German boys like other European boys commonly wore both sailor hats and caps. Sailor hats and caps were especially popular in Germany, as were sailor suits. They were some of the most popular headwear for boys during thelate 19th and early 20th centuries. Many German boys began school wearing a wide variety of sailor hats and caps. And they were noy just worn with sailor suits. There were several different styles of both and the popularity varied chroinologically and by age. During the late 19th century the wide-brimmed sailor hat were a popular style. By the early 20th century caps seem to have been more common than hats. The caps commonly followed contemprary German naval uniforms. Often European boys are difficult to destinguish as to nationality by their sailor suits. Styles often were not sharply destinuished by country and in fact many countries had very similar uniforms--mostly based on the British navy. The hats, however, were quite different. The hats were more of a fashion statementment derived from early 19th century uniforms before Germany had a substantial navy. German Sailor hats were most common for younger boys and sailor caps for somewhat older boys. They were also variations over time. Often the most destinguisging element of their sailor suit was the cap or hat. Sailor hats and caps were not only worn with sailor suits, but other outfits as well. We have note sailor suits done in other colors than the standard white and navy blue. The caps, however, were much more common to be found in white and blue.
The wide-brimmed sailor hats seem quite similar to those worn in other European countries and America. The hats were more of a fashion statementment derived from early 19th century uniforms before Germany had a substantial navy. German Sailor hats were most common for younger boys and sailor caps for somewhat older boys. Sailor hats were especially popular in the 19th century. German boys in the late 19th and very early 20th century wore a variety of sailor hats. The straw hats we see first or more like boaters with fairly narrow brims. Wide-brimmed hats had becom quite popular by the 1890s. Wide-brimmed sailor hats were especially popular. They were normally straw hats. Most were light colored straw hat. We note some with complex weaving patterns with different colors of straw. Many were made with streamers. We have seen these hats worns by boys of a wide range age, even younger teenagers. Must more common, however, were to see younger boys wearing these hats. They were also worn by girls.
Popular styles of sailor caps followed the uniform styles of the Germany Navy. There were, however, a definite social class aspect to sailor suits and sailor headwear. They were especially popular with upper and middle-class families. We see German boys commonly wearing sailor caps by the 1890s. They surely were worn earlier, but we have few hisorical images. Boys wore a range of cap styles, but they seemed to have cloesly followed the styles of the German Kriegsmarine. Often European boys are difficult to destinguish as to nationality by their sailor suits. Styles often were not sharply destinuished by country and in fact many countries had very similar uniforms--mostly based on the British navy. The hats, however, were quite different. There were different styles as well as both blue and white caps. We see boys wearing sailor caps in the 1920s when sailor hats were no longer commonly worn. Sailor caps except as part of the Hitler Youth Marine Division virually disappeared in Germany after the NAZIs came to power. The NAZIs generally disapproved of sailor suit, except for very little pre-school boys.
We notice a number of German boys wearing tams with sailor suits. Berets were not very common. Tams were not the most common headwear with sailor suits, but based on the photographic record, they were clearly not rare. Tams and berets might be considered a type of cap, but s there is no peak or bill, they are strictly speaking not caps. The tams we see being worn are almost entirely in the 19th century. We believe that they were seen as a sailor style in the 19th century. American and British readers may not see them as a sailor style, but French sailors did wear tanms with a pom. We believe this is why some German boys wore tams sailor suits. At the time, until the turn-of-the 20th century, Germany did not have aarge navy, thus British and French naval styles were influential. We are not yet sure abiout the gender conventions.
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