Figure 1.--These children from Milwaukee, Wisconsin had their portraits taken in 1898. Note the boy's fancy Fauntleroy blouse.
While blouses are now thought as a woman's shirt, but in fact were originally for both women and children, boys and girls. The garments extending from the neck to the waist, but without shirttails which were not suitable for kilts, especially bodice kilts. Boys dressed in Fauntleroy suits or bodice kilts wore these frilly blouses rather than shirts. A man or big boy's shirt tucks into the trousers, but a blouse has an elastic threaded through the waist or a tape, or a band which buttoned to the pants or kilt. These blouses were often extremely fancy with elaborate lace work at the collar and cuffs. Often department stores had a very wide selection of blouses with various lace trim for a mother to select for her little darling. Such blouses, at least in America, were often worn with large floppy bows.
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