Scottish Boys' Skirted Garments: Desses


Figure 1.--This CDV portrait shows an unidentified Scottish child wearing a dress and holding a large boater-syle staw hat. The child has a large lace collar and sash. Notice that the hat band matches the dress. CDVs in Europe unlike aneruca were common unto the 1880s and 90s. The cabinet card styled mount suggets the 880s. While the child is unidentified, we think he may be a boy. The studio was Morgan in Aberdeen

While the kilt is the skirted grment most associated with Scotland, it was certainly not the only one. Younger Scottish boys like other European boys wore dresses in the 19th century. This continued into the eaely-20th century. We do not know how common this was and any information about the Highlands (where kilts were worn) and the Lowlands. We suspect that social-class factors were involved. We have virtually no specific information about Scottish dresses at this time and very few images. Our Scottish archive is much smaller than our English archive. This means that can make no fashion assessment at this time. We sbelieve, however, that styles were basiclly the sane as in England. We have some limited information. We see a wealthy family styling themselves the Mckays departing the Highlands for New Zealand in 1844. Two of the four boys wore kilts, the other two a dress and a tunic. The dress is kind of a combination between a check and a plaid. A full plaid and Scottish socks has been added to give Robert's dress a Scottish look. The Mckays wanted their departure memorilized in a Higland scene despite the fact they left from London. Photographic images are our principal source of information. We think this may suggest prevalence, but our Scottish archive is too limited to make any such assesment at this time. One Scot reports, "In rural Scotland this fashion continued well into the 1930s. Before my first haircut (February 1938, aged 4) in my frocks and smocks, I looked like a Shirley Temple clone." [Ronald Fraser, The Times, (London) November 29, 2002.]

Skirted Garments

While the kilt is the skirted grment most associated with Scotland, it was certainly not the only one. Younger Scottish boys like other European boys wore dresses in the 19th century. This continued into the eaely-20th century. We do not know, however, how common this was. We have virtually no specific information about Scottish dresses at this time and very few images.

Regional Trends

We do not yet have any regional information about the Highlands and Lowlands. We know that kilts were mostly worn in the Highlands. But have no information yet about dresses.

Social Class

We suspect that social-class factors were involved.

Styles

Our Scottish archive is much smaller than our English archive. This means that can make no fshion assessment at this time. We believe, however, that styles were basiclly the same as in England. We notice some dresses with Scottish touhes suh as shulder plauds abd Argyle knee socks.

Chronology

We have some limited chronological information. see a wealthy family styling themselves the Mckays departing the Highlands for New Zealand in 1844. Two of the four boys wore kilts, the other two a dress and a tunic. The dress is kind of a combination between a check and a plaid. A full plaid and Scottish socks has been added to give Robert's dress a Scottish look. The Mckays wanted their departure memorilized in a Higland scene despite the fact they left from London. Photographic images are our principal source of information. We think this may suggest prevalence, but our Scottish archive is too limited to make any such assesment at this time. We still see boys wearing dresses in the late-19th century. We note an unidentified Aberdeen family with all the children wearing dresses, including both the boys and girls. The convention of boys wearing dresses rapidly disappeared aftr the turn-of-the 20th century, but apparently did not disappear. One Scot reports, "In rural Scotland this fashion continued well into the 1930s. Before my first haircut (February 1938, aged 4) in my frocks and smocks, I looked like a Shirley Temple clone." [Ronald Fraser, The Times, (London) November 29, 2002.]








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Created: 3:39 AM 11/19/2015
Last updated: 12:03 AM 8/11/2016