As indicated by the title, this dress is from 1918. The garment has silk fibers made with a satin weave. Considering the delicacy of this garment, it is tremendous that it is in fairly good condition, especially with the age of the garment. It is also remarkable that it has maintained such a good condition with the weight of the garment as it is. However, in light of this, there are some tears in the silk and sheer lining. Additionally, there is also some discoloration at the hem.
Despite these elements, there are a lot of interesting details about this garment. One such detail is how the under-layer of the dress has a square neck and is overlapped with several semi-sheer layers of fabric to form a V-shape neckline. There is also a small sailor collar in the back.
The sleeves are sheer and decorated with tassels along the elbow and lower arm. The same tassels are found on the outer-skirt as well as hanging on the end of the sash that wraps at the waist.
The panels of decoration seen on the front and back of the bodice, and also along the bottom of the sash, are all hand-embroidered silk. This embroidery was all done with metallic thread.
The waist of this garment is slightly lower than the natural waistline--which, of course, is a precursor to the 1920s' all-too-popular-dropped waistline.
The hem of the garment is uneven and slightly shorter than full length. The sheer outer layer of the skirt is split on both sides. This dress is very delicate and beautiful; it displays minimal frills and lace, indicating it was made near the start of or during US involvement in WWI.
As far as how the garment works, it is fascinating how many and how complicated the closures are. For instance, the sleeves snap at the wrist (post 1915) and the skirt hooks to the bodice in front with hooks and eyes.
The sash hooks on the left side over top of everything. The bodice closes in a series of overlapping layers, with a sheer lining hooking in the Center Front underneath it all, and a solid heavy woven waist band also hooks in the Center Front. Much more than we are used to today, to say the least.
The size of this garment is actually a little bigger than the average person's during this time. People were generally quite a bit smaller than the average sizes of today's world. Today in the Western Hemisphere there is typically a lot of food and nutrition available as well as a lot of hormones in our food, which contributes to the increase in the average size. Someone today wearing a medium or large could potentially wear this garment with ease.
The Bust measures at 43.5 inches; the waist is 32.5 inches; and the hips are 41 inches. The outer skirt measures 28 inches in length on the left side and 34 inches on right side.