Photo dating fashion

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Having learned in the previous blog how photograph compositions and studio settings changed over the years, we now look closely at what our forebears are wearing in old photographs.In any kind of portrait it is often the subject's clothing that engages us most: fashion history is a fascinating topic and recognising the modes of different eras is an invaluable tool when trying to date unlabelled photographs.But her search into the past leads her to a dark secret.Can she solve the mysteries of the past and the present before disaster strikes?

Yes, to the dismay of people of fashion, men have continued to wear cargo shorts, apparently unconcerned about their appearance and also unconcerned about being authentic — though in the age of not-so-real reality stars, alternative facts and fake news, perhaps we shouldn't be surprised. Being delusional is not an attractive quality in a potential date. Yes, they're comfortable, but so are boxer briefs and you don't wear those in lieu of pants, do you?

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.

Using this broad approach, with an emphasis on dating old fashions, she successfully determines an accurate and usually close date range for family photographs and artworks and can often suggest the occasion that inspired their creation - an engagement, wedding, 'breeching', 'coming of age', 21st or landmark birthday, new job, wedding anniversary or mourning.

Old photographs from the UK feature significantly, yet Jayne has worked on pictures originating all over the world, from Ireland to the United States, Canada to Brazil, Russia to Australia, France to India and will do her best to help with all international inquiries.

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