Fauntleroy-Look Style: Garments

Figure 1.--The headwear most associated with a boy's best party Fauntleroy suit was the wide-brimmed sailor hat. In fact there was no specific headwear made for a Fauntleroy suit, in contrast to sailor outfits. We have seen boys wearing a wide range of headwear with Fauntlroy suit. Hats were the most common, but caps were worn as well.

The best known Fauntleroy garment was of course the velvet suit, but many other Fauntleroy-styled garments were made to suit the discerning mother of the day. The classic Fauntleroy suit was the velvet cut-away jacket worn with knee pants or bloomer knickers. Faunteleroy suits were done in other jacket styles, but the small cut-away jacket to show off the fancy blouse was the classic style. Most American boys wore knee pants suits. Knicker suits were popular in Europe. Not all Fauntleroy suits had all of the items, but some were important to the Fauntleroy look. The large, fancy Fauntleroy collar was especially important. Some of the items were worn with other suits to given them a Fauntleroy look. As popular as the Fauntleroy suit wss, many more boys seem to have worn suits with Fauntleroy eklements suchbas a fancy blouse than actual Fauntleroy suits. And of course, some items worn with Fauntkleroy suits such as knee pants were wideky worn at te time with many other suit types. Other garments include bows, sashes, hosiery, and footwear.


The headwear most associated with a boy's best party Fauntleroy suit was the wide-brimmed sailor hat. Other headgear was worn, especially for less formal occasions. The tam was a particularly popular choice. In fact there was no specific headwear made for a Fauntleroy suit, in contrast to sailor outfits. We have seen boys wearing a wide range of headwear with Fauntlroy suit. Hats were the most common, but caps were worn as well.

Fauntleroy Dress

Mrs. Burnett's book described a boy's suit with kneepants. Some mothers with boys not yet breeched were so enamored with the Fauntleroy style that they wanted their boys to wear a Fauntleroy suit. Many did nmot believe, however, that their boys were ready to breech. Thus the Fauntleroy dress was born. It was a dress with the characteristic Fauntleroy styling.

Fauntleroy Kilt

The kilt for many boys was a partial step toward the coveted staus of wearing kneepants. For fawning mothers the kilt appealed as it was almost like a dress. It also had the advantage that at the properpont, the kilt could be repaced with kneepants, but the rest of the outfit, jacket and blouse could continue to be worn.

Fauntleroy Jackets

Fauntleroy suit styles varied considerably. There was a great variety of patterns available to the discerning, fashion conscious mother. This included both actual Fauntleroy jackerts as well as ordinary suit jackets to which Fauntleroy trim has bee added. Rgw classic Fauntleroy jacket was a small cut-way jacket. As most available photographs only show the front of the jacket, we mostly know about the back from designs published on The Delineator and other publications. Jackets were often shaped at the back with a curving center seam. Many jackets had side pockets at the front and were closed at the front with button-holes and buttons. Most were designed, however, not to be closed to better show elaborately lace trimed blouses. These were cut-away jackets worn open. Some had a tab at the top to keep the two sides of the jacket minimally closed. Some jacket had slits cut at the back. There were a variety of stylistic variations. This include Fauntleroy sailor jackets. These were jackets with the familiar "V" collar, but unlike other sailor outfits, the jacket was worn open to show a fancy sailor blouse worn with it.

Tunic Suits

Tunics were a boy's garment worn throughout the 19th century. Their populatity varied from decade to decade. Genrtally they were most popular in the first half of the 19th cebntury and were bruiefly popular in the 1870s. We see realtively few in the late-19th century during the height of the Fauntleroy Craze. Thus we do not see many Tunic Suits done in the Fauntleroy style. This changed somewhat with the turn-of-the 20th century. Suddenly the tunic became a very popular style for younger boys. And we begin to see a few tunics done with Fauntleroy styling. A good example is Ivan Eugene Perry in 1906-07. This was done by adding Fauntleroy trim to tunics, including lace opr ruffled collars and cuffs and floppy bows. There were no specifically faunleroy-styled tunics. The Fauntleroy-styled tunics did not last long as the Fauntkeroy style began declining in popularity, especially after about 1905.

Collars and Cuff Trim

One of the characteristic element of the classic Fauntleroy suit was a large fancy white collar. This was a very impotant part of the Fauntleroy look. The classic Fauntleroy suit was velvet and often quite small to best show off a Fauntleroy blouse with a huge collar, frilkled front, and matching wrist trim. The collar was done with lace with elaborate ruffles, often with lace worked in the ruffles. Fauntleroy suits were also made with collar-buttoning suits. Some mothers would also use these items even if they could bot afford an expensive velvet suit. This allowed mothers of a range of income levels to use the Fauntleroy look. The Fauntleroy look was so popular that many mothers wanted to use it even after a boy had grown out of his Fauntleroy suit. Here rather than a Fauntleroy blouse, oin-on collars might be used. Again matching wrist cuff trim was common. These Fauntleroy blouses and pin-on Fauntleroy trim were also worn with other suits than Fauntleroy suits. Mothers would commonly add this trim to more mature suits for the first few years a boy night wear them. A family with boys of different ages might use these trim items as a form of age grading.


American boys wore their lace collars with large carefully tied bows of different colors and materials. These bow were less characteristic of Englih and French Fauntleroy suits.


A silk or satin waist sashes might be added to a Fauntleroy suit for a formal occasion. Cedric in the book wears a red sash which helped add a splash of color to a black suit. Other colors might be worn with colored Fauntleroy suits.


Classic Fauntleroy suits were worn with long dark stockings. Bkack was the most popular choice, but some colored suits were worn with colored stockings, like the suits usually in a dark shade. After the turn of the 20th Centunry, Fauntleroy suits were also worn with white stockings and socks.


The early Fauntleroy outfits were usually worn with high top shoes, often looking like boots. As the 20th Century approached, low cut shoes became more popular. Stap shoes and buckle shoes were two popular choices.


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Created: 12:09 AM 2/9/2008
Last updated: 9:25 PM 10/3/2013