It is a silk Victorian era shirtwaist, to be worn with a skirt. There is a cream-colored blouse attached inside the black shirtwaist with an embroidered panel tucked inside the lower half of the opening. Each layer closes with its own set of hooks and eyes.
The center edges of the black silk are decorated with a double silk trim with delicate edge stitching, attached with a faggoted seam.
Unfortunately, the trim is in pretty bad shape in quite a few places.
The cuffs have more of the embroidery and trim, plus lovely thread-covered buttons.
The sleeves and yokes are cut in one piece. The shirtwaist is shaped by pleated midriff panels. The seam between the two sections is outlined with a small covered cording.
Made in Paris! How fun!
I found a picture of dresses for a garden party, printed in 1900. At the bottom is the name of this dress shop. I also found a receipt for a sale at the shop in 1906. (These are both items for sale, so the links may not stay active for very long.)
This is the lovely embroidered center panel. The buttons are clear, with tiny pink flowers embedded inside.