Novely Play Suits

Figure 1.-- The head dress has large colored feathers and and beaded trimmimg.

We note quite a range of novelty play suits worn by American boys, especially during the 1920s and 30s. These included cowboy, Indian, policeman, soldier, and other outfits. They were regularly featured in the Wards and Sears catalogs. A HBC reader tells us about a Levi Srauss "Junior Aviator" playsuit sold about 1929 after Charles Lindburg's historic flight in 1927. The buttons were marked "HOME RUN", Bevo woven Levi label. Khaki play suit is a nice copy of the flight suit Lindberg wore across the Atlantic, and has a child's leather helmet, shoes, sock, goggles and child' silk pilot's scarf. A patch sewn to the front depicts the Spirit of St. Louis aeroplane and has the words Junior Aviator on the patch. Read made suits were widely available in the major U.S. mail order catalogs. We have also noted them in England, Germany, and other countries. Many of these suits were hand made.

Figure 2.-- This Indian play suit was hand made in England. The English refer to RedIndians to diferentiay from South Asian Indians.


This American Indian costume was made in the 1920s-40s. It appears to have been made in England. It consists of a brown and pink cotton jacket or shirt complete with 3 big decorative buttons and leather trimming, and matching brown cotton trousers with similar trimmimg. The head dress has large colored feathers and and beaded trimmimg. Was a child's paly outfit. In England it would have been called a Red Indian outfit. Would probably fit a 6 - 9 year old. Size: Jacket - 32" chest, Shoulder to end of arm: 19", underarm to end of arm: 13". Back of neck to bottom of jacket: 18". Trousers: waist to end of leg: 27", hat: elasticated - could be adjusted.


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Created: February 19, 2003
Last updated: February 19, 2003