Fashion clues in pictures can document trends over a decade, but specific details can sometimes pinpoint an exact year or two. Like the puffy large crown hats of circa 1910 or the Paul Poiret tapered narrow skirts of the circa 1912, supposedly influenced by bi-plane rides. Or the Garibaldi shirt style popular in the early 1860s. In 1864, walking skirts that belled out above the ankles were the rage in Paris. it was a winter of dresses drawn up over colored skirts with plaid edging.
There are fashion repeats like the balloon like Gigot sleeves of the 1830s reappearing in the 1890s. In episode 91 Dress and the Vote, Emily Boisvert spoke about generations of women who bonded over their desire for the vote by wearing certain style clothes in particular colors. Have you spotted any of these trends in your family photos?
Fashion trends can be influenced by politics, wars, people (Garibaldi), technology (think the smokey eye of the silent film era for instance) and even pandemics.
Pandemic mask wearers had a wide variety to choose from including character themed ones. If you have a photo of an ancestor wearing a mask from that era, I’d love to see it.
Fashion clues can be difficult to read. In this episode you’ll find tips to help you decide when and where an image was taken.
- The Flu Pandemic of 1918
- Rethinking Fashion in the midst of a Pandemic, a Radio Boston podcast
- How the Spanish Flu of 1918 Affected Fashion by Booth Moore. (Subscription required)
- Mask-Wearing Rules in the 1918 Pandemic faced resistance.
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About Maureen Taylor:
Maureen is a frequent keynote speaker on photo identification, photograph preservation, and family history at historical and genealogical societies, museums, conferences, libraries, and other organizations across the U.S., London and Canada. She’s the author of several books and hundreds of articles and her television appearances include The View and The Today Show (where she researched and presented a complete family tree for host Meredith Vieira). She’s been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Better Homes and Gardens, The Boston Globe, Martha Stewart Living, Germany’s top newspaper Der Spiegel, American Spirit, and The New York Times. Maureen was recently a spokesperson and photograph expert for MyHeritage.com, an internationally known family history website and also writes guidebooks, scholarly articles and online columns for such media as Smithsonian.com. Learn more at Maureentaylor.com