Figure 1.--This American boy was photographed at the Webster Studio in Waltham, Massachusetts, probably in the 1890s. He is not wearing a Fauntleroy suit. In fact it is a sailor suit, but with a cut-away front butoning jacket. His mother has created a Fauntleroy look by adding a Fauntleoy blouse and large floppy bow. Note that this boy' outfitting does not have the stripped detailing of a sailor suit, but it clearly has the front "V" collar and back flap.
This is an important question. Stylish mothers, after the publication of Mrs. Burnett's book, began to increasingly add lace and ruffled collars and floppy bows to virtually every outfit worn by boys. We see boys wearing lace collars with sailor suits and regular suits. Some of of these suits might be worn for a year or two with lace collars and floppy bows and then as the boy got a little older with a different collar. Many boys wore were suits that were not designed to look like Fauntlroy suits, but could in the hands of an imaginative mother be given a Fauntleroy look. Often the boys in a large family would be dressed similarly, but with age-graded embelishments. There were a variety of ways in which these age-grading embelishments could be made. The younger brothers would wear the lace and other large collars and floppy bows while the older brothers in the same suits would have smaller collars, perhaps an Eton collar, and smaller bows.
This American boy was photographed at the Webster Studio in Waltham, Massachusetts, probably in the 1890s. The boy however, is unidentified. He is NOT wearing a Fauntleroy suit. He looks to be about 10-11 years old. In fact it is a sailor suit, but the jacket has a cut-away front-buttoning jacket that was made to be wirn pen and show off the fancy blouse to best affect. His mother has created a Fauntleroy look by adding a Fauntleoy blouse and large floppy bow. The bow is elaborately tied. It appears to alight-colored bow with a barely destingushable pattern. Note that this boy' outfitting does not have the stripped detailing of a sailor suit, but it clearly has the front "V" collar and back flap. Note the little bow at the hem of his knee pants.
Perhaps the most common method of adding a Fauntleroy look to a regulat suit was to attire the boy un a fancy Fauntleroy blouse. We find in fact that Fauntleroy blouses were made in larger sizes than Fauntleroy suits. These Fauntleroy blouses could be exteemly fancy with large enough collars and wrist cuffs that the suit jacket was almost hidden. Thus the effect was one of wearing a Fauntleroy suit. This appraoch appealed to thrifty mothers because when the boy was deemed to old for the Faintleroy look, a new blouse and perhaps an Eton collar were all that were needed rather than a new suit. We do not entirely understand the conventions here. Some boys probably wore these Fauntleroy blouses regularly with their suits. Other boys may have just worn them on special occasions. Here we do not yet have access to contemprary accounts that might provide better insights. Without such accounts we can only speculate based on the available images. Some mothers seem to have used similar Fauntleroy blouses to dress different age brothers similarly even though they had differeny style suits.
Some mothers rather than a Fauntleroy collar would add pin-on lace collars to suit for the Fauntleroy look. This would be done with suits made to be worn closed rather than with the classic small cut-away Fauntleroy jacket.
Mothers did not add floppy bows to boys' outfits for the Fauntleroy look. Many did, an they normally did so with large Fauntleroy collars. The boy here is a good example.
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