American Mail Order Catalogs with Boys Clothings: 1902

Figure 1.--Sears in 1902 offered many sailor suits for boys 3-10 years of age, like this one.

Many little boys still wore dresses in 1902. Two of the most popular styles for boys in 1902 were tunic suits and sailor suits. For dress occassions boys might still wear Fauntleroy suits. Saoilor suits were made for boys age 3-10 years. Single and double breasted suits were made for boys to age 15 years.

Kilt Suits

Blouses and Waists

We note a range of blouses and waists for boys. Some were made with large collars and sailor back flaps. Others were made with smaller pointed collars. Both blouses and waists were made without shirt tails. The difference between blouses and waists is not clearly defined. Blouses are usually for younger boys and done in a variety of juvenile styles. Blouses might butoon on to the waist band, but some blouced over the waist. Waists were usually done in more mature styles. They always buttoned on to the pants (trousers) at the waist.


Tunic Suits

Fauntleroy Suits

Sailor Suits

Sears in 1902 offered a wide range of washable sailor suits for boys from 3 to 10 years of age. They were made in many styles and colos as well as a variety of materials. They were all kneepants suits. Short pants had not yet become an important style. They were all shown as being worn with long stockings.


We notice both single and double breasted suits. Sears offered kneepants suits for boys up to age 15. Cheviot appears to have been a popular fabric. Green and brown were popular colors, often done in muted patterns.


We notice a varierty of sweaters offered for sale, both cotton and wool. A popular style at the turn-of-the-century was turtle necks which were reffered to as roll-neck sweaters.

Sears sweaters

Sears offered several styles of turtle neck sweaters which they called roll-neck sweaters. From the illustrations, they look to be made as an an athletic style of sweater. The Sears ad copy reads, "Boys' and Youths' Sweaters. We call special attention to the four following numbers in boys' sweaters. They are selected stock and at our prices form values that are unapproachable. Always state breast measure in order. Sizes 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34 inches breast measure."


We notice a range of coats for boys. There were still cape coats for boys. Reefer coats were available for both younger and older boys. There were a range of different overcoat styles.



Long Stockings


We do not yet have detailed information about underwear offered in 1902 catalogs. Many underwear garments look old-fashjioned and are no longer worn today. We do note garments like union suits, combination belt, and hose supporter. An important role of underwear at the turn-of-the-century was to support other garments.

Age Factors

One interesting factor to observe in old catalogs and catalogs is the age groupings. Modern age groups are generally pre school children, ages 2-6, primary school children (6-12), and teen agers (12-18). These are approximations and there are vaiations, but these generally are the basic groupings. We note sailor suits done for ages 3-10. Note that Sears offered boys kneepants suits for boys from age 8-15, a quite different age grouping than modern suit age sizing.


Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing catalog/magazine pages:
[Return to the Main American mail order 1900s page]
[Main photo/publishing page] [Store catalogs] [Fashion magazines]

Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Cloth and textiles] [Clothing styles] [Countries] [Topics]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Satellite sites] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]

Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Sailor suits] [Sailor hats] [Buster Brown suits] [Eton suits] [Knickers ]
[Rompers] [Tunics] [Smocks] [Pinafores] [Long stockings [Underwear]

Created: April 24, 2001
Last updated: 1:16 AM 9/19/2004