right) looks like he has just stepped out of a Ralph Lauren (don't get me wrong he looks good, but definitely not 1910s). And this is the outfit (or a very similar one) that he wears to lunch at a smart restaurant in Hamilton. What self-respecting man during that time period would go out to lunch in a smart city restaurant without wearing some sort of cravat/tie. I highly doubt the restaurant owners would allow him in their establishment whilst not wearing one. 

(Hallmark website)
This image could be from a modern day drama, with one of the characters having a penchant for wearing cravats! Why is the ladies hair not up? They are not in an informal setting, which would allow for such a relaxed style in that era. I'm sure I have read somewhere that up until the 1920s, loose hair = loose morals, so no respectable women would consider wearing their hair down in public. (I could be wrong though).

(Hallmark website)
 This image of Elizabeth and Jack could be 21st century aswell (minus the suitcases. Though I am sure there are vintage enthusiasts who use similar suitcases today). There was also one scene (which I couldn't find an image of) where Elizabeth's sister Julie is wearing a skirt with a giant slit up the back!!!

(Hallmark website)
However, some of the costumes aren't half bad. These outfits look much more period correct.
Edit: I now realise that the above photo was taken from Season 1 when they clothes were much better. They seem to be getting worse and worse each season (as does the hair and make up)!! :(

I don't profess to being an expert on Edwardian clothing, far from it, just an enthusiast who has visited many clothing museums and read a few books. It's just from everything I have learned most of the costumes look far from period correct. 
What do you all think? Any opinions/knowledge? I would be very interested to hear what anyone thinks.

93 comments:

  1. What? I haven't seen this series but I can see how I missed it. Those costumes are not at all 1910s. Think Downton Abbey season 1 or Titanic for more typical Edwardian styles.

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    1. it is so distracting to me!! every outfit is wrong. all wrong. and don't get me started on the backgrounds and the modern lamps, etc. this is definitely not how the homes, buildings, etc looked. I hate watching for these reasons. and the hair styles are completely wrong. and men do NOT wear shirts with collars that button. its like the cast said- go rob your uncles closet or your aunt. it is such a mixed bag it drives me nuts. the story is so sweet and I enjoyed the books but they really need to do a little research. its a very sad oversight.

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    2. I agree that Titanic costumes were more historically accurate than When Calls the Heart, but there's plenty to cringe at in that "period movie," too. While we understand Rose is distraught and suicidal, it still galls me to see her lighting a cigarette at the dinner table, and her fiance snatching it out her mouth would also have been scandalous. Then we see her running down the deck with no coat on and her hair streaming down. Onlookers would have reported her as a mad woman, and crewmen would have been called to apprehend her. But no ship authority ever shows up until she screams... much later. And the next day we have Rose and Jack strolling casually along the ship promenade together, drawing not so much as a raised eyebrow from tbe other first class guests. With his appropriately poor clothes and demeanor, Jack Dawson might as well have been wearing a giant R for ruffian on his chest. Such a person was not considered fit to be in polite conversation with an upper class person, man or woman. Rose's acceptance of him is due to her unconventionality.. But what about everyone else? In real life, other passengers would have been flabbergasted at the sight of this odd couple, so the movie should at least have shown everyone turning to gape in wonder and horror. Such an obvious interloper from steerage would have been promptly stopped and escorted back downstairs by ship crewman the moment he was seen on the upper deck. He certainly would not have been ignored or allowed to pal around with a first class lady unescorted! Similarly, it always bothered me when Rose had her night of fun with steerage passengers. First, her expensive dress would have marked her as out of place as Jack's rags did on the upper deck. Third class passengers would have felt very uncomfortable in her presence and thought her crazy for drinking and cavorting with them. Also, I have learned there was no party room on the Titanic. Third class had a dining area, but it was not available to guests after mealtimes. Any music making that took place would have been confined to a guest room, and those were pretty cramped in steerage. Certainly not room enough or appropriate for a party. And finally, no respectable woman in 1912, rich or poor, would have kicked off her shoes, lifted up her skirts and shown her ankles in mixed company! That was just an altogether ludicrous scene.

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    3. Historically inaccurate on so many fronts! Abigail's tea cups, for example, are "Friendly Village" by Johnson Bros. - 1953 - yes, 1/2 a century later.

      What drives me crazy is that all the cultural references are American, although this is supposed to be Canada. Here is the short list: 1)Founder's Day does not exist in Canada; 2)no Empire Day celebrations or any other Cdn event (instead we get "Miners' Day"); 3) lead actor and actress quiz each other on names of American Presidents - why? no Canadian would know or care; and 4), most recently - Jack is off to the "Northern Frontier" to fight gunrunners - Puhlease! There was no northern frontier in Canada; you just kept travelling north until you bumped into a polar bear or the Arctic Ocean. And, gunrunners? Good grief! The only border that mattered to the Mounties was the 49th parallel (the Cdn/US border) and that, in the 1870s, was only important to keep American whisky traders out of the prairies. And, all the Mounties did was to turn them around and tell them to leave - which they mostly did.

      There were no battles, because the police arrived before the settlers; no pitched battles with indigenous peoples. It was a pretty orderly place.

      Aside from the cultural insensitivities of this show and the ludricously inaccurate portrayal of male/female relations, period costume, hair style, speech patterns, the list is a long one, the only way I can get myself to watch it is to accept that the Mountie is nothing more than a substitute for the stereotypical, American sheriff and forget the rest. It is a harmless little melodrama and good for watching when you are stuck in bed with the flu and there is nothing else on.

      Oh, I do appreciate that the Australian who plays Jack can actually ride a horse and that he has managed a neutral sort of North American accent - in fact, the voice coach has done a reasonably good job - or maybe that was just the actors themselves. There certainly doesn't seem to be anyone else paying attention to accurate, appropriate representation.

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  2. Agreed. This show is fun to watch but the lack of historically accurate costumes drives me nuts!

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  3. I couldn't agree more! I'm fine if they want to jazz up the costumes (though pants, on a woman really?) what bugs me THE MOST is their hair. I cannot get past it. It just ruins the entire vibe. I love the show but the costuming and hair is beyond irritating.

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    1. I'm so with you on this.... hair was worn in tight buns last season and everyone has let their hair down this season. These were hard working, hands on women. Hair would have been up and out of the way. Also, Bill Avery's wife would not have had SHORT hair!!! Aaarrgh!!

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  4. I can not believe the wrongness of the hair styles. Please send them some hair pins or combs. Only young girls would wear their hair long and loose like that! Surely someone in the series can do the minimum research. It isn't hard to find images from the early 1900s. A high school play would do a better job with hair.

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  5. I am watching series two and every time I see it I can't stop thinking about how wrong the hairstyles, the make-up and the clothes. It's a pity because I can't concentrate while I am watching it. Is this tendency on American television? I saw the same in The Reign and I decided no to keep on watching it.

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    1. No usually American period dramas are very historically accurate. But unfortunately, this is not always the case. I sometimes come to the conclusion that tv producers think that no member of the public has any knowledge of social history, and that as long as they say something is accurate then we will all believe them. I have seen a couple of video clips of the costume designer from When Calls the Heart being interviewed, and she keeps saying that all the costumes are very "of the period", when it is obvious that they aren't!!

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    2. Reign bothers me less, because it's so far out there from the history already, I just take it as its own weird storytelling world like "A Knight's Tale." But this show -- I can't get past the lipstick to get into the episode at all. It might be because the show revolves around morality, and the costumes, hair, and makeup for that period completely contradict social expectations and would have been seen as immoral by many. And the lamps and stuff -- I'd noticed that too. Takes you right out of the period.

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  6. I agree with everyone else - I started watching it and enjoyed the story (at least Season 1), but I really don't think I can stand watching it to see how it ends. The modern hair and makeup particularly irritate me. They try to claim that it makes them "more relatable" to the viewers, as if the audience is too narrow-minded to enjoy watching a character with their hair up, in a show set in 1910.

    Hallmark had a few videos from the costume designer who claimed she'd done lots of research. A poor miner's widow in the middle of nowhere wears an expensive light blue coat??? You'd barely be able to keep that clean today, with pavement and vacuum cleaners!

    I could probably ignore most of the wardrobe problems if it weren't for the modern hair and makeup. They would never have worn their hair down or heavy makeup in that time period. They could easily put the ladies' hair up in the same amount of time they're wasting on careful blow-dry and curling. The whole thing would be instantly less distracting. They also need to lose the odd plum-colored lipstick - only prostitutes and actresses (who were often considered loose women anyway) would have worn makeup like that.

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    1. And in one episode they were even talking about putting makeup on to an ice cream social! Horrid!

      Some of the costumes are so wrong. Prom dresses and shiny metallics. And when the outfits are close to the period, then it's in a wrong scene, especially Elisabeth's sisters seem to go around the clock in very revealing evening gowns...

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  7. I Love this show, and I thought it was just me who felt this way. The Coats (More so the woman), Hair, Make up, Bras. All so wrong but such a delightful show. I find I will myself to stop thinking of the above and focus on the story line.

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  8. Love the story (though a bit cheesy), but the costumes and hair/makeup drove me a little cray cray. Seriously, Victora's Secret beach waves in the 1910s? I understand squeezing a touch of modern in here and there to make it more relatable...but come on! Also why are the women suddenly wearing 3 and 4 inch stilettos? Seriously? It looks like they've been dressed by a Dillards. Ha....but again I do enjoy the story and think that will be enough to get me through. It's not quite on the Reign level. Now that was a piece of work!! :-P

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  9. haha I was just getting started on the second season and noticed how their hair/make-up and wardrobe went downhill from the 1st season. They have highlights, and look like modern day, can't tell what era they are supposed to be in, hair is down and wavy, I don't understand why this changed so much from the 1st season? Still a fan of the show so I'll keep watching but it does drive me a little crazy! lol

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  10. This is just showing in the uk, i thought it was a modern drama until about 20mins in when i saw the cars. Blue shirts on men? No no no! Any self respecting man would be in white. The womens make up is so modern, and the hair wod always have been up in a soft bun. Whats with tbe cleavage?after the bosoms and bustles of the victorian era necklines were very high. Disappointing.

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  11. I'm glad you've made this post! I even posted the same on their Facebook page and they deleted the question. I stopped watching.

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  12. I like the blue coat that Elizabeth wears & want to purchase one for my wife!! Any ideas where???

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  13. I just found this show on Netflix (I'm from Australia) and loved season 1's costumes and hair. I couldn't wait to start watching season 2 only to be met with lazy hair and costume choices. The hair bugs me so much that I actually have to stop watching it sometimes as it reminds me of a modern soap opera. I really hope they up their game for season 3 but from looking at the season shots I think I will be disappointed.

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  14. here it is jan 2016 and all i can focus on is how did the women get curling irons? a simple fix really. PLEASE keep hair styles consist t with the era to make this show feel totay when calls the heart is hopevalley located?. or watch little house on the prarie again for help.

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  15. I am watching the second season now and the costumes and hairstyles are driving me crazy. Why are so many women wearing their hair down loosely. It doesn't make any sense at all.

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    1. I am watching it now, it's driving me crazy too.

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  16. I love this show,but I was thinking the same thing which is how I found your page. It's a bit distracting.The hair is so modern too. I would love to see a bit more accuracy that would be nice.

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  17. I've just started watching season 2 as it's just hit Netflix and the hair is driving me batty! I taught highschool theatre and, trust me, my students were costumes better than the first two episodes of season 2. Yikes!

    I don't mind it so much in Reign since there is also other anachronistic moments with music, etc. There it seems more like a choice- not a poorly executed high school play.

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  18. It was very distracting to watch with the heavy modern influence on makeup,hair,and clothes ... My boyfriend asked if it was some sort of time travel show! Hallmark, please fix!

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  19. I agree! It's so distracting!

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  20. I agree! I just started watching Season 2 on Netflix and it is distracting that all the ladies hair is styled in current fashion even though it is supposed to be 1910. To wear your hair down during that period would have been considered extremely scandalous! I am glad I am not the only nerd out there :)

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  21. So relieved that I'm not alone in my annoyance! The other favorite period show I have is Downton Abbey, to which I am so completely devoted that when I began watching this even my husband noticed the discrepancies. He thought it was set in the 30s! When I told him it was the early 1910s he said, "No, the hair is nothing like Downton Abbey." ^_^ I wish they'd be a little less lazy with the hairstyles and costumes... it would really elevate the show.

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  22. The hair is so bad that it has dampened my enjoyment of Season 2. Abigail's side ponytail is atrocious, all the women look like 1990s to current hair that no one would be seen in either city or country with during Edwardian times. Season 1 had Elizabeth in period hats, now her hair is down like she's going to a modern club. It's really bad. Season 1 wasn't truly authentic, but close enough to not make me cringe. Someone has not done any homework at all.

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  23. So grateful to find out I'm not the only one who is frustrated by the characters' modern hairstyles and makeup!

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  24. This is a complete disaster. I'm only watching because Jack and some of the other guys are handsome. But yeah this looks like Buffy the Vampire met Downton Abbey...

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  25. Since I googled this string obviously this is driving me nuts as well! I loved the little pins that she wore in her hair last year even though it seem s a little modern even then. It is like a freeway mashup...I can't seem to look away!

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  26. So glad I'm not the only one who is going nuts watching Season 2 of this show.... yet just can't seem to look away! Not sure who they are trying to relate to be being so inaccurate!

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  27. What I don't get is...why didn't they just reuse season one's wardrobe?!!! Did it get lost? Did someone steal it? Did it burn down? Was the hairstylist in the wardrobe building when it burned down? We're half the original widows also in there? Because they seem to be gone...ugh season one was so amazing. Season 2 is a joke. It's like they hired a highschool girl to fill in the shoes of the wardrobe designer.

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  28. Change.org has a petition. Aparantly, it's Hallmark Channel's doing.
    https://www.change.org/p/hallmark-channel-crown-media-make-when-calls-the-heart-more-historically-accurate?recruiter=34948860&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink

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    1. Just signed it! Thank you

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  29. So glad I found this thread because the hair, make-up, costumes and shoes are driving me crazy while watching Season 2. The evening gowns look like they came from David's Bridal and the shoes!!!!!!! I don't think sling back stilettos were worn during the Edwardian era. I understand that period pieces are expensive but my god how expensive can hairpins be??!!! it's just as time consuming to curl hair as it is to put it up. Most of the characters are poor so we're not talking elaborate up-do's. And what's with the side swept bangs!!!!! ????? I teach high school drama and am in charge of hair styles and do the research!!! I am not a professional hair stylist but try my best and the hair comes out amazing!!! Either the Hallmark channel has no budget for hair or hired someone who doesn't know how to do research.

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  30. I love that everyone else is so upset by this! I have been binge-watching this show on Netflix so I watched Season 1 and then went straight to Season 2 and was so confused by not only the change in hair, clothes, and make-up, but also the set design. They completely changed the look of Coal/Hope Valley! All of the stores, cafe, and saloon on the main street look like it was built for tourists looking for a fudge shop. The women's hair is deplorable and the men look like they could fit in walking around in 2016. So disappointing. Also, I'm pretty sure if Elizabeth's father is such a wealthy man that his car would not be a Ford. I am almost done with the second season, but it turning out to be disappointing. I hate that Elizabeth keeps going back and forth to the "big city." I think the whole appeal of the show was the "wild west" of Coal Valley, not the horrible recreation of "glamour" of Elizabeth's family. Lame.

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  31. I am glad I am not alone in my assessment of the show. I would like to add my annoyance with the dialogue. There are so many sexual jokes and innuendos that no respectable person would have said in that time period.

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  32. I have to echo everyone's comments here. I had googled "historical accuracy" for this show because I wanted to make sure I wasn't going crazy. They are ruining an otherwise watchable show. It's sweet, and wholesome, like the old westerns of my childhood—but with a focus on the women. It's the antidote I want after watching something dark and blood-laden like Luther or Jessica Jones. But the bad hair and costumes is putting a huge damper on things. I hope they improved them for Season 3.

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  33. The hairstyles and clothes are irksome but I just watched Elizabeth turn over her chicken fried steak with a hair crimper! Good gravy, they should really hire a consultant!

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  34. There's an online photo site called Shorpy.com where the operator posts digitized historical photos ranging from the American Civil War period to about 1940. The bulk of the photos range from roughly 1900 to about 1920. He presents very large thumbnails which can then be clicked on and enlarged to provide very detailed photos. This is a good site to go to if you're interested in how people were dressing and wearing their hair in 1910.

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  35. I'm so glad I'm not alone! The changes in hair and makeup as well as disappearing characters having been driving me nuts! Hope this gets fixed soon. They need to do it right like PBS and the BBC.

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  36. The hair and costumes on this show are very distracting because of their historical inaccuracy. Drives me crazy!

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  37. So glad I'm not alone! I just started this show having caught the tv movie (and how frustrating was that how it just fizzled out!) and while season 1 had good clothes and hair - not always exactly always accurate but close, and then I saw pictures for s2 and 3, and I swear, hand on heart, I thought they were from an alternate universe episode or something when they got sent to the future or Elizabeth having a dream as to what their lives would be like if they were 100 years in the future. Jack looked like he was straight out of 2010 not 1910. tieless with his collar unbuttoned in a fancy town?? he'd be ashamed to be seen that way in his own home in that time period, let alone in public! the women's hair is driving me crazy - I love the 10-50s hair styles for women, they're so beautiful and flattering and appropriate for the work these women would have done. they'd have washed their hair maybe once a month, so it being up was practical! and yet these women are apparently spending several hours a day styling their hair into very 2000s styles. half of them have beachy waves, the other have modern updos. it's distracting and irritating. they're all obviously wearing more makeup than in most modern dramas. they're all beautiful women, and don't need such obvious slap! bring back the s1 look to the costumes and makeup!

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    1. I can't agree more. I, too, was bothered by the changes in styles from season 1 to season 2. I first saw the series on Netflix so the change is stark when watching the seasons back to back.

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  38. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one being driven crazy by this show. I've been watching this series on Netflix and am so frustrated by the women's hair styles. I enjoy the story, but several times have thought about not watching it anymore because it just stresses me out too much to see the long hair and no hats!

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  39. I came across your post when I google "When Calls the Hart bad costume change season 2." I knew I wasn't the only one to find the hair styles on season 2 completely annoying and distracting! What on Earth is the costume designer thinking? They should really find someone else!

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  40. I've watched the first 2 episodes of s3. Everything is so much worse. I don't believe they would say a woman was nesting or any of the other late 20th century cliches. Their hair, makeup, and eyebrows drive me nuts. The men's hair isnt the greatest either. They must have different writers because they can't seem to use I or me properly anymore.

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  41. So, I started watching the series during Season two and was thinking all along that both their clothing and hairstyles were very modern for the 1910's. At first I didn't even realize it was supposed to be that Era. Then, I watched season 1 on Netflix and was happy to see the costumes and hairstyles more relatable to the time period. Why did they stray so far from the first season?! Obviously there are many out there who are wondering the same thing...

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  42. Add me to the list of viewers who hates the hair, heavy make up and shiny synthetic fabrics that subtract from the show in significant ways. A sheared, patterned faux fur cape and fleece lined collar on Jack's sweater are just off!

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  43. Completely agree!! I found this post by Googling why the show wasn't historically accurate with its costuming & makeup... way too much makeup, long hair & low-cut dresses. Drives me nuts! I, too, am distracted from the storyline by it all.

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  44. I can stomach about 15 minutes of this show at a time before I need to turn it off to recover my sanity. Beyond the inaccurate costuming and hair styling, three other items add to the uncomfortable feeling: the background (overhead) lighting, the "comedic" music, and the lack of dirt. The "in-studio" set lighting makes it feel unauthentic and more like a daily soap opera...watch for the highlight behind their hair in almost every indoor scene. The silly music is unnecessary if the narrative can speak for itself. The town feels just too darn "clean"...come on, it's 1910 in a dusty small town. All of these anachronisms are like the penny in "Somewhere in Time"...they pull me out of the otherwise interesting story. But are the producers even listening to the viewers?

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  45. I gave up and stopped taping it. The dialogue now with the constant 21st century flirtation and teasing is historically inaccurate and is now like nails on a chalkboard to me.

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  46. I made it to the third episode on season 2, but I can't stand the hair. It reminds me that these are modern people. Why film a period show if they don't care about the period?

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  47. I, too, am shocked by the lack of historical accuracy with the costumes and especially the hair and makeup! In last week's episode, Abigail was wearing a light blue coat with a purple scarf and matching purple leather gloves. I love the show, but these inaccuracies are so glaring that they take away from the story lines. Additionally, the recent scene at the dance included men wearing what appear to be modern-day suits that they purchased at the likes of Jos. A. Banks or Brooks Brothers! Costumes aside, the hair and makeup are the worst. Similar to someone who posted above, I found this page by googling the inaccuracies of the costumes - I had wondered if I was the only one who found it so distracting.

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  48. I agree with everyone about the hair and the clothes. It really spoils the show. Accuracy is so important to enjoying a historical period show. They have great actors and good story going on, they just need to make it a little more realistic.

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  49. So glad I found this! Mary P. you’re right, accuracy is so important in a historic show, and they are so off the mark. In the early 20th century I believe it was also custom for women to wear hats and gloves when out of doors. Not only are the wardrobe, hairstyle, and makeup representations woefully inaccurate, but sometimes the terminology is too. I nearly fell off the couch when one of Miss Thatcher’s students, in excitement, shouted: “Cool!” I could be mistaking, but I don’t think people used the word cool to express enthusiasm, like we do today.

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  50. My people, I have found you! I Netflix binged the first season in two days, and fell in love with the setting of Coal/Hope Valley as well as the costume design. But now that I'm watching season two, it makes me want to gouge my eyes out. Long flowing locks? Revealing necklines and short sleeves? And don't get me started on the fact that the men all look like they stepped out of a J.Crew catalogue circa 2010! From everything I've read, it just seems like things get worse in season 3. Hallmark needa to fire who ever is the set and costume designer.

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  51. And what is up with Jack's scruff? I'm sure men of that era sometimes did not shave, but I'm sure they would have found the time to do it in polite company! Seriously.

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  52. Still not sure how Elizabeth can wear a different coat on every episode when closet space was as common as online dating for the era. Was that a Waterford vase that Jack bought Elizabeth?

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  53. When I first learned of this show, I was drawn to seek it out and watch it. But I couldn't even transcend the historically inaccurate hair styles enough to watch a single episode! I only saw a commercial for the show, and it makes me furious!!

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  54. +2. I'm a guy and started watching this show with my wife this month on Netflix. These period pieces are one of our compromises between my sci-fi and her girly content. It was pretty good in season 1. We just started season 2 and I can't take it. I feel like I'm watching Days of Our Lives. Whomever is responsible should be fired! And I would love to know who it was.

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  55. Found this site after googling accuracy of this show. I loved the books, which is totally different. I cant believe the hair and clothes either...

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  56. Like everyone else, I'm so glad to know I'm not alone! I just wonder why more isn't being made of this, since it's so blatantly obvious. Rosemary's wedding dress in season 3 was the WORST. A form-fitting mermaid dress with an illusion neckline? That's what people wear in 2016--more than 100 years later! It's maddening! I think what's so frustrating is how easy it would have been to get this right--and how shockingly far they missed the mark. It's not even close. Period-appropriate costumes, hairstyles, etc would have endeared this show to a far greater audience, I believe.

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  57. In Season 1 the women had modern make up and hairstyles (blonde highlights, eyeliner) but in Season 2 they even went modern with clothing too! Who in the world is approving their makeup/hair/clothing??? They completely ruined this cute period show! Shame on Hallmark Hall of Fame.

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  58. I'm watching the series on DVD, and I haven't made it to season 2 yet, and I'm already cringing from season 1!!! Leave your hair up, ladies!! Ugh!!! I'm really disappointed with the costume designers. I noticed that the first few episodes were really pretty good. Elizabeth kept her hair up, and the clothing was all pretty accurate for 1900-10. But now that I'm near the end of the first season, their hair is coming down... :( And don't get me started on the modern dialogue and phrases...

    And am I the only one who thought Rosie in "Rules of Engagement" was wearing an outfit straight out of some 90s movie?!!! And her straight, layered hair under her 90s hat... And her harem-style bloomers! Bloomers existed as far back as the mid-19th century, but weren't always considered decent, and then only for swimming or sports. I doubt they made it to mainstream fashion yet...

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  59. I have found my fellow haters. I binged the first season but season two is just gross. Hair, makeup, clothes--they look like the cast of a Wild West show at six flags. Actually, six flags would be better. The thing about period shows and movies is--those that don't know the period won't appreciate/care if you're correct. But those that do know the period WILL CARE AND WILL COMMENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

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    1. Six Flags -- laughed out loud at that. You've nailed it.

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  60. Thank you! I thought I was losing my mind. I fully concur with the above statements about the lack of era appropriateness. Did they not have a costume budget for Season 2? Watching a production set in 1910 with fashions from the 1940's to 2010's is too distracting. I don't know if I can finish watching. Costume, hair/makeup, and set design are supposed to help the actors and viewers transcend to that era. Mess with that and you make the actors and the production implausible and therefore unbelievable.

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  61. Thank you! I thought I was losing my mind. I fully concur with the above statements about the lack of era appropriateness. Did they not have a costume budget for Season 2? Watching a production set in 1910 with fashions from the 1940's to 2010's is too distracting. I don't know if I can finish watching. Costume, hair/makeup, and set design are supposed to help the actors and viewers transcend to that era. Mess with that and you make the actors and the production implausible and therefore unbelievable.

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  62. Glad I'm not alone either! I also noticed IKEA lamps used in the café during Jack's special dinner... And as the seasons are progressing I can't get past the long hair worn down! It would have been SO scandalous!! Not to mention impractical. On top of everything they aren't even period appropriate styles of down hair! (What the young girls or teens would have worn) but are almost completely modern... Ugh :( This show has gone from "watch with interest and intent" to "put on in background while cleaning" which is such a bummer.

    /Rant

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  63. I had watched the first few episodes of season 1, but lost cable and only just this week rediscovered the show on Netflix. The hard part was seeing the change from season 1 where they made at least some effort to be more period accurate, to season 2 when it seemed that, as has been mentioned, there was no effort at all. While the hair, makeup and women's clothes were distracting, I found seeing the men in jeans with the lower waist line, and plaid shirts even more irritating. The storyline kept me going though and I do adore Jack and Elizabeth's story. I found it true to her character that she would find herself caught between the two worlds, her family home in Hamilton and her new place in Hope Valley. The parallels between the change in the towns name and the change in the set I THINK may have been intentional. A brighter set to help illustrate the positive move that the townsfolk are making. But yes, I do wish they had done more to keep the authenticity of the period. Period dramas are so incredibly popular now, and it would only help the show and the network if they were to do more to keep to the period. As a historian myself, I agree with everyone that it is incredibly distracting. I will say that at least they have improved a bit in season 3, but Hallmark is only hurting itself by announcing that the historically inspired costuming is intentional as we all seem to love the historically accurate shows even more. I recently found that someone had attempted to get a petition signed to send to Hallmark to request they return to the shows more historical costuming, but apparently there weren't enough signatures. I wonder if another attempt could be made? Such a great show deserves to have many more seasons, but I'm worried they will continue to lose viewers if they don't do something to fix this!

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  64. I never watched When Calls the Heart precisely because I noticed inaccurate costuming and hair in the promos. I would not be able to stomach it. And I don't understand Hallmark's insistence on making the characters look more and more non-period as the series progresses. Even the most amateurish researcher would know the WRONGNESS of grown women in 1910 wearing their hair down. And the shirts and ties on the men! So wrong. I thought maybe it had something to do with the fact that the show is set in Canada, and long flowing hair was actually the style there in the late 19th and early 20th century. But that's absurd. These people were British citizens and would have kept up with Edwardian codes of conduct in their appearance and behavior... even if they were settlers and didn't have a lot of money for fashion. But it seems everyone on this blog and others has been pointing out these atrocities for a couple of years, apparently to deafened Hallmark ears. If you all stop watching perhaps they will finally listen up.

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    1. I stopped watching. Couldn't take it anymore.

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  65. I so agree! One of the first things I noticed and commented to Hubs on was the hair. Then the town looks totally different, and there is gravel on the streets - in a coal mining town?

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  66. Is Hallmark going broke? Do they not have anything left to pay their costume designer? Can they not afford hairpins or cravats? Time to sell your Hallmark stock.

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  67. I quit watching. Honestly, Hallmark, do some fashion/hair homework! Lack of creativity abounds.

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  68. I also stopped watching because the hair/wardrobe was too distracting and irritating. I'm so glad it's not just me!! Also, Jack and Elizabeth's relationship just dragged on for so long without progressing that I lost interest.

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  69. Not only the outfits are wrong, ome of the women have bleached/highlighted hair and very modern makeup (blue and green eyeshadows and bright purple lipstick). I don't even watch it, but see previews all the time and this immediately stuck out to me like a sore thumb.

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  70. I realize this is an old post but I also came here through a google search on the lack of accuracy in When Calls the Heart. I laughed out loud when one of the ladies fussed about not having makeup for a party. Isn't this set in the 1910s, in a poor town in rural Canada? Then there is the widow Mary, who is a brunette in Season 1 but during her wedding in Season 2 is an unnatural shade of blonde. And all the references to the US when they are supposed to be Canadian. I understand that staying more accurate to the time and place can push the budget up, so they may need to cut corners here and there. But there are some important details they can get right without spending more money. Too many of these mistakes can ruin the atmosphere of the show.
    I appreciate the work they've done, but if they do not strive for at least Season 1 level then I can't watch further. Hallmark and all these "family entertainment" channels love to dumb things down for the audience...I hope they realize that isn't necessary.

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  71. I recently binge watched the first three seasons of the show and although it's a little Frontier soap opera the story and is cute and cheesy. That being said the costumes hair discussion of makeup drives me nuts. Half of the men look as if the costume Department told them to go to Men's Wearhouse and buy a suit and some nice shirts. By comparison my husband and I love watching Murdoch Mysteries which take place in the identical time. By contrast Murdoch Mysteries costuming Hair Etcetera are carefully historically accurate which makes watching When Calls the Heart that much more jarring. I had seen clips of the show previously and had no idea what timeperiod it was and thought it was much more modern because the the costuming and Hair Design. Shame on Hallmark thinking Their audience wouldn't notice or care

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  72. I'm so glad I'm not the only one - I just started on season 2 (Finnish tv) and was likewise put out by the changes in costume and hair from season 1. The first season was cheesy enough but with the costumes it was watchable, now I don't know if I can continue.

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  73. Abigail's hilighted hair and over-whitened teeth are so distracting, as well as the dramatic eye make-up and lipstick. When would these women have had time to worry about all that, as well as time to wash and iron all those changes of clothes. The pastel colors, white lace blouses, synthetic fabrics, etc. are so inappropriate - especially for everyday wear. Not to mention they don't match the time period at all. Also, the things they say are current phrases, like "Have a nice day" and "Way to go". Come on Hallmark, put a little effort into this show because I really enjoy it otherwise and they have a huge fan base. Give the viewers a little credit and make the show historically accurate.

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  74. Obviously I am not the only one who finds the modern hair and clothing a distraction to a period drama. I am only in the 3rd show of Season 2, but I can take it no more--going to jump ahead to Season 3 and see if anything improves (I understand they hired a new costume designer for that season).

    I did read an interview with the new ^^ costume designer. She said Hallmark pays a pittance toward costumes, so she has to go shopping at stores like Macy's and then tailor the modern clothing to look old-fashioned.

    Personally I think she would be better off going to thrift shops like Salvation Army and Goodwill, as the older fabrics pre-1990s were more authentic and less synthetic.

    About the hair, there's nothing more to be said than what has already been mentioned.

    What a mess Hallmark Jade of what could have been a pretty good series.

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  75. So glad I'm not alone! good grief what a inaccurate mess they made of it. Costs would have come down if they were not blow drying all those tresses and could have been spent on hats!!!! Not only would women 15 up have their hair up but outdoors always wear a hat and gloves for fear of being considered a floozy. Men like wise, hat or cap if they according to class with or without button-on stiff white collars. And all those shiny white teeth, cringe! Even rich people didn't have that many clothes so this parade of bad choices is not just a budget problem, it is woeful lack of knowledge hat had easily been fixed with a bit of research. I'm sure plenty of students would have loved to have done it for little compensation instead of bungling it up so badly that it is annoying to a degree that I'm done halfway season 2. Longing for DR Quinn and little house on the prairie. also inaccurate in places but not as bad at this. Sadly Michael landon sr is not alive anymore to set his son straight.

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  76. OK. the clothes, the hair. the make up, the dialogue laughable but what about the lack of snow? climate change a century earlier? middle of nowhere in the winter in canada and no snow up to the nose and not wearing any fur hats, muffs and the like. right in the area where it would have been plentiful and for free or really cheap and very much needed for the harsh winters.....

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  77. Thank goodness I'm nor the only one! Season 1 was a hidden delight.... Having this weird, modern look for season 2 completely ruined the charm and innocence that a story in that era provides. What a shame.

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  78. Thanks for this post and the opportunity to vent! I've just started watching this on Netflix and the utter disregard for historical accuracy regarding costuming is nothing short of infuriating. (I feel the same way about historical romance covers featuring models in cheesy modern bridesmaid dresses) I'm currently watching Season 2 Episode 3 and just saw Jack in a fleece!!! WTF Otherwise this is quite an enjoyable series.

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  79. I am so happy to have found this post. I was thinking that something did not feel quite right until it got me upset. Now that I read all your comments, I'm fine again. Thank you.

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