A great deal is know about these suits as there are many photographs of boys in these suits as well as detailed discriptions in fashion magazines. Great care needs to be taken in assessing these suits from the available black and white photography. It suggests that the suits were mostly black. In addition many of the photographs are of poor quality. Some interesting details on the color, material, and construction cab be obtained by assessing actual suits which have survived. We have information on the following actual vintage Fauntleroy suits. Not only is the color information useful, but these vintage suits provide great detail on detailing, design, and how the suits were worn.
The classic Little Lord Fauntleroy suit was a jacket and kneepants. Many mothers who had not yet breeched their sons could not wait to dress him in the Fauntleroy style. Thus we also see kilt suits done in the Fauntleroy style. The jacket for these suits was essentially the same as the jacket for the trouser suits.
The Fauntleroy suit proved so popular that many mothers wanted to use the style even before breeching their sons. Thus the style was often combined with the kiltsuit style to form a skirted or Fauntleroy kilt suit. There were also Fauntleroy dresses, but the kilt suit was more common. This is outfit is a jacket and pleated skirt/kilt suit from the late 1880s. Skirt is the more accurate term as it is not plaid, but many such garments were still marketed asckilt suits in the 1880s and 1890s. It appears to have been a little boys' suit. It is of the softest velvet in a soft purple shade.
Here we see another Fauntleroy kilt suit. This one is black. It has the classic small cut-away jacket with a matching kilt skirt. The jacket could be worn with either the kilt-skirt or kneepants. The jacket attaches at the top to expose a fancy Fauntleroy blouse. Here the outfit is not shown with a blouse, but perhaps an undershirt that might have been worn under the blouse. The kilt is done with a parallel row of buttons, a poplar style for these kilted suits. I'm bot sure why this button style was so popular. It may have been designed to show that the skirt was a kilt and not a girl's skirt. Of course actual Highland kilts did not have these buttons.
Most Fauntleroy suits were done with trousers. American Fauntleoy suits were commonly done with kneepants. We also notice Fauntleroy pants done with buckle closures like knickers. Another style were bloomer knickers, but they seem more popular in Europe than America.
This is a black valvet suit from the United States, showing that many of these suits were indeed black. The suit was a very, for about a 3-5 year old boy. It has embroidery as can be seen in the attached photos, allowing a front flap to drop down. The knee pants have pockets at the sides where they button together as well as the embroidery that can be seen in the photos. The emroidery on the jacket is repeated on the kneepants. The emroidery is in the same grey color as the silk lining. The suit has a label, suggesting it was perhaps made in the late 1890s or early 90s. Many early suits did not have labels. It was made by "Best & Company New York", which was an important New York City Department store. There was, however, no date on the label. It was worn and has minor blemishes. The velvet is very thick and heavy.
Both jacket and knee pants are lined with grey silk. There are buttons or fasteners on the inside of the knee pants at the waist to attach a shirt/blouse or possibly braces of some sort.
We believe this is a black velvet Fauntlkeroy suit from Canadian because the images were sent to us by a Candian collector, but it is an American suit. We have, however, no provinance, so it could be an American suit. A date of 1888 is written on it, although it is faint and could be 1883. The 1888 date is more likely. The suit has fancy embroidered decorations. Both the jacket and pants are lines, although in different material.
Here we have another American Fauntleroy suit. This one is black decorated with embroidery trim. The suit is undated, but we would gues it was probably worn in the 1890s. The jacket is the classic cut-away style worn open to show case the fancy blouse the boy wore. The suit had matching knicker-length pants. There are two white blouses with the suit. Because the size is appropriate, we believe that these blouses were probably worn with the suit. The Fauntleroy suits were not worn with belts. Neither do we notice suspenders. Rather the blouse looks to have buttoned on to the pants.
This an excellent example of a period Fauntleroy suit worn by a small Canadian boy as his party suit. It was made of a rich burgandy velvet a good example suggesting that many suits that looked like black velvet in black and white photographs. Notice the silk lining and white stockings worn with the suit. Unfortunately we do not know what kind of hat was worn with the suit. It was worn by Walter Russell Bradford for a 1896 marriage.
Most Fautleroy suits were made of black or other dark-colored velvet and other material. A few Fauntleroy suits, mostly in the 1900s, were made in white or white shades like cream or ivory. The trim on these suits was always white and not contrasting dark colors. Like the dark suits, the suits themselves were relatively plain, but were normally worn with an elaborate lace and ruffled blouse or pinned on lace. The suit seen here is an English suit made in a cream shade of what looks to be satin.
This is an Engkish velvet suit dome witha V-collar, butwith Fauntleroy style Irice lace trim. The suit is undated, but was privably made in the 1890s. It is in the colletion of the Bowes Museum. We are not sufre how common such suits wrre in Britain, we have not seen one quite lkke it in America.
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