These Dressing Tables Will Help You Get Ready Like A Grown Up

Romanticising our beauty routines.

I always thought I would have a dressing table.

As a child, it seemed to belong to some future version of womanhood that I would one day inhabit.

In films, this piece of furniture seemed integral to the female heroine’s sense of selfa private space where she could make herself beautiful but also, more importantly, somewhere she could contemplate freely.

Yet, at the age of 27, the dressing table is very absent from my life.

the dressing table history
Georges Barbier’s 1921 painting, Le Grand Decolletage depicts a romantic view of the dressing table. (Credit: Getty )

I, like so many of my friends, apply my makeup while sitting on the floor next to my mirrorhardly the romantic beauty routine I once imagined for myself.

Yet, with a non-existent bathroom counter, a lack of storage for my products, and a train to catch, getting ready doesn’t often feel like something that can be romantic.

A dressing table almost feels too indulgent for my rushed morning routinesomething that belongs to old Hollywood film stars and the women in Downton Abbey, who have enough time to luxuriate over their appearances.

downton abbey dressing table
Lady Cora’s dressing table in Downton Abbey. (Credit: ITV )

In fact, I can’t remember the last time I saw a dressing table in an adult woman’s bedroom. These days, you’re more likely to find a desk.

Ironically, only the children I know seem to have retained their dressing tablesplastic, Barbie pink and complete with flickering lights, the little girl’s vanity prepares them for approaching womanhoodor the dream of it, at least.

dressing table elizabeth taylor
Elizabeth Taylor getting ready at her dressing table. (Credit: Getty)

The dressing table, however, is different from other pieces of furniture.

Just as the desk is dedicated to work, and the table is dedicated to the family or relationship, this piece of furniture is dedicated, almost wholly, to yourself.

It’s a space that isn’t (usually) shared with a partner, children or any other external responsibilities. The Tampa Bay Times might describe the dressing table as an “alter to vanity” but it can also be seen as an alter to self.

As all women know, doing your skincare and applying your makeup, isn’t simply about making yourself look beautifulit’s also about caring for yourself. Sometimes, it’s the only time we do.

It’s not unusual for women to put caring for themselves at the bottom of the priority list, long after their partners, children, pets, work, and even friends.

Perhaps then, it’s worth bringing a little more romance into our seemingly ordinary routines, and dedicating a space to this indulgent and yet, deeply important, act.

Maybe we all need more dressing tables of our own

Dressing Tables To Buy In 2024

dressing table


Matt Blatt Artiss Dressing Table Stool Set Sliding Mirror Oak Demi

$149.95 at Matt Blatt

This gorgeous wooden dresser from Matt Blatt is slim enough to fit into even the smallest of apartment bedrooms or hallway nooks.

Key features:

  • Sliding mirror
  • Spacious hidden cupboard
  • Space saving size
sloane desk dressing table


Castlery Sloane Desk with 2 Drawers

$799 at Castlery

This luxurious dressing table will make you feel like you’re a countess on Downton Abbey. Just pair with a gold mirror and plush seating.

Key features:

  • Engineered wood with oak veneer
  • Soft close draw runner
  • Olive green tone
dressing table french provincial


La Verde Queen Ann 1 Drawer Large Dressing Table

$559.00- $629.00 Temple & Webster

With a wide mirror and slim drawer, this French Provincial style vanity is an elegant addition to any bedroom.

Key features:

  • Slim drawer
  • Three part mirror
  • French provincial style

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