COSTUMES.ORG -- THE COSTUMER'S MANIFESTO WIKI

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Latest revision as of 21:32, 3 July 2014

The Costumer's Manifesto: Links for Dating Old Family Photographs using Fashion History and styles of Photo-mounts Links for Dating Old Family Photographs using Fashion History and styles of Photo-mountsThese links are provided so you can teach yourself to do this for yourself. Please note, the author of this site does not accept commissions to do this, paid or unpaid, so please don't email me attachments of your old photos with this sort of question.

@160x120.jpg Victorian and Edwardian Photos

date.htm@160x120.jpg Date an Old Photograph

DatingPhotos.html@160x120.jpg Dating Photos

index.html@160x120.jpg Old Photo Guide

victorian_photo1.shtml@160x120.jpg BBC History, Your Family History - Old Photographs

index.php@160x120.jpg 19th Century Photography

DatingFashionsInAntiquePhotographs.htm@160x120.jpg Dating Fashions in Antique Photo

dating.htm@160x120.jpg Family Chronicle - Dating old photographs

7113.asp@160x120.jpg Your Female Ancestors in Photographs

previouscols.htm@160x120.jpg Family Tree Magazine Features: Identifying Photos

costume_detective_1910_crowd_1.htm@160x120.jpg Costume Detective - How to Date an Old Photograph

how_to_date_photographs_top.htm@160x120.jpg How to Date Old Family Photographs by the Costume Worn

dating.html@160x120.jpg Photo Dating Calculator

dating.html@160x120.jpg Dating Card Mounted Photographs

@160x120.jpg Cycleback: Print and Photograph Examination and Research

index.html@160x120.jpg Guide to Identifying and Dating Photographs

Online Costume References

The Costumer's Manifesto (This site)

Timeline of Costume History

Costume History Links by Period

Dating Two Victorian Danish Photos

@160x120.jpgDating Photos with US Revenue Stamps 1864-1866

@160x120.jpg The Costume Gallery

FAQ.htm@160x120.jpg Online Photo-dating Service

research.htm@160x120.jpg The Costume Gallery's Research Library

@160x120.jpg Katherine's Dress Site

@160x120.jpg Historical Boys Clothing

bustles.htm@160x120.jpg Distinguishing between First (1870s) and Second (1880s) Bustle period fashions.

vic_hair.html@160x120.jpg 19th Century Hairstyles

www.fashion-era.com@160x120.jpg Fashion Era

cloak_costume_history_1.htm@160x120.jpg Cloaks Costume History I

mantelet_history_1.htm@160x120.jpg Victorian Capes and Mantelet styles

la_belle_epoque_1890-1914_fashion.htm@160x120.jpg Edwardian Fashions

index.html@160x120.jpg Digital History of Fashion

@160x120.jpg La Couturière Parisienne

index.shtml@160x120.jpg Fashion Change 1830-1920

Some examples of undated photos 1840-1950 to use for practice:

@160x120.jpg Flickr Photos from mrwaterslide

@160x120.jpg Flickr Photos from oook

@160x120.jpg Flickr Photos from vintagephoto

@160x120.jpg Flickr Photos tagged with costume

Books for Costume Reference:

MORE COSTUME BOOK LINKS

Notes:

Non-Fashion Steps to consider:

What kind of photo is it? Format? Framing?This will narrow the range of dates to look for, depending on whether it is a daguerreotype, cabinet-card, or snapshot.

Are there props, backgrounds, or other clues that can tell you about the occasion of the photo?

If the photo has been faded, or damaged or has a faded caption, scanning and enhancing in Adobe Photoshop can reveal missing information.

Fashion information:

Women’s clothing is easier to “date” than men or children’s dress.

Try to date clothing first using similar dated photographs as a guide, rather than jumping straight to fashion plates.

Fashion plates are good however for spotting matches to a weird detail of dress that doesn’t show up in many photos.

Not all wedding dresses were white.Not all white dresses were for weddings.

From 1850-1914 Particular attention should be placed on the shape of women’s sleeves.Sometimes sleeve shape alone can nail down the exact year the dress was made.

Remember that fashions are usually worn for a few years after they are bought, but it is really unusual for a normal person to have a fashion that is even a year “ahead of it’s time”.If your granny swears up and down that a photo is of her own granny on her wedding day in 1895, and she is dressed in a gown with a 1903-style sleeve, she got the date wrong.

Note the age of the sitter in relation to the clothes.Older people’s clothes and hairstyles tend to be a bit more outdated than younger people’s are.An 18-25 year old will not be caught dead wearing a fashion that is five years out of date, but his grandfather will. Many women wear the same hairstyle they adopted at 18 till they die.

The Truth as Revealed by Yearbooks: Older fashions (especially in hair and makeup) tend to make young people in old photos seem older looking to their descendents.This is especially true of the 50 years that precede the viewer’s birth.

Fashions tend to be less extreme, and move more slowly in more rural areas.

Menswear changes since 1800 are all about tiny details.Necktie history in the 20th century, and coat collars and vests in the 19th century are often big clues.

When looking for images that will match your own, try to find photo or costume books from the same country or general area.However, if you find a matching style of dress from London or Paris, and your photo is from a rural or frontier outpost, don’t automatically assume the image is from a year much later than the time the fashion was new.Fashion information traveled quite fast by the time of the beginning of photography, and mass produced clothing was normal by the mid 19th century, so even in Alaska or Australia, Western fashions traveled to remote outposts quickly.

Traditional dress in most places is not “fixed” in the same style over time, it just moves slowly.Examining the minor textile or needlework details in a photo in Traditional “Ethnic” or ceremonial dress will give you hints about the year the photo was taken, and bits that are Westernized will too.

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Product Links

Antique & Vintage Clothing: A Guide to Dating & Valuation of Women's Clothing 1850 to 1940 Antique & Vintage Clothing: A Guide to Dating & Valuation of Women's Clothing 1850 to 1940

Your Vintage Keepsake: A Costume Society of America Guide to Costume Storage and Display Your Vintage Keepsake: A Costume Society of America Guide to Costume Storage and Display

Art Deco Hair: Hairstyles of the 1920s and 1930s Art Deco Hair: Hairstyles of the 1920s and 1930s

Collectible Fashions of the Turbulent 1930s Collectible Fashions of the Turbulent 1930s

Vintage Hats & Bonnets 1770-1970 : Identification & Values Vintage Hats & Bonnets 1770-1970 : Identification & Values

Collector's Guide to Vintage Fashions Identification and Values : Identification and Values Collector's Guide to Vintage Fashions Identification and Values : Identification and Values

A History of Men's Fashion A History of Men's Fashion

Costume in Detail : 1730-1930 Costume in Detail : 1730-1930

20,000 Years of Fashion : The History of Costume and Personal Adornment 20,000 Years of Fashion : The History of Costume and Personal Adornment

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120 Great Fashion Designs, 1900–1950, CD-ROM and Book 120 Great Fashion Designs, 1900–1950, CD-ROM and Book

Everyday Fashions of the 20th Century CD-ROM and Book Everyday Fashions of the 20th Century CD-ROM and Book

Victorian Fashion in America : 264 Vintage Photographs Victorian Fashion in America : 264 Vintage Photographs

Victorian & Edwardian Fashions for Women, 1840 to 1919 Victorian & Edwardian Fashions for Women, 1840 to 1919

"The Costumer's Manifesto"
by Tara Maginnis