(The evolution of these descriptions across sixteen years and three editions of this fancy dress manual offers an interesting look at women's slow entry into academia.)
In 1880, the entire idea is considered futuristic:
GRADUATE, LADY, OF THE FUTURE. Dark blue velvet dress, undergraduate's black gown and cap, lace cravat; hair tied with pale blue ribbons. (No illustration.)
By 1887, it appears to be routine, and there are two entries, one of which implies a doctorate.
ACADEMICAL DRESS. Long silk academical robe; white, lack, red or other colour, plain or brocaded, worn over a plain skirt and bodice. Academical cap. (No illustration.)
GIRL GRADUATE. In academical robe and cap, which may be of plain or brocaded silk in black or colours. Or, dark blue velvet dress with black University gown, faced with blue; doctor's hat; scarlet stockings; black shoes; lace cravat; hair tied in a cue with ribbon. (Illustrated at left.)
And in 1896, the descriptions, combined, include a reference to the academical robes of the Princess of Wales when she was awarded a Doctorate in Music by Trinity College, Dublin, during a state visit in 1885.
ACADEMICAL DRESS. Girl Graduate. Long silk academical robe; white, black, red, or any other color, plain or brocaded, worn over a silk or satin skirt and bodice, which may be accordion pleated, academical cap. The robe is sometimes faced with color. Muslin bands are worn on a lace cravat. The hair occasionally tied in a cue with a ribbon. (Illustrated at right.) The Princess of Wales's robes as Doctress of Music were white silk bordered in front with red as were the pendant sleeves. The hood red; the college cap edged with gold having a gold tassel.
Holt, Ardern. Fancy Dresses Described, 2nd Edition, Illustrated. London: Debenham & Freebody, 1880.
Holt, Ardern. Fancy Dresses Described, 5th Edition. London: Debenham & Freebody, 1887.
Holt, Ardern. Fancy Dresses Described, Sixth Edition. London: Debenham & Freebody, 1896.
The 1896 edition of Holt may be found online at the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections.