Family photographs and dating and fashion

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For dating purposes, however, we can broadly assume that (unless they are wearing an occupational uniform or other specialised forms of dress) their ' Sunday best' garments largely followed, to a recognisable extent, the prevailing style of the era.

Photographs were ultimately designed to show off good taste and a pleasing appearance.

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.A domestic servant, for example, could appear superficially similar to her more affluent mistress.Of course, there were exceptions to this general principle.Family historians often wonder whether their poorer forebears would have been able to dress very fashionably.This is a good question but photographic evidence suggests that in many cases even humbler working ancestors followed the latest styles.

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