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Clothing

Clothing can be an excellent dating tool for historic images. Fashions change frequently and, people, women particularly, often strive to keep up with the new trends. Women of means have always sported the latest fashion trends, while working class women or women in remote rural areas have typically been behind in the latest trends. However, there is enough evidence to support that all women made efforts to update their clothes to reflect the changing fashions. And the wide circulation of fashion magazines allowed rural women to keep up with the times - although they were often still a few years behind women from urban areas. Men's fashions are more difficult to detect, as their clothes evolve slowly. Additionally, men have never been as clothes-conscious as women. Children's clothing often closely mimicked the styles popular for adults but also evolved more slowly than women's fashions.

Click on the links below to explore clothing styles from each decade.

1850s
1860s
1870s
1880s
1890s
1900s
1910s
1920s
1930s
1940s
1950s
Landscape Change Menu New Breed Marketing New Breed Marketing University of Vermont University of Vermont The National Endowment for the Humanities National Science Foundation Linthilac Foundation