British vs. American: Readers Weigh In

By Maureen A. Taylor

Last week I posted two photos. One was an American and the other a British one.

Photo 1

Photo 2

I asked all of you to vote on which one was which. There is no stumping this audience. The majority voted for photo 1 being the American man and photo 2 being the English gent. You’re right!

I looked at hundreds of photos in London last week. All this picture analysis confirmed by belief that while women’s clothing in America vs. Britain are very similar, the same is not necessarily true for men’s clothing. In England you’re more likely to see men wearing specific work clothes.

In photo 2, several folks mentioned the walking stick (also adapted by upper-class Americans), the cut of his pants and the fabric of his suit. Looks like a tweed to me too. The background is also key. You’re unlikely to see a backdrop like this in an American photo.

The American in photo 1 wears untidy clothes, stands on an oilcloth floor covering and stands in front of a plain wall, with drapery and a post. Notice the wooden photo prop at his feet. This would be clasped around him to hold the man still.

Great job!! Thank you for adding your comments. March is all about hats. See you next week.

Solve your family photo mysteries with these books by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Fashionable Folks: Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album