How to Use Women’s Clothing to Identify 19th Century Photographs

Clothing styles are always changing. This is as true today as it was centuries ago. Clothing styles even changed every few decades in the Middle Ages as travelers and traders brought back new clothing types from the various different places they had been. You can often identify the approximate age of a portrait painting within a decade or so simply by the style of clothing worn in it. You can do the same with 19th century photographs. You can even use different clothing styles on women to identify the approximate age of a photo. Men usually wore suits of similar appearance in photographs until the early 20th century.
When you know the approximate place in which a photo was taken, or the family from which it comes, knowing the time period in which it was taken and the approximate age of the people in it can help you identify, or at least make a good educated guess, at the identity of the people in it.
Here’s how to use the clothing styles of women to aid you in identifying people in 19th century photographs...