I think this dress is from the 1880s but I’m not that great with dating late nineteenth century dresses, so I might be off by a decade or two. I took these pictures from an eBay listing, as I typically do, and I was attracted to the simplicity of it but still the attention to detail.
This is a one piece dress, meaning the bodice and skirt appear to have no separation whatsoever. I can’t tell what the dress material is exactly but it appears to me that it’s too coarse to be silk alone. It may be wool or cotton or linen or some type of blend of those fibers mixed with silk. Someone with a better trained eye might be able to tell what it is. The main color is a medium to light blue but it might have faded over the years from a darker shade. A double row of buttons lines the bodice, past the waist and about a third of the way down the skirt. They might be ivory or some type of stone.
The real beauty of this simple dress is the ivory floral detail wrapping around the bottom third of the skirt, up along the bodice, around the neck and around the cuffs of the sleeves. It appears most likely that these details are some sort of applique work or they might be mixed in with hand embroidery.
No doubt the owner of this dress was a lovely lady with simple tastes who knew how to spice things up a bit when needed.