school uniform: United States Urban Illinois school, 1896







School Clothes: United States Urban Illinois School, 1896


Figure 1.--Almost all of the boys at this Illinois urban school wear suit jackets, many with large ruffled collars, some with bows. Many of the girls wear pinafores.

HBC notes quite a range of different clothes at this Illinois show. Many boys at this Illinois school, in 1896 wear ruffled collars. Some boys appear to be wearing formal Fauntleroy suits. Clothing at a rural school would have been substantially different. Several boys have collar bows. One boy has a huge bow. Other boys are dressed cassually. All of the boys appear to wear kneepants and long stockings. We are not sure if the fashions worn are the normal outfits or if some mothers dressed the boys up for their class portrait. I'm not sure what class this was, perhaps the 2nd or 3rd grade. The children have come out of the school so we do not get to see what kind of hats or caps they were wearing. Note that most boys are wearing suit coats, few boys have come to school wihout their coats. All of the boys have short haircuts. Notice the girls wearing pinafores. None of the girls appear to be wearing hairbows.

School

Unfortunately the school is not identified.

Location

The school is clearly an urban school. Clothing at a rural school would have been substantially different. Note that none of the children wear overalls which were common in rural schools. We think that this was probably a school in northern Illinois, perhaps Chicago. Note the back children. Much of Illinois' black population was in the north, especially in Chicago. I'm not even positive schools were integrated in southrern Illinois.


Figure 2.--The boys here wear quite a range of outfits. One boys wears an elegant lace collar and several others large ruffled clolars. Some boys wear bows. Other boys wear open collars, bith large rufflked collars and small collars.

Chronology

While the school is unidentified, we do know that this class portrait was taken in 1896.

Class

This is clearly a class portrait. Notice the teacher at the left. We do not know what grade this class was, but the children look a little older than first graders. We think that this, may have been the 2nd or 3rd grade.

Boys' Clothing

HBC notes quite a range of different clothes at this Illinois show. We are not sure if the fashions worn are the normal outfits or if some mothers dressed the boys up for their class portrait. A HBC rfeader comments, "The boys seem to have their best clothes on."

Headwear

It is very likely that nealy all the children came to school with caps or hat. The children have come out of the school so we do not get to see what kind of hats or caps they were wearing.

Blouses and shirts

Many boys at this Illinois school, in 1896 wear ruffled collared blouses. Some of the blouses have front ruffles as well. There appear to be both white and collored blouses. I don't detected any coats with pinned-on collars. Several boys wear open collars, this includes both boys with large ruffled collars and boys wearing shirts with small collars. HBC is nor sure tha mothers would have approved of bos waring their fancy ruffled-collared blouses without buttoning the collars.

Bows

Several boys have collar bows. One boy has a huge bow.

Suits

Note that most boys are wearing suit coats, few boys have come to school wihout their coats. Some boys appear to be wearing formal Fauntleroy suits. Other boys are dressed more cassually, but most have suit jackets.

Sailor suits

Surprisingly none of the boys are wearing sailor suits. The sailor suit was one of the most poular boy's garment at the time. It is surprising that none of these boys are wearing a sailor suit.


Figure 3.--Notice the collored blouse wih the large ruffled collar and front rufles the boy at the left wears and the large bow the boy in the back row wears. Also notice he girls' pinafores.

Pants

All of the boys in the front row wear kneepants, it is likely that the other boys do as well.

Hosiery

All of the children, both boys and girls wear long stockings. They appear to be black stockings.

Girls Clothes

The girls all wear dresses, rather long calf-length dresses. Several wear pinafores.

Hair Styles

All of the boys have short haircuts. Notice that while several boys wear Fauntleroy-type suits, none wear long hair or ringlet curls. None of the girls appear to be wearing hairbows. (We wonder if the teacher told them not to as it would have complicated the photography. A large hair bow would have obscured the children in the rear rows.) A HBC reader comments, "I agree with the HBC analysis about the hair bows. I would have though that normally mom would have been likely to put hairbows in the girls hair for a picture." Some girls have rather short hair cuts.





Christopher Wagner





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Created: June 5, 1999
Last updated: March 26, 2000