This dress is an interesting example of a change in Victorian dress etiquette. In the 1870s and 80s a gown would either have an exposed neck and chest and short sleeves, OR a high neck and long sleeves. In the early 1890s you start to see formal garments, like this dress, which pair a high neck and covered chest with shorter sleeves.
This week’s Rate the Dress is a tea gown in the aesthetic style which combines the comfort and (relative) ease of wear that was originally supposed to be the point of a tea gown, with the luxurious fabrics and whimsical use of trim and design features that came to be the defining characteristic of a tea gown.
A walking dress was a trainless dress that one could walk in without any part of the dress touching the ground. In an era dominated by horse-drawn vehicles (among other less salubrious refuse that might end up on the streets), the resulting debris picked up by long, trained skirts could be rather foul, and it’s not surprising that the elaborate trains of the 1870s and early 1880s did not last.