Couple from Oneonta, New York

What it is:

Photo (slightly less than 4 x 6 inches) mounted into a cardboard frame/folder (I have mostly cropped the folder out of the scan).

What I know about it:

Photographer is Van Woert of Oneonta, New York.  Otherwise undated and unidentified.


Is it me, or does this woman’s appearance seem a little off, like she’s striving for a particular style but falling short, or simply choosing a style that doesn’t flatter her?  I hate to seem critical, but it really strikes me every time I look at this photo.  Maybe it’s just my modern eyes not appreciating a vintage style.  The man, meanwhile, looks perfectly conventional to me.

10 comments on “Couple from Oneonta, New York”

  1. My first impression of the woman’s dress was that she, less than a talanted seamstress, made it. The dress does not have the polished and finished look that most of the outfits your formal pictures display – puckers on the skirt, sleeve and sash hems, for example.

    • Yes, I was thinking that was a possibility, too, that even if it was an up-to-the-minute fashion, it was just poorly constructed, probably homemade, probably by her. It looks like a pretty fabric, too, so it’s too bad.

  2. It’s not just you. Terrible pattern, awful fabric, and lousy construction. Poor thing, while he sits there in his natty tailored suit!

  3. Along the line of the other comments on this poor girl’s attire, I can’t help but notice that she looks like she knows she isn’t being flattered. Quite a frown she’s wearing. Poor girl…

    • I agree. She doesn’t look like she’s having a great time. Perhaps she’s just being serious, or even trying to look sultry, and doesn’t realize she looks angry. Since we don’t know her, or the story behind this photo, our pity may be misplaced, but I can’t help thinking there’s room for improvement here.

  4. Maybe it was something a relative made, that she was forced to wear so as not to hurt the person’s feelings! It almost looks like some kind of weird uniform, like an outfit all the girls in the choir had to wear, or something.

    • Yes, the relative thing could very well be, too. So many possibilities, though I think we all agree it’s homemade, and not something off the rack (let alone bespoke couture).

  5. I just now noticed the guy’s white-on-white tie & shirt combo. I thought for a minute he wasn’t even wearing a tie.

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