How about some bustle-y goodness! The first Bustle period (1868-1876) developed from the hoop, and you can see the remains in the silhouette. The bustle slopes away at the back, the skirt tips forward a bit, and it is very fluffy with decoration.
These very Romantic dresses are the epitome of feminine beauty and grace. They mirror some of the new design sentiments led by Dresser and Eastlake. Often made with three colors or fabrics, because three is considered harmonious. Evening dresses are often light in color, and day dresses in brighter more vivid shades.
I often make dresses around the mix & match concept. I can make a skirt set that can be worn with either Day or Evening bodices, as well as a polonaise. This way you get more options and more events to wear outfit to.
These Victorian dresses can be made in almost any material. I prefer using natural fabrics if at all possible, not only for the more historical correctness, but also for their breathability. I often use cottons, wool, silks, linen, and blends.