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Use costume history to date photos. Learn tips and hints and examples to help you to achieve a date within 5 years either way of the photo 's original date. This will make your genealogy research so much more meaningful to you and your family. Learn by example how to use your own detective skills to examine your photo in detail. See how close you can get to the date which in some cases you may be able to verify with documentation.

Though the blouse and dark skirt remained popular, fashions loosened up into a more comfortable style. Sheath-style dresses showed more ankle. Waistlines were less restricted. Tunic tops hung below the hips. The huge hats of the previous decade continued on for some years but grow smaller and more simple mid-decade.

Bywith the onset of WWI, a military look influenced women's clothing. Look for trench coats and military cut jackets. Hemlines rose to mid-calf and skirts widened in the War crinoline style. The end of the decade saw a return to the looser sheath type dresses that would continue into the s.

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Women often wore their hair in a low, loose bun. The sides often appear to be bobbed. The loose style emerged into a look that de-emphasized the bust, waist, and rear. Tubular dresses featured a drop waistline with a low set belt. Early in the decade, hemlines fell below the calf.

Hair was often bobbed and permed.

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By the mids hemlines rose to the knees. While we associate the time with flappers, more conservative women still wore shorter hemlines than in the past. Long necklaces and bangle bracelets were popular.

Wide headbands were worn across the forehead and even appeared on brides. Cloche hats were without brims. A casual new look featured jersey knits, sportswear, pleated skirts and sweater sets with long, loose, pocketed cardigans. V-necks were often decorated with a bow.

Suits, coats, and sweater often sported a long, low slung lapel. In the past, short sleeves were rare. If a woman in a photo is wearing short sleeves, chances are that the picture was taken after The Great Depression introduced a new conservative style. Hemlines could be just below the knee or mid-calf.

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Bobbed hair was simple with less perming but gentle waves. Dressy clothes featured a sleek look and often included diagonal lines. A bias cutting technique created a smooth, swinging, graceful silhouette. The waistline rose to more natural lines. Dresses and skirts were often belted. Small collars, cowl collars, and Peter Pan collars appeared on plain cotton blouses, dressy blouses, and dresses. Blouses often featured soft bows or pussy cat bows at the neck and often featured short sleeves or high cap sleeves.

Sportswear became prevalent.

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Wide-legged lounge pants showed up at home or at the beach. A naval look cropped up in wide-collared, V-neck blouses with loose bows. Hats were brimmed, sometimes wide brimmed with flat crowns. Some hats resembled cloche hats with a narrow brim. At the end of the decade, hemlines rose to just below the knee. Dresses and suits began to feature small shoulder pads. Restrictions on the use of materials used to make clothing due to WWII resulted in knee-length hemlines and simple, classic lines.

Shoulder pads and a slightly military look became popular. Hair was worn longer than the previous decade in soft, low slung rolls. Hair nets and snoods appeared.

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As in World War I, women often appeared in uniform for work or volunteer service. In the late s, post-war fashions introduced an hourglass silhouette with a tiny waistline and wide, crinoline skirts worn below the knee. Suits featured tight pencil skirts. Casual clothing became more prevalent in the s. Snapshots show women wearing pedal pushers, slacks, or shorts. An hourglass silhouette featured tiny waists, an ample bustline, and hips, all highlighted by swing skirts like Dior's New Look.

Young women often wore jeans that were sometimes rolled into a cuff. Saddle oxfords or tennis shoes were worn with jeans. Some young ones wore short socks with a wide, circular skirt. Early s fashions looked much like the 50s but quickly loosened up.

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The mature look gave way to a youthful and playful style. Shift dresses and shirt-waisted dresses came in floral or geometric prints. Hems grew shorter. Early 60s hair puffed large and smooth. The new casual style showed women in photographs wearing very casual clothes like Bermuda shorts plain or plaid and mid-midriff tops.

As the decade progressed hemlines shortened to mini skirts. Sheaths loosened into tent dresses in bright colors and bold prints. Pale lipstick is obvious even in black and white photos. Makeup emphasized the eyes. Jewelry was cheap and chunky. Late in the decade, casual style offered blue jeans, tee shirts, chunky boots, and sandals. Bell bottom pants flared out below the knee. Ethnic and historic influences featured Dashiki shirts, fringed cowboy jackets, and long necklaces.

It's your biggest clue if you're looking at a snapshot. The hippie look of the past decade continued on for some time.

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Denim was king. Edwardian style prairie dresses featured flounces and small floral prints. Peasant skirts, dresses, and skirts featured embroidery and loose, wide sleeves.

Clues To Dating Old Photographs. First, let us look at the clues that will help you to date an old photo. 1. Clothing and Accessories. When we look at our old family photos one of the first things that is brought to our attention is the clothing. Like today, fashions in the past did change. Dating Your Vintage Photographs ( Fixed in Time A guide to dating daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes by their mats and cases. mats and cases through illustrated and dated. Dating Ancestor Photos Through Clothing and Hairstyles Civil War Era Fashions for Women Clothing Typical features of Civil War era women's fashions were Dating Old Photographs through Clothing & Hairstyle | How Revenue Stamps Can Date Ancestor Photos. Genealogy Spotlight Be sure to check out Lorine's Genealogy Books now available on Amazon.

Western-style was popular with Western cut shirts, leather vests, wide-brimmed hats, and fringed jackets. Bright, bold colors gave way at the end of the decade to earth tones in orange, brown, tan, and avocado green. Later in the decade jersey wrap dresses hung below the knee. The bell bottoms reduced to a flare, becoming straight legged.

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Slogan tee shirts were worn with jeans. Long hair was worn straight or feathered. The shag haircut was a choppy, layered style. Large sunglasses were worn by everyone. Fashion trends can only offer clues to the age of a picture. Styles bleed over into the next decade, and some women embrace the styles of youth even after those fashions become passe. Research old photographs by studying pictures from various decades to begin to understand the look of each period.

Find copies or online reprints of old catalogs to see the types of clothing worn by regular people. Most libraries offer books about clothing.

Start with an encyclopedia type book that presents clothing from an extended period of time. Remember that old fashion plates and high style magazines are an early introduction to details of styles. Normal people would have worn the styles a bit later than the publication date of the plate. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. Hi Peggy - thanks to the people who in the s rejected limitations on fashions, your mother's opinion was on target.

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I guess you can date men's clothing by ties, lapels, and other changes, I think it's a lot harder than dating women's fashions. The people who love clothing trends are the ones who help us date those old pix! Thanks, Peggy. My mother used to say that if you hang onto things long enough, sooner or later, most everything comes back into vogue. In the case of men's clothing, especially items like ties, they can only do so much to change them.

Ties get thinner, then wider, then thinner, and so on.

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The same with their suit lapels. A good middle of the road classic style most often stays in fashion much longer than choosing the latest fad.

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Hi Peggy - thanks for stopping by. Looking at pictures of fashion and reading about it - certain ideas are constantly recycled. I had one pic I posted in one article of a woman in or so. I loved it because she was wearing something that closely resembled one of my favorite outfits including the shoes. She could have walked into a party today and fit in perfectly! This was so interesting to read, particularly looking at the photographs which you included.

I well remember the eclectic array of clothing styles in the s as well as prior to that, and obviously, after.

Just about anything was worn back in the 70s. I love looking at old photos of my family members several generations ago.

Feb 19,   Dating Old Photographs by Clothing People dressed in their newest garments for photographic portraits Clothing can help date a photograph within years Full body shots are easiest to date Garment details can help date an old photograph Pictures of young people reflect contemporary stylesReviews: Genealogy research: Dating vintage photographs by clothing & hairstyles fashion & style. The site for the university's Landscape Change program offers a wealth of information about dating Knowledge in action. Even if you think you're on the right track, identifying fashions can help you confirm. This new section below is devoted to dating old photographs and pictures by analysing costume, fashions, hats & jewellery worn by the wearers in the photos. Use costume history to date photos. Learn tips and hints and examples to help you to achieve a date within 5 years either way of the photo 's .

Styles certainly do change over the years. Some of them seem to recycle now and again. Hi Glen - I was thinking that myself. Once your get to the s, there is such a huge variety of styles.

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In the old days, fashion was less diverse. But I think when we step away from our picture of the present, the images may be clearer. If that makes any sense. Hi Nancy - thanks!

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Glad you enjoyed. There must be so much research involved in writing historical memoirs and historical fiction! The things they wore, used, the furniture, and surroundings! You must really have to dive in to that past world.

Hi Maren - hmmm, I need to check and see if I included make up which was not used often until the s. Glad you enjoyed! Very useful tips, Dolores, for anyone who is interested in family history. I wonder how easy it will be for future generations to pinpoint the youth of today in time, as cheap fashion changes almost on a weekly basis.

Dolores, I really liked this article and all the pictures you added. I am writing a historical memoir and your presentation was very helpful. Fantastic, encyclopedic treatment! And once respectable women started using make-up, those styles can further help with dating a photo. I really enjoyed this article! Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. HubPages and Hubbers authors may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.

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Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so. Dolores Monet more. Dating Old Photographs by Clothing Trying to identify ancestors while looking at old photographs can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you have one of those families where the same face reappears every generation or so.

What to Look for When Dating Photos People dressed in their newest garments for photographic portraits Clothing can help date a photograph within years Full body shots are easiest to date Garment details can help date an old photograph Pictures of young people reflect contemporary styles. Snapshots that show a house can help if you know when your family lived in that house.

Full Body or Head Shot When trying to identify clothing styles, it is easier if you have a full body shot. How to Identify Fashions From the s Skirts In the early s, women wore wide skirts with flounces. Bodices Pagoda sleeves of the early part of the decade were narrow at the shoulder and wide at the wrist, worn with white undersleeves which peeked out above the wrist. How to Identify Fashions From the s Skirts Skirts gathered toward the rear forming a soft bustle.

Skirts featured trains. Bodices Women wore a long, tight bodice or a flat front type shirt. The shoulder line returned to a natural position.

Dating Old Photographs - Expert Q\u0026A - Findmypast

Bows were everywhere, on skirts and bodices, and were often very large. How to Identify Fashions From the s Skirts Women's clothes were ornate and highly decorated with embellishments. Bodice Bodices flared out some below the waist and were highly decorated. How to Identify Fashions From the s During the s, women's clothing simplified and appeared quite conservative compared to the ornate styles of the previous decade.

Sleeve details are the best way to date photos from this time. By the upper arm and shoulder were encased in a huge puff called leg-o-mutton sleeves.

Dating old photographs by clothing

Sleeves in were tight with a high puff ball at the top of the arm. Identifying Fashions From - A pigeon fronted S-shaped profile dominated the turn of the century. Sleeves were wide at the top and tapered toward the wrist. Prints came in geometric Art Deco styles, dots, floral, and novelty prints.

Learn tips and hints and examples to help you to achieve a date within 5 years either way of the photo 's original date. This will make your genealogy research so much more meaningful to you and your family.

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Learn by example how to use your own detective skills to examine your photo in detail. See how close you can get to the date which in some cases you may be able to verify with documentation.

A Crowd scene of old Hebburn with children and women and men of all ages. The costume in the photograph is analysed in detail with snapshots of the main elements of the picture that lead to a date conclusion. Click on the headings below to go to full pages. The costume, jewellery and hairstyle in the photograph is analysed in detail with snapshots of the main elements of the picture that lead to a date conclusion over a 5 year period.

This is study of a father and his two adult daughter a year after the death of his wife.

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