Below are excerpts from an article on fashions from Lett's Illustrated Household Magazine ©1883.
A very^ pretty spring costume is composed of faille and veiling of two Shades of grey. The skirt is of faille and has two pleated flounces edged with velvet, the tunic or upper skirt is in veiling, and is raised high at the sides, with long bows and ends of wide ribbon velvet, forming a pouf and graceful drapery at the back. The bodice is pointed back and front, and is edged with velvet, fastening down the back, under bows and ends.
Another walking dress is made of cashmere and satin merveilleux, in two shades of terra-cotta. The satin skirt is almost plain; a narrow kilted flounce is placed round the bottom, headed by a crossway band of cashmere, which is of the lightest shade. A draped tunic of cashmere reaches only half-way down the skirt, and falls in a large, loose pouf at the back. The bodice has a very small basque, and is pointed in the front and square at the back; a crossway band of satin, graduating to a point, is laid on the bodice in a V shape, terminating at the extreme point in front; the sleeves are short and quite plain. With this costume is worn a straw bonnet of terra-cotta colour, the broad brim lined with pink satin; a broad satin ribbon crosses the front, and is held at one side by a fancy buckle, falling thence in strings, and a large white feather droops gracefully over the back. A pretty dress for a child may be made of a fancy woollen material; the skirt is in very large pleats, across each of these is a band of ottoman silk, pointed at one end and confined by a steel or fancy buckle, the other end is concealed under the pleat. The jacket has the same trimming on each side and round the bottom, it is fastened to the waist, but from thence is open to display a long waistcoat, which comes half-way down the skirt, d la Louis XII. There are pockets at the side, square in shape, with bands of silk laid on, and sleeves, with square cuffs, trimmed to match.
The first figure illustrated has a skirt of brown cashmere, with a narrow kilted flounce at the edge. Over this is a long tunic, with large pattern of Indian pines embroidered in various colours, draped rather full at the back. The spring mantle is composed of ottoman silk, with plastron down the back in velvet. This is edged with a trimming laid in points towards the centre, and having at the outer end a jet bead or ornament. The points are square, and are trimmed with passementerie and jet ornaments to match the back, and on the shoulder is an ornament of silk cord and tassels. The straw bonnet of a lighter shade of colour than the dress, is profusely trimmed with flowers and foliage, and lias strings of broad satin ribbon.
The second costume is an indoor dress of faille and soft woollen veiling. The skirt is of faille, /raises ecrasees, it has two box-pleated flounces edged with ribbon velvet of a darker shade, the upper flounce is very wide, and is partly concealed by the tunic. This is made of the woollen fabric, and has an edging of embroidery turned up round it; it is raised very high at the sides, with loops and long ends of velvet, and falls in graceful poufs at the back. The bodice is open and pointed, short at the side and coat-shaped behind, a graduated piece of embroidery is placed at the edge of the bodice in front, where it is open to display a full waistcoat of faille, crossed by bands of velvet, fastened with silver or steel buckles. The sleeves are plain and have small embroidered cuffs.
They are mostly of coloured straw; white is scarcely seen. Mixtures of chenille and fancy straw, or of lace and jet, or gold, are admissible. The trimmings include every kind of ornament; flowers, birds, feathers, silk pompons, sparkling gold or silver thistles; and, lastly (this is quite a la mode in Paris), the tiny head of a cat, with collar of lace, in the folds of which are hid loops of narrow ribbon. The "Olivette" bonnet has bceu very successful.