I don't know. I think the Hurrell photos tell the tale. When she was with Doug Jr., you can still see a softness to her. But starting in 1932 (as I've said before), you really start to see Crawford putting the screws to herself. Any hint of softness or yielding drops by the wayside and she (and we) are left with this impenetrable . . . thing. A fascinating thing but impenetrable nonetheless. No surprise that the Fairbanks-Crawford marriage started to head south around this time. Yes, Doug and Joan cheating on each other contributed to its demise. But I think another contributing factor was that Doug fell in love with Billie . . . not Joan.
I think Crawford always remembered who she was. The quotes from her on Clark Gable that you linked to earlier, for example, aren't the words of a woman intent on erasing her origins. Transcending them, yes, but pretending they never were, no.
Oh well. I suppose it's all water under the bridge at this point.
I'll say. That one lot with the striped nautical shirt, yellow slacks and blue blazer looks like it could have come out of the most recent Brooks Brothers or J. Crew catalogues.
Fairbanks was a spiffy dresser.