Sometimes, there are no clues within the photograph or imprinted on it. In those situations, we need to rely on an understanding of the fashions of the s through s, both hair and clothing, to accurately determine when that particular photograph was taken. Knowing what to look for and what is suggested by hair and clothing styles can assist us in identifying the person or people in our unidentified family photographs.
Tips to figure out who’s in your unidentified old photographs
. This entry was originally posted by Crestleaf in Family PhotosGenealogy Tips and tagged family photosvintage family photos on April 15, Save my name,and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Facebook Twitter. Why Choose Genealogists. Leave a comment Uncategorized. During the span of the late s and up to the s, it can be difficult to decipher which decade those vintage photographs were actually taken as hair and clothing styles looked much the same.
Knowing how to identify Victorian era female hairstyles can be one of the most surefire ways of dating old family photos. Remember, however, that the descriptions below are generalities and you very well could stumble upon exceptions to these rules.
Knowledge in action
ISBN d under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. What to look for: Ringlets and coils with ears hidden by puffs, with hair parted down the center. Topknots were also worn toward the back of the head as opposed to the front an s style.
Photo credit: s Hair Dos. Tip: If you see a female child with hair parted on the side from this time period, it was likely a boy dressed as a girl. In the s, photography was still considered a new technology.
Fashion & style
But as photo processes became more advanced and less expensive with the introduction of ambrotype portraits, women wanted to look more sophisticated in their photos. Photo credit: gracefullady on Flickr.
What to look for: Hair parted in the front with a bun set back halfway. Sides of hair should be smoothly waved and ears still hidden by puffs. Puffs were worn bigger in the evenings with thin ringlets coming out of the bun at times.
Photo credit: cynthiarxx on Pinterest. Tip: Look also for modestly-sized caps with flowers and ribbons dangling from the bun, as well as flat-lace caps set back far on the head with tapered ends and long tails on the sides.
Photo credit: The Winding Ascent. What to look for: Hair parted down the center with hair drawn behind the years tightly into a bun worn at the back of the head, sometimes with lace, flowers, netting or arranged in braids and loops. If hair was worn over the ears, puffs were no longer worn. Bangs were also obsolete. Female children wore their hair similarly at times, but with just one side curled and puffed, held in place with grease. As the s progressed, the front of these hairstyles began to lose their parts, with hair falling around the face and curled into ringlets then combed.
Photo credit: meganmiso on Pinterest. Tip: Formal hairstyles were rounder and fuller in the back and the sides, often enhanced with false animal hair, ribbons, silver, gold and other embellishments. In the s, women took elegant, feminine fashion cues from Queen Victoria and well-known actresses as the decade advanced.
Photo credit: UVM. What to look for: Hair that is pulled back at the sides showing the ears in full. Shorter styles were also introduced, but knots, ringlets and additions of false hair supplemented the shorter styles. Bangs also came back. Elaborate hairstyles with lace, ribbons and flowers. Mullets were also introduced during this time period with long tails down the back and a high top with the sides of hair pulled back. Photo credit: Photo Tree.
Fashionable hairstyles for women in the s became increasingly shorter and more man-like as the demand for survival far outweighed the importance of elegance, yet styles still came with feminine touches. What to look for: Shorter hair, pulled back from the sides pulled on top of the head or curled into ringlets. Shorter bangs were sometimes cut for an extra feminine touch and ears were shown. Longer hair was also still worn in some societal circles but considered uncivilized.
If hair was longer, it could be worn in buns off the face. The hairstyles of the s reflected the lives of the women living in industrialized nations as either mothers or workers if they were without children. Photo credit: Barrinton House, BartosCollection.
What to look for: Longer, feminine locks were worn by those women who lived a more leisurely life. Buns were also worn further back with ringlets and shorter bangs if the woman was a worker. Tip: Look for huge hats that were introduced in the s with larger-than-life feathers. The optimistic, science-driven, post-Victorian world emerged in the s and hairstyles reflected these new advancements.
Victorian era hairstyle types by decade
Photo credit: mote history. What to look for: Full, and large hairstyles — this goes for long and short hair.
Long, flowing curls. Sausage curls and ringlets worn down or in pompadour style back of hair pulled into a flat coil then drawn onto the crown of the head.
Genealogy mystery book!
Have you stumbled upon these hairstyles while looking at old family photos? Let us know in the comments! Like what you read? Subscribe to the Genealogists. Related posts. October 23, Jobs in Genealogy: Digging Deep October 2, Leave Comment.