Long shoulder-length ringlet curls are of course the mostly commonly associated hair style worn with Little Lord Fauntleroy suits. There were, however, a wide varierty of hair styles worn wih the Fauntleroy suit. This was in part because some boys were breeched before being attited in Fauntleroy suits. Thus there was no long tresses to curl.
Mothers often let the hair of small boys grow, especially while they
were still in dresses. Boys usually had their hair cut when they
received their first pair of trouser. Short hair had become coomon
for noys in the early 19th Century. Mother varied as to what to do with
their sons hair. There was not strict convention converning this process.
The mother usually had a great deal of discression as to what she
decided to do.
Many mothers decided to cut their sons curls while they were still
wearing dresses before breeching. Thus boys can be seen in short
hair that still are attired in dresses. One wonders if some mothers didn't
regret cutting their sons curls after the Fauntleroy style and ringlet
curls became so popular after 1885. Perhaps some mothers let their sons
hair grow out aganin so that they could curl it.
Some mothers may have had their sons' curls cut as part of the breeching
process. I have, however, no informayion on this.
Other mothers firmly beliebed that their sons' hair should not be cut until well after breeching. These were the boys of course that would have their hair done up into ringlet curls. Most boys through the 1870s wore short hair after energing from dresses. However there were exceptions (sucgh as the Brownings and
Tennysons). The great popularity of the Fauntleroy look beginning in 1885 probably caused many mothers to delay cutting their sons hair longer than would have previously been the case.
It was most common to delay cutting a boy's hair when they were
dressed in Fautleroy kilts/dresses. While it was not uncommon to
cut a boys curls before breeching, very few of the boys in Fauntleroy
dresses wore short hair. Almost all had long hair, very commonly done into
While shoulder-length ringlets were the most commn hair style worn with
Fauntleroy suits, many other styles were also worn.
Fauntleroy suits are commonly associated with ringlet curls. Mant
boys, however, wore their Fauntleroy suits wuth short hair. Many boys
had their curls cut before breeching. Thus when their first
suit and kneepants were purchased, often a Fauntleroy suit, they wore it
with short, boyish looking hair cuts. Often boys wore very similar
velvet Fauntleroy suits and accesories like lace collars and large bows,
the only major difference being their hair styles. I have not noticed
any discernable difference in the Fauntleroy suits worn with short hair
and those worn by boys in runglets.
Some boys wore their Fauntleroy suits with long hair, but not styled
ringlets. This fashion appears to have been most popular in France.
Most American mothers who kept their sons' hair long tended to style in
Many American mothers did notvthink their sons' new Fauntleroy
suit was complete without long ringlet curls. Many believed this was needed
to complete the Fauntleroy look. As a result, we have many
photographs from the 1880s-90s of boys wearing Fauntleroy suits with
long sasuage curls. The curls varied greatly in length, size, and part
style. Ringlet curls were also commonly worn with sailor suits and kilts,
but it was the Fauntleroy suit that was the most common.
Boys before the turn of the century seemed tio have worn Fauntleroy
suits either with short hair or long shoulder-length curled or uncurled
hair. You see very few boys with medium-length over the ears, but
nit down to the shoulders hairs. After the turn of the century, one
sees more boys in Fauntleroy suits with medium-length hair, often uncurled
or left in a naturally curly style.
This was a much less common hair style. I have little information so far. This style often consisted of a part on each side and the hair in the middle made into a curl. I think this was exclusively a litttle boys hair style. This style seems most popular from about 1850-80. Some boys in Fauntleroy suits are pictured in this style, but most American mothers preferred to do the boys' hair in ringlets.
Fauntleroy suits were also worn with front bangs. The bangs included hair of all lengths from long shoulder length, with and without ringlets to short hair. The most common style of bangs cuts during the classic Fauntleroy era was with long hair.
Some American mothers not obly liked the look of ringlets, but liked to add a hair bow.
Hair bows were even more popular in France, although there the hair
was generally left uncurled.
The ages that boys wore these different hair styles varied greatly. boys might have their hair cut at quite young ages, in some cases well
before breeching. Thus boys as young as 3 or 4 years of age might have short hair. The age of boys wearing ringlets and Fauntleroy suits also varied.
Most boys wore them to about 5 or 6 years of age. Boys with particularly
doting mothers, however, might ear them until 8 to 10 years of age,
sometimes even longer.
Mother in some countries appear to have definite preferences. American
mothers clearly seemed to have opreferred ringlet curls. French mothers,
on the other hand, were less likely to curl their boys' hair, but would sometimes add
hair bows. I have less information on other countries
like England, France, and Italy.
One of the fashions most assosiated with Little Lord Fauntleroy is long ringlet curls. American boys in part because of the Fauntleroy crazemight wear ringlet curls. This was always a minority of boys, but the photographic record bery clearly shows that large numbers of boys did indeed hve their hair done in ringlets. Ironically Ringlets curls were never mentioned by Mrs. Burnett, nor were they pictured in the originasl irch illustrations. Mrs Burnett did constantly refer to Cedric's curls. She never mentions, however, his hair actually being curled. We are left to assume that his hair was naturally curly. She also does not detail just how long his hair was. Birch in the original illustrations shows long, flowing hair. He shows shoulder length hair, but unlike the references in the book, not particullarly curly hair. e never pictured Cedric with ringlets.
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