Although these photographs are of the same woman, they are of very different quality. In the picture on the right, developed in sepia tones, we can make out what looks like a simple cotton checked dress, one that could have easily have been made at home. On the left, the light parts are so overexposed that almost no details of her full apron and collared dress are clear. Based on the length of her skirts, I guess both snapshots were taken sometime in the 1910s.
What caught my eye was the shawl, a clothing piece I don’t often find in old photographs. I’ve mainly seen them in pictures of women in immigrant communities, like Louis Hine’s famous photos of the New York’s Lower East Side. There shawls were probably an inexpensive substitute for coats.
But that’s not the case here. Posed on her airy front porch, this woman looks like she picked her striped and fringed shawl for its style, not its cost.