Photo dating clothing
This was especially true in the 1840s when men’s clothing offered tightly tailored coats and trousers. What to look for: Single-breasted, semi-fitted coats falling to mid-thigh. Older gentlemen still wore frock coats, but younger conservative men would sometimes do so, as well.
In the early 1840s, shirts contained high straight collars with thin cravats worn in a bow tie style. 1850s men’s fashion was still considered formal, but clothing was looser, less tailored and made a statement with embellishments. Shirt collars were still worn high and starched with tips turned down into wings during the earlier part of the 1890s.
A number of women, in rebellion against the male-dictated fashion ethos, discarded their traditional long, tightly corseted dresses and donned shorter, more naturally wasted dresses atop trousers.
Nonetheless, the stylish women still remained stylish, and women's attire continued to evolve into the small-waisted, high-bustled, fringed, and ruffled designs that characterize the late 19 century.
The bustle sat high at the back, and the side of the dress was pulled into high puffs with deeply folded apron drapes.
This broad-hipped style lasted from 1883 to 1886, and the bustle reached its maximum size in 1886.
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.
The decade was particularly marked by a change in the shape of women's skirts, both in the use of gored skirt and in the addition of the oval hoop.Even after the bustle fell out of favor, dresses were still gathered and accentuated in the back.The woman in the image on the left wears a large, high bustle at the back of her dress.The woman in the early 1880s image below wears a quite narrow skirt, and one can just make out the gathered material at the back. Severa, Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans and Fashion, 1840-1900, 1995 The women sitting in the images below all appear to have the narrow skirt of the earlly 1880s.Also note the lavish decoration of their costumes, a hallmark of this time period.