This unlined underbodice of pale yellow silk shot with silver grey fitted over the bodice of a matching dress, its broad sloping shoulders and slightly high waist echoing the line of those below it. The black silk belt, attached across the centre back, was brought round to fasten with a hook and eye at the front. Care was needed with this to ensure that the fabric below the belt flared out neatly as an overskirt to the skirt below, and that the ladders of horizontal stripes of starkly contrasting black braid, terminating in small black pendant balls, matched up and lay flat. A similar use of narrow black stripes on a pale ground to produce a bold graphic design can be seen on the jacket in the Related Item.
From the late 1860s fashionable dresses acquired an increasing number of possible components such as underskirts, overskirts and aprons, belts, and a choice of day and evening bodices, made feasible with a more common use of sewing machines in their construction. This overbodice, however, has been completely stitched by hand.