Boy Low Neck Lines


Figure 1.--The children were photographed about 1850 for this family Daguerreotype portrait. Notice that the little boy has a low neckline, but not his older sister. The factor here is probably the age difference.

Shirts and waists for boys by the mid-19th century had collars or went up to the neckline. We notice a variety of garments for younger boys in the early 19th century that had low necklines without any kind of collar. These outfits included dresses and blouses were worn by boys both beforte and after breaching. Boys dresses usually had high necklines. This was, however, not always the case. Women's necklines could be quite daring low until late in the 19th Century. This was often for formal occassions such as balls. We also notice young children with low necklines, both boys and girls. There are many portraits archived on HBC that show this. A good example is unidentified American children, we believe in the late 1850s. Age seems a more important factor than gender. Here a factor was not formality, but as best we can tell the age of the child. We are not sure if other factors were involved. Generally boys wore these low-neckline garments up to about age 6 years, although we have seen older boys wearing them, especially boys that had not yet been breached. A good example here is an unidentified American boy who had his portait painted in a skeleton suit, probably in the 1810s. We also note unidentified English children probably in the 1810s-20s. We are not entirely sure when this style was popular, we think anout 1800-60, but this is just an estimate at this time. The low neckline styles had different detailing such as ruffles or lace edging.

Chronolgy

Shirts and waists for boys by the mid-19th century had collars or went up to the neckline. W see some boys wearing garments with low necklines. We believe this was prevalent in the erly 19th century, but we have little information on the early decades of the century. We know more about the mid-19th century when we see boys with low neckline garments in the photographic record. A good example is an unidentified American boy, we think in the 1850s. We are not entirely sure when this style was popular, we think anout 1800-60, but this is just an estimate at this time.

Garments

We notice a variety of garments for younger boys in the early 19th century that had low necklines without any kind of collar. These outfits included dresses and blouses were worn by boys both beforte and after breaching. Boys dresses usually had high necklines. This was, however, not always the case. Women's necklines could be quite daring low until late in the 19th Century. This was often for formal occassions such as balls. Here we see an American boy wearing a blouse with a low neckline (figure 1).

Age

We also notice young children with low necklines, both boys and girls. There are many portraits archived on HBC that show this. A good example is unidentified American children, we believe in the late 1850s. Age seems a more important factor than gender. Here a factor was not formality, but as best we can tell the age of the child. We are not sure if other factors were involved. Generally boys wore these low-neckline garments up to about age 6 years, although we have seen older boys wearing them, especially boys that had not yet been breached. A good example here is an unidentified American boy who had his portait painted in a skeleton suit, probably in the 1810s.

Countries

We see many American boys with low-neckline garments. We think the prominance of America in the photographs we have archived is peimarily the result of our greater access to American images. We also note unidentified English children probably in the 1810s-20s. We are less sure about other countries, but believe these low-neckline garments were also worn in Europe.

Detailing

The low neckline styles had different detailing. Usually they had edgeing such as ruffles or lace edging. We also motice with bows at the shoulders. A good example is an unidentified American boy, we think in the 1850s.






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Created: 11:36 PM 2/6/2007
Last updated: 3:10 AM 3/23/2007