United States Boys' Clothes: The 1870s--Garments


Figure 1.--This CDV portrait shows a brother and sister in St Louis, Missouri. The boy wears a three-piece long pant suit. The girl wears a polka-dot dress with white stockings. The children are unidentified, but the center hair part and basket are strong indivations that the younger child is a girl. The studio was Crammer Cross & Co. The portrait is undated, but was probably taken in the early 1870s.

Little Americam boys in the 1870s, as in Europe, continued to wear dresses. The Mint Museum of Art In North Carolina displayed is a young boy's dress with a rosette "bustle" purchased in 1879 in Chicago for 4-year old James Cromwell. Such garments were worn over flounced petticoats with lace-trimmed or plain pantaletts beneath. The kilt suit appered in the 1870s and was enormously popular for younger boys. This was a fashion innovation based on the Scottish kilt that Queen Victoria had helped popularize for boys. While American boys did not wear Highland outfits, the kilt suits became very popular. And no where was it more popular than in America. Some were worn with tartan kilt skirts rather than the more muted materials more common in subsequent decades. Sailor suits appeared in many forms, but were not yet the dominate style for boys. Fancy velvet suits for boys appaered showing a French influence, but they were not yet called Faintleroy suits. Some had fancy collars and bows, but generally not the huge collars and bows that appeared in the 1880s. Many styles of hats appaered for boys. Collars began to increase in size as did bows by the end of the decade. Boys were increasingly dressed in kneepants rather than long pants. By the end of the decade, kneepants had become a widely accepted fashion for younger boys, although they were generally not yet commonly worn by teenage boys or boys in rural areas. Working-class boys also wore long pants, especially after leaving school. Most boys by age 10-11 years still wore long pants. Boys wore long stockings with knee pants. Stripped stockings were considered stylish.

Headwear

Many styles of hats appaered for boys. Collars began to increase in size as did bows by the end of the decade.

Skirted Garments

Little Americam boys in the 1870s, as in Europe, continued to wear dresses. White dresses were popular, often paired with a colorfil waist sash. The Mint Museum of Art In North Carolina displayed is a young boy's dress with a rosette "bustle" purchased in 1879 in Chicago for 4-year old James Cromwell. Such garments were worn over flounced petticoats with lace-trimmed or plain pantaletts beneath. The kilt suit appered in the 1870s and was enormously popular for younger boys. This was a fashion innovation based on the Scottish kilt that Queen Victoria had helped popularize for boys. While American boys did not wear Highland outfits, the kilt suits became very popular. And no where was it more popular than in America. Some were worn with tartan kilt skirts rather than the more muted materials more common in subsequent decades.

Juvenile Syuts

Sailor suits appeared in many forms, but were not yet the dominate style for boys. Fancy velvet suits for boys appaered showing a French influence, but they were not yet called Faintleroy suits. Some had fancy collars and bows, but generally not the huge collars and bows that appeared in the 1880s.

Older Boy Suits


Pants and Trousers

Boys were increasingly dressed in kneepants rather than long pants. By the end of the decade, kneepants had become a widely accepted fashion for younger boys, although they were generally not yet commonly worn by teenage boys or boys in rural areas. Working-class boys also wore long pants, especially after leaving school. Most boys by age 10-11 years still wore long pants.

Hosiery

Boys wore long stockings with knee pants. Stripped stockings were considered stylish.







HBC





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Created: 10:43 PM 1/15/2009
Last updated: 6:40 AM 5/5/2009