During the late 19th Century, color choices for dresses were often centered around the use of contrast or complementary colors. While looking for something completely different on the internet, we happened to come across a series of pictures of dress that employs contrasting colors in an interesting way with a white overskirt acting as a canvas for a dark blue floral bodice and train. While dresses of the era employed all manner of contrasting colors, white was not one of the usual choices.
The pictures below give a somewhat extreme version of the use of contrasting colors:
From the picture, it would appear that the underskirt is dark blue to match the blue for the bodice and trim.
From the photographs, it would appear that the bodice and train fabric are a floral print.
Unfortunately, we were unable to find out anything concerning the provenance of the dress but judging from the silhouette, we’re probably looking at the mid to late 1880s. The dress really needs a bustle to show off the train to its full advantage and the skirt looks somewhat incomplete but the bodice and train make it for it somewhat. We would love to know more about this dress but unfortunately, such is the nature of the internet.
Contrasting colors, especially when combined with floral designs, are an excellent choice for spring and summer dress styles and were commonly used and especially during the 1880s. For planning an outfit for the spring or summer, we believe that this makes a good choice and the possibilities are endless in terms of colors and fabric. 🙂