We have few catalog items and advertisements for 1907. Tunic suits were still popular. Buster Brown suits were poular for younger boys, but many tunic suits were done with sailor styling. We note a Sprague advertisement for a boy's play suit with a large-collar blouse and matching knickers. Boys in 1907 still wore both kneepants and knickers. The knickers had largely, but not entirely replaced kneepants for older boys' suits. Kneepants were more common for younger boys, although there were knicker suits for them as well. The ads that we note generally show boys wearing long stockings. Yonger boys might wear white long stockings, but most boys sore black long stockings. We note an ad for Iron Clad long stockings. We have now is a magazine advertisement for the Kazoo suspender waist. We also notice the Ferris waist for younger boys.
Younger boys in the 19th century commonly wore dresses. This practice declined sharply in the very late 19th century and after the turn of the 20th century. We see boys dressed being advertized in the early 1900s, but by mid-decade it became very rare. We do note "children's dresses" being dvertized which were marketed as suitable for both boys and girls. This practice continued into the 1910s. An example here is a selection of children's dresses offered by Sears in 1907. They were described as "Children's Buster dresses". As far as we can tell they were essentially tunics, a popular style for boys at the time. The basic difference between the Buster dresses and tunic suits is that the Bustern dresses dis not include the matching bloomer knickers that came with tunic suits. This suggests that the tunic style was appropriate for both boys and girls. We seem to note, however, nore boys wearing the style in the photographic record.
Kilt suits were still common at the turn of the 20th century, but by 1907 we no longer notice them, at least we have not yet found catalog enrtries for them.
A variety of tunic suits were popular for younger boys in 1907. There were tunics in a varirty of styles, including sailor, Russian, and Buster Brown styles. Buster Brown suits became rather the symbol fr the era--perhaps because of the cartoon strip. Actully sailor tunics were probably more common. One of the problems in researching tunic suits is that there was nodefinitive term for them. We note a 1907 newspaper ad, for example that refers to a bloomer suit. The same ad also calls the suit a Russian suit, meaning a Russian blouse suit. There were other terms used as well. We used the term tunic suits because there were different styles all based on a tunic. The term bloomer suit refers to the pants which were often bloomer knickers. We note a tunic suit pattern from the Ladies Review which they called a child's dress. The pattern was available in sizes 2-6 years.
We note the term play suits for boys in 1907. I'm not sure this is the first usage of the term, but it is an early usage. It is interesting because it shows that the term play is becoming increasingly respected and it shows an acceptance of casual dress for younger children. Romper suits might be considered aplasy suit. We have note fancy rompers in Europe, but most of the rompers we have found in America were play suits.
We note a pattern in the Ladies Review for a child's romper. It was presented as a garment for boys and girls. And the photographic record suggests thsat both boys and girls wore them. The patterns were available in sizes 2-4 years.
We note a Sprague advertisement for a boy's play suit with a large-collar blouse and matching knickers. The garment was manufactured by the Fred'k H. Sprague Co. This is an interesting garment of which I was completely unaware until I saw the advertisement. This is a one-piece play suit for boys from 2 1/2 to 8 years old. It combines three garments in one--a blouse, knickerbocker trousers, and underwaist. It comes in three colors (blue, brown and red) and can be had in plain or polk dot style. The blouse or top is fastened to an inner waist so as to give a permanent blousing effect.
Knickers suits by 1909 had mostly replaced kneepants suits for older boys, although they could still be found. Kneepants suits were more common for younger boys.
American boys mostly wore shortened-length pants in the 1900s. Knee pants were still the most common in 1907, butvyou begin to see more knickers being worn. We notice a Pictotial Review pattern for knickers done in size 10 years in 1907. The comapny referred to them as knickerbocker trousers. The waistaband had button-holes for stocking supporters.
The ads that we note generally show boys wearing long stockings. Yonger boys might wear white long stockings, but most boys sore black long stockings.
Cooper, Wells & Co. manufactured Iron Clad long stockings. A 1907 Iron Clad ad appeared in The Youth's Companion (January 31, 1907, p. 59). Long stockings were commonly worn by American boys. Younger boys ,ight wear socks in the Summer and many boys went barefoot. Black long stockings, however, were the dominant type of hosiery for boys. The ad copy read, "A Perfect Stocking for Boys. Strong enough for roughest wear! No. 19 for boys is the famous stocking that saves mothers hours of darning. It has
no equal at any price, yet it is only 25 c a pair. Leg, heel and toe are all triple knit, and every strand of yarn is "extra twisted"--double wearing power added to neat appearance. If you can't get them from your dealer send us 25 c. a pair for as many pairs as you want, stating size of stocking or shoe, and
they will come to you post-paid. Cooper, Wells & Co., 300 Broad Street, St. Joseph, Mich."
Support garments to hold up pants and long stockings were widely worn throughout the 1900s. We vnotice some younger boys wearing socks or even going barefoot during the summer. The vast majority of children, however, wore long stockings, especially during the winter. Butv even in the summer many children wore long stockings. Thus stocking supporters were an item needed by large numbers of Amnerican children. There were several different types of support garments and styles of those different garments.
We note a magazine advertisement for the Kazoo suspender waist. Here is an early image of the Kazoo Suspender Waist, manufactured in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This ad appeared in The Youth's Companion (February 14, 1907, p. 83) in the midst of winter. The garment shown here is a combination of suspenders for knee-length trousers and hose supporters for long stockings. The diagram at the bottom right illustrates how the garment supports both trousers and stockings. The suspenders are worn over the shirt like adult men's suspenders and attach at the back and front to buttons sewn inside the waist of the knee pants.
We also notice the Ferris waist for younger boys. Ferris made mainly underwaists and corsets for girls and women. This ad shows that they also made a model for boys. There are lots of Ferris waist advertisements in the early magazines but almost always for girls. This ad, which uses the word "manly" prominently, shows that the Ferris company was trying to get mothers to buy Ferris waists for their sons as well as for their daughters. So this ad is one is of historical importance.
This is advertisement from The Trenton Evening Times (April 24, 1907), page 4, for Boys' furnishings, some of which are illustrated provide a useful look at boys' clothing in 1907. Since the ad appeared in late April, it is probable that the store had in mind mothers shopping for their sons' Easter clothes. The store in
question was R.A. Donnelly's, 12 South Broad St. in Trenton, N.J. It is referred to as "R. A. Donnelly's, the Well-Known Shop." They are advertising their spring line in the "Children's Department". Interestingly, the hose supporters identified as waists were prominately displayed in the ad. Donnelly offered three different undewaists, meaning stocking supporters, two of which were illustrated. This emphasizes just how important these items were at thge time. The ad stresses that they were 'the kind that appeal to boys'. In the code of advertisers this suggests that boys did not like them. The sizes were not specified.
Here we see a Pear waist. I'm slightly puzzled by this ad, because I can't find any additional images of the Pearl Waist, although it was a well-known American brand during the 1900s there are quite a few ads for it without illustration. So the illustration is valuable because of the rarity. This is one of the earliest we have found. It appeared in the Newport Daily News (April 4, 1907, page 3). We don't for the moment know the manufacturer, although I'm on the hunt for further information because it should be added to our list. Newport, Rhode Island, was of course a very upper-class venue with all the famous "cottages", which were really millionaire mansions owned by a tiny elite, mansions such as "The Breakers" which is now open to the public.
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