Ah.. the gorgeous, floating-on-a-cloud lingerie dress from the turn of the 20th Century.
Made from batiste (a thin opaque cotton), soft organdy, voile, lawn (similar to batiste) or even a cotton/linen blend they are the dreamy dessert dresses.
Most often these afternoon gowns were white but could be other pale pastels like yellow, cream, blue and pink. Their main features were lace inserts, entredeaux, lace edging trims, pintucks and ruffles. It was made to be very feminine through light and airy materials.
The lingerie dress was in the same vein as reform dress, which was to promote relaxed home wear that was not fitted and did not require a corset support of some sort. Hence, this type of frilly dress was perfect for teenage girls. Although, even though you see more younger women photographed in the lingerie dress, women of all ages wore them as this dress was popular for afternoon teas and for visiting.