The best photographs of men and women were taken as studio portraits throughout the nineteenth century, and they often showed the sitter in their best - and newest - evening or day dress. Photographs of a man and women together usually symbolised engagement or marriage, or when older, an established husband and wife. Sometimes family members or close friends might also commission a portrait as well.
Middle class sitters had photographs taken to show their status and wealth, of which thier clothing was an important and highly visible part. Young men and women from wealthy families were always up to date with the fashion of the time and photographs were a good way of recording this. Those seeking to date Victorian photographs today can often do this quite precisely by studying the fashion details of the clothes.
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