The dress - Let me count the ways I ADORE THIS DRESS. It's perfectly Regency, and in my opinion it might carry over into the Romantic period. We bought it in 2005, and the fabric is quality but still thin enough to count as a summer dress; also, although the description calls it "pale pink" it's really more beige. There's a picture of a very similar fabric in Josefina's World, so the fabric is even historically accurate! There are no problems with the cut - Empire waist, scoop neckline, and square shoulders, although I will mention that the tab trim around the waist will stick out if the seam for the waist does not lay flat underneath. Also, the dress is a little short on it's own, so it really needs to be paired with Josefina's Christmas pantalettes for decency. : ) A++
The spencer jacket - this seems a little too heavy to go with the party dress, but only because it is MADE OF REAL WOOL! It is heavy and thick, and lined with black satin. It velcros at the arms but it actually buttons and snaps up the front. Also, the collar can lay down or be turned up, as in my picture. The only question I have is I wonder if a girl Josefina's age would wear this ensemble of spencer+dress. All the fashion plates I've seen show young women. Doesn't really matter though. Still gets an A+!
FWIW, I also have had a PM version of this, and I could detect no differences whatsoever. The PM wool jacket may have been the tiniest bit thinner but I'm not even sure about that. So now we know that there wasn't much of a change in this set from its introduction in 98/99 to the 2005 Mattel edition.
More pics so you can actually see how it looks on my Josefina :
And also a few on Agnes, a fair-skinned classic-mold girl: