My grandmother’s 8th grade class picture in depression era Arkansas, 1935

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In the South during the Depression, girls wore ordinary dresses for everyday, and your “good” dress (singular) was reserved for church, and for official class portraits.

If you didn’t have a “good” dress, you showed up in the nicest clothes you owned, which ordinarily would have been an everyday dress.

But if you didn’t even own one of those, or it was so tattered and threadbare that it just “wouldn’t do”, and/or if your only everyday dress was made out of flour sacks, and if you lived and worked on a farm, you probably would have chosen to wear your work overalls handed down from your dad (or other male relative), freshly cleaned and pressed.

All three overalled girls have had their hair cut and curled, most likely with rags overnight (the OP’s grandma definitely looks like she just took her hair out of the rags this morning for the photo op), so they’re not completely destitute or devoid of pride.

And when you posed for an official class portrait, if you had shoes, you wore them. I’m assuming Grandma didn’t own shoes.

Props to all these young women for making it this far. A lot of kids in the South during the Great Depression didn’t even make it past the 6th grade, being needed to help out at home.

Would like to hear what the OP’s grandma eventually grew up to be.

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