Little Lord Fauntleroy Blouses: Fronts


Figure 1.--This boy wears a classic Fauntleroy jacket and lace trim blouse. Note how the front piece matches the collar and cuffs. Compare this elegant outfit with the rougher version below.

The front of a classic Fauntleroy blouse had lace and ruffled trim matching that of the collar and the cuffs. The classic blouses were all one piece. They were easily destinguishable because they were worn with small, open jackets. The classic Fauntleroy jacket was small and worn open so the front detailing of the blouse could be seen. The jacket was was open to show off the fancy front piece work of the blouse. Later Fauntleroy jackets were larger and worn closed and even buttoned at the collar. Separate lace collars and cuff trim were pinned on to these jackets. The closed jackets, however, never had the fancy front pieces. The front piece was not only ornamental, but also had a practical purpse--the buttons were worked into. The material used varied from fancy lace to more mundane fabrics.

Size

The front pieces on a Fauntleroy blouse varied greatly in size. Some frfont pices, combined with the collar, seem to almost engulf the boy and his often quite small jacket. Other front pieces were much more modest. All classic Fauntleroy blouses had the frilly front pieces.

Matching Trim

The front of a classic Fauntleroy blouse had lace and ruffled trim matching that of the collar and the cuffs. The classic blouses were all one piece. The trim varied widely both in shape and size. In a proper Fauntleroy blouse, however, all three elements were carefully matched. A good example of a blouse with matching trim is the one by Robert Mason Hamilton, a Chicaho boy in 1897. The fancy front matches the collar and cuffs.

Pin-on Trim

Some boys wore Fauntleroy suits with pin-on collars and wrist cuffs. The front piece, however, was never made in a pin-on style. Thus boys with the large front pices and small jackets are generally from the older classic Fauntleroy period.

Jacket

They were easily destinguishable because they were worn with small, open jackets--often velvet. The classic Fauntleroy jacket was small and worn open so the front detailing of the blouse could be seen. The jacket was was open to show off the fancy front piece work of the blouse. Some jackets were worn open, but were not the small sized classic Fauntleroy jackets. These jackets were generally alter 1890s versions and were mosrly less expdenmsiver versins--rarely made in velvet. Later Fauntleroy jackets were larger and worn closed and even buttoned at the collar. Separate lace collars and cuff trim were pinned on to these jackets. The closed jackets, however, never had the fancy front pieces.

Purpose

The front piece was not only ornamental, but also had a practical purpse--the buttons were worked into. Available photographs rarely are detailed enough to make out the buttons.


Figure 2.--This boy is wearing an unusual polkadot Fauntleroy blouse. The front and cuffs of the blouse match the collar. Notice that the jacket is larger than the snmall jackets worn as part of a classic Fauntleroy suit. The boy has chosen a favorite toy to be photographed with.

Bows

These blouses were worn both with and without bows of varying size and colors and patterns. The most common convention was to ear them with very large floppy bows which often covered much of the friont of the collar and frfont piece.

Material

The material used varied from fancy lace to more mundane fabrics. Eyelet or even facier laces might be worn. Some less expensive material might be used. Many front pices haf extensive ruffles, but little or no real lace which could be very expensive.

Clothing Catalogs

Contemporary clothing catalogs provide a great deal of informaton about the details of boys blouses. Sears in 1897 adverise a wie range of blouses, including fancy blouses with ruffled fronts. Some had double ruffle fronts. Unlike many advertisements, they did not refer to them as Fauntleroy blouses.











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Created: December 20, 1998
Last updated: 3:12 PM 12/7/2006