Re: women's impression questions?
Sorry to be late to the discussion:
Middle class, go with a good bonnet, tastefully fashionable dress (wool or silk work well, possibly a sheer cotton for summer), and good accessories. I like both books Sherry mentions above quite a lot (Donna autographed mine, which is very cool!). One thing you might do is hit your local historic society archives, and take a peek at the citizens from the area in the time window you want. That, plus newspaper ads, store records, letters, diaries, etc can give you a great picture of not only what was appropriate in general, but what was favored in particular in your area.