(Inspired, of course, by the popular Gilbert & Sullivan operetta!)
RUTH, THE PIRATE MAID-OF-ALL-WORK (Pirates of Penzance). This costume is suited to a dark beauty; a head-dress of red drapery and coins; red and black short skirt, with much gold trimming; low black gold-bedizened bodice, and gold armlets, with chain of sequins from the shoulder to wrist.
The description is identical between the sources, except that the 1897 one omits the suggestion of it being suited to a "dark beauty." Note that "short" is a relative concept in Victorian skirts; it meant you could see the the ankles, or possibly a bit of calf.
Nowadays (and from the 1910s onward) Ruth's costumes have a stereotypical pirate look, but judging by photographs from early productions of The Pirates of Penzance, a Victorian version of her costume should probably have a vaguely Mediterranean feel. For reference, at left are pictures of Alice Barnett, who played Ruth in New York in 1880; Rosina Brandram, who played the role in 1888 and 1900 at the Savoy, in 1901; and a 1908 costume design, courtesy of the Harry Ransom Center, which was very similar to that worn by Brandram. Click to enlarge the images.
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.