Start Dating pictures by clothing

Dating pictures by clothing

In this series, Jayne Shrimpton, internationally recognised dress historian, portrait specialist, photo detective and regular contributor to Family Tree, Your Family History and Family History Monthly magazines, dates and analyses different types of photographs and helps you to add context to your old family pictures.

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.

Family historians often wonder whether their poorer forebears would have been able to dress very fashionably.

You may not think to look on the Internet for help in dating old photographs, but actually it's the best place to go.

See also: Safely store, display your old family photographs.

» Since I'm no fashionista, I turned to websites such as Family Chronicle, which also has published two books on dating photos, for help in matching styles with a particular era.