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By way of example, your relative might have been a trendsetter…

or perhaps she cared little about fashion and was always a few years behind.

It’s as true now as it was 150 years ago: the fashions people wear are indicators of their times.

In fact, styles of clothing and accessories — as well as hairstyles and makeup — can be used to help you assign a decade or even a specific year to your family’s vintage photographs, which can be invaluable to your genealogy research!

Here are several sites that can help you put your aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents on the right branches of your family tree.

Here are some places where you can pick up a few style cues to help you ID your own vintage family photographs!

The University of Vermont The site for the university’s Landscape Change program offers a wealth of information about dating vintage/antique photographs using cues such as women’s clothing, hats, hairstyles, fashion accessories & mens fashions.

Broken down by decade: 1850s | 1860s | 1870s | 1880s | 1890s | 1900s | 1910s | 1920s | 1930s | 1940s | 1950s Wikipedia The collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia provides a nicely detailed collection of articles about the many eras of clothing fashion.

Topics include evening attire, fashion accessories and even bathing costumes and undergarments.

Vintage hairstyles A look at how women wore their hair in eras past, illustrated with photos of modern recreations. It’s all in the (style) details Family demonstrates how to decipher the little details in photographs — such as the sleeve type and kinds of neckties.

More resource sites: Even if you think you’re on the right track, identifying fashions can help you confirm information.

These materials provide researchers an insight into the lives of Missourians and the development of organizations and businesses throughout Missouri.

Description of manuscript collections and the contents you may discover in these collections are available through finding aids.

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