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Ringlets, coils, loops and rolls- Jayne Shrimpton examines the evolution of women’s locks, from exuberant coiffures in the 1800s to the smooth post-war waves of the 1940s, revealing how to read your ancestor’s tresses: A fringe or frizzed front hair was worn with a bun behind the head, as seen in this image from 1895 of a domestic servant on her 21st birthday. An Australian carte de visite from c.1869 shows the hair drawn away from the face, encouraging pendant earrings. Before World War I the fashion was for parted hair drawn up into two thick swathes above the temples. Inside History is a bi-monthly magazine for people passionate about Australian and New Zealand genealogy, history and heritage.
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What people are wearing in historical photographs can offer many clues as to the earliest possible date of a portrait, group photograph, or street scene with figures.
Collars and sleeves were always white, of varying styles.
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Group carte-de-visite mid 1880s (c1883-7)There might be a considerable time lag before London fashions reached the provinces, and older people, while picking up on the contemporary silhouette or material in their dress style, might retain some fashion features and hairstyles from their youth.
Changes in men's fashions have generally been more subtle, and less sensational than women's, and photographs of even the most well-to-do gentlemen are therefore far more difficult to date accurately by dress alone.
So garnet, cherry, wine colour, sea or bottle green, light and dark orange, and slate colours are all excellent colours to photograph.