Helen Allingham: Children's Clothing--Dresses

Figure 1.--This Allingham portrait is unidentified. We are not possitive, but we believe that the children may be Eva and Henry. Note the very similar black dresses tht they are wearing.

Paintings of her son Henry show him still outfitted in a dress at 3 years of age. It is somewhat difficult to destinguish between dresses and smocks. How much longer he wore dresses and the circumstances of his breeching are unknown. Interstingly two paintings show him in a pink dress. This suggests that even by the late 19th Century, the modern conventions on gender and color had not yet been set. Perhaps Mrs. Allingham just liked pink. The dress Henry is picture in appears quite a simple, longish frock. I am not sure if he had fancier dresses for dress up events. I assume he did, but have no information on them. We notice paintings of Eva with another child in a very similar dress. The fact that the dresses are very similar suggest that it is Henry. We have, however, no confirmation of that. As younger children their mother seems to hve dressed them in light-colored clothing. As older children we note black dresses.


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Created: October 6, 2003
Last updated: October 6, 2003