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Dress is a vast and complex subject, but here are some pointers to help with understanding, identifying and dating the clothing styles of those family members from the past who stood before the camera in their 'Sunday best'.
Fashion in photographs It was understood that clients visiting the photographer's studio (or, less commonly, those inviting a photographer to their home) would be dressed in their best quality, most fashionable clothing.
Wealthy subjects had many fashionable ensembles to choose from, whereas ordinary working-class ancestors usually donned their best outfit, kept for church on Sundays and special occasions.
Everyone wished to create a good impression in the treasured photographs that would later be shown to family and friends and might be displayed in an album, or hung on the wall.
Using clues to date photographs, along with family history research can often lead to the discovery of who the people or person was in the picture.
One of the other things that help to distinguish when a photo was taken are clues in the setting; it was not unusual for doctors to have pictures with a skull in the setting.
This is a good question but photographic evidence suggests that in many cases even humbler working ancestors followed the latest styles.Men’s hair styles and facial hair is not as easy to decipher the photos age.The clothing can also be an indicator in the age of a picture, women whether they lived in the country or the city for most photographs would be wearing the latest fashions.Each of these different types of processes were used for many photographs, and just knowing which type of paper, glass or metal was used can give a range of years when they were the popular choice for photographers to use.The material along with, fashions, backgrounds and even photographers names can all indicate when the picture was taken.