The dress Tessa Salmagard wears for her date with the Admiral is an Evagardian one-off done in an updated Isakan style. Though the dress bears outward similarities to a modern yukata, it’s actually cut very differently. The sleeves are sealed and have a hard taper, which makes them less likely to get caught on things. The side seams are aggressive to accentuate the wearer’s lower half more than a traditional yukata would, and the sash is worn low to push up the bust.
The fabric is Evagardian smart silk, which will ensure that undergarments and small items won’t leave lines. The sash has a discreet pocket, as a woman wearing this dress is unlikely to want to display her holo on her wrist or ear. Tessa did not choose this dress for herself; she was convinced to wear it by her bunkmate, Fatimah Richards. Fatimah also chose the floral accessory for Tessa’s hair, which is unorthodox. Most Earth girls of good breeding would go with a ribbon or elaborate hairpins.
Platform sandals or pumps would be ideal, but despite her height, Tessa always wears flats. At only 160 centimeters, she cannot be considered a traditional Evagardian beauty.
The outfit strikes a balance between caution and confidence. An imperial woman from a good family is not considered successful unless she not only excels in her career, but also secures one or more husbands. It is absolutely essential that she make everything she does look easy. Showing skin would be seen in Tessa’s circles as trying too hard; making an effort is un-Evagardian because a proper Evagardian should never have to. With that in mind, this dress is an excellent choice for Tessa.
It’s important that an ensemble for an outing like this have one or two characteristics that do not follow the rules to indicate individuality, and ensure that the wearer doesn’t come off as overly needy or eager to please. These sensibilities vary somewhat across the Imperium, but with her flats and flower, Tessa quietly meets that unspoken requirement.
The dress was commissioned through a Moroccan boutique known for providing gala dresses to Casablanca’s elite. The dress cost Tessa 2100 imperial Julians; the floral hair ornament 90, and the matching shoes 430. As a private with ship duty (receiving wartime pay because there’s only a ceasefire, not a treaty) Tessa Salmagard’s take-home salary for a 10-day pay period is 350 Julians.