Yesterday was the second installment for Fashion Wednesday but I thought I'd like to explain a few things. The images you'll be seeing are from fashion magazines at the time. The everyday wear is generally not found but once in a while I stumble upon an image as is the case with the image I'm posting today. Below you will see a portion of an image from the Jan. 1875 edition of The Peterson's Magazine. The title is New Year's Eve. What you can't see since I highlighted the dress, is that the woman is staring at a party going on inside the building. A party that her attire wouldn't be seen in. There are a few things to note about this dress which I'll point out below the image.
Note: The dress does not touch the ground. It wasn't practical. So, yes her ankles would show, except that she has boots on. Also notice there is a hood with this dress. It is winter and keeping warm is important.
Also note that while in the 70's there tended to be these huge bustles off the backsides of women in most of their dresses. This work outfit/common outfit, has no such rigging. You can read more about the Bustle on Wikipedia as well as see some images of them.