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Here are several sites that can help you put your aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents on the right branches of your family tree. Here are some places where you can pick up a few style cues to help you ID your own vintage family photographs! Wikipedia The collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia provides a nicely detailed collection of articles about the many eras of clothing fashion. Here are direct links to the sections dedicated to the time since photography was possible: s s s s s s s s s s - - s. Flickr collections by era These contributed photographs are grouped by decade, and the multitude of images will provide you with a helpful frame of reference to compare your vintage photos.

Yokes were edged with small ruffles. The shoulder line, in general, was low with shoulder seams appearing at the upper arm instead of at the natural shoulder line. Outfits appear somewhat high waisted. The lower edge of the bodice ended in two points just below the waist.

In the late s, the bolero jacket ended above the waist, was worn open, and was decorated with braiding. Hair was parted in the middle. Earrings often dangled and were ornate. Wide belts accentuated tiny waists. Brooches were worn on high collars. Skirts gathered toward the rear forming a soft bustle. Early s bustles set high, then lowered toward the end of the decade featuring layers decorated with ruffles or edging.

The bustle fashion ended by though skirts were still gathered toward the rear. Skirts became more narrow at the end of the decade. A layered look featured an underskirt as well as copious ruffles, flounces, and lace. The princess line was a dress without waist definition. The slim line extended below the hips where the dress was elaborately decorated with ruffles, ribbons, bows, and puffs.

Women wore a long, tight bodice or a flat front type shirt. The bodice flared out over the hips. The late 70s saw a longer waistline and a very long bodice that fell below the hips and could reach the knees. Necklines were low and square for evening. Day-time necklines could be V-shaped with an insert. High necks worn for daytime featured lace and ruffles.

Many necklines showed low in front and very high at the back of the neck. Hair was gathered tightly at the sides of the head and piled into elaborate coils on the top and toward the back.

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Loose curls hung down at the back. Bangs appeared in the mids and were often crimped. Women's clothes were ornate and highly decorated with embellishments. Narrow skirts draped toward the back. The mids saw an extreme bustle, a horizontal projection at the rear. Bustles disappeared by the end of the decade. Late s skirts featured horizontal, drooped, or slightly diagonal draping created by tucked up over skirts.

Polonaise-style meant that the front of the skirt was pulled up and toward the back exposing an underskirt. Bodices flared out some below the waist and were highly decorated. High necks often featured white lace or small white ruffles at the upper edge.

Sleeves were tight, stopping just short of the wrist. Later in the decade, sleeves loosened and featured light vertical puffs above the shoulder and were gathered at the wrist. Bangs were still worn in the 80s. As the style faded, women could be seen with longer, parted bangs. Hair was drawn up into a loose bun. During the s, women's clothing simplified and appeared quite conservative compared to the ornate styles of the previous decade.

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Tailored suits introduced a slightly masculine look. Loose blouses replaced tight bodices. Women often wore light-colored blouses tucked into dark skirts.

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Bell-shaped skirts fit tightly over the hips, flaring wide at the hem in the early part of the decade. In the huge sleeves deflated some.

Bythough the puff remained, it was greatly diminished. Bows decorated a high neck now topped with a ruffle.

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Long ties and bow ties were plain or frilly. Wide belts were popular. Straw boater hats were worn in warm weather. Hair was worn in a soft puff, topped with a loose bun. A pigeon fronted S-shaped profile dominated the turn of the century. Skirts hugged the hips and widened near the hemline. Though the shirt waist and dark skirt remained popular, new new, soft femininity returned but with looser corseting.

The look was somewhat broad shouldered and top heavy with a puffy look and undefined bosom.

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Blouses were highly embellished with layers of lace, ruffles, and ribbons. The loose blouse tucked into a wide belt or cummerbund.

High necklines were often adorned with a small ruffle as well as lace. V necks were popular. Mid-decade featured a yolk fronted blouse decorated with lace. Bolero jackets and higher waistlines created by wide belting were popular mid-decade. 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.

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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. 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.

Apr 09,   It is difficult to date hats of the s because vintage photos show women wearing various shapes all through the decade. It is more accurate to time-date this era by the size and shape of sleeve caps (see pages - of my book, OUT-OF-STYLE). The London's museum's helpful section on dating clothes and photographs uses items from the V&A's collection to illustrate the dominant trends of the decades between an and is helpful. Clues To Dating Old Photographs 1. Clothing and Accessories. When we look at our old family photos one of the first things that is brought to our 2. Hairstyles. Similar to the clothing that our ancestors wore we are also drawn to their hair and how it was .

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.

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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. 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.

Helpful Clothing Clues If you're hitting a brick wall when it comes to identifying family members in old photos from the Victorian era, you're not alone. Even the most seasoned family historian will run into this headscratcher from time to time as Victorian fashions throughout the time period can look very similar to the untrained eye. 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. 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 original date.

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. 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. 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.

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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.

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

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.

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Later in the decade jersey wrap dresses hung below the knee. The bell bottoms reduced to a flare, becoming straight legged. Slogan tee shirts were worn with jeans.

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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. 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.

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Tight trousers and waistcoats, high upstanding collars with neckties tied around them. Hair was worn long and over the ears quite a bit. Sideburns were also popular.

Tip: If your ancestor is wearing a military uniform, a fitted double-breasted coat could let you know that the photo was taken in the s. The sack coat - a loosely fitted jacket - was also introduced.

Cravats were heavily starched and tied in asymmetrical fashion during the early s, but toward the end of the decade, softer cravat styles emerged. Thigh-length sack coats. Oversized jackets. Large bow ties. Tight and high-fastening frock coats. Trousers worn down to the floor or with stirrups. Black velvet jacket collars. Square-toed boots. Mutton-chop sideburns and mustaches.

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: Aug 09,   In Part II of our two-part series on how to date old family photos, we discuss using clues from women's fashion to date old photos in your genealogy research. Sometimes, there are no clues within the photograph or imprinted on it. In those situations, we need to rely on an understanding of the fashions of the s through s, both hair and clothing, to accurately determine when that. of old photographs, this is generally not true. Having your photo taken was an event and wearing an out-of-date dress was unthinkable. To confuse matters, a few people, usually older ones, will occa-sionally be seen in an old dress. General Rules for Dating Old Photographs Try to work with one clue at a time. If there are both men and women in the.

Tip: Look for bowler hats which were invented in the early s. These hats were largely seen in the working classes. Waistcoats during this decade came without collars. Men also wore their collars highly-starched with neckties and elaborate cravats during the earlier part of the century, and by the late s, string-style cravats that were more narrow emerged.

Collarless waistcoats. Turned down collars. Small, narrow bow ties.

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Narrow lapels. Hair parted in center and waved. Long side-whiskers with full beards. Every fashionable gentleman could be seen wearing narrowly tailored sack suits during the s.

Frock coats were still considered fashionable for daywear, as well. Very slim cravats with tiny bow ties were also popular.

Tiny bow ties and slim cravats. Semi-fitted coats and jackets, buttoned high. Stiff shirt collars with tips turned down.

Hair parted in the center. Many type of facial hair: full mustaches, full beards, walrus mustaches that droop down and are oiled. Tip: During the s it was rare to see a man with a clean-shaven face.

As the Victorian era neared its ending during the s, fashionable men preferred lounge suits over more formal suit styles for daywear. Lounge suits offered slim silhouettes and jackets were worn partially undone, showing off a more relaxed style and revealing high-buttoned waistcoats and watch chains. High-buttoned waistcoats. Stiff collars, turned down.

Watch fob chains. Narrow bow ties. Shorter hairstyles. Lounge suits continued to trend well into the s with trousers sporting creases down the front. Older gentlemen still wore frock coats, but younger conservative men would sometimes do so, as well.

Shirt collars were still worn high and starched with tips turned down into wings during the earlier part of the s. Collars were then worn down with long, knotted ties during the latter part of the decade. Stand up wing tip collars. Wide lapels with contrasting fabric.

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