Sailor Suit Components: Button-up Blouses and Jackets


Figure 1.--This American boy is identified only as Paul. He is 6 yesrs old. He wears a sailor jacket with some sort of blouse or divckey underneath. Motice how the garment mstches the detailing on the jsacket. We suspect that the garment we see at the front is not connected to the sleeves we see at the wrist cuffs. The caninent card was taken by Strunk, Reading, Pennsylvania. The outfit and mount suggest that it was taken in the early 1900s.

The classic pull-over middy blouse is generally associated with the sailor suit. We note, however, a wide range of sailor garments which button up thefront. We note garments that were very similar to pull-over blouses and others that seem more like jackets. Some were very similar to middy blouses and also blouced at the waist, probably using a draw string. A good example is English boy Harry Shaw. He wears a button-up middy blouse. Some of these garments had buttons, but were worn open, rather like a Fauntleroy suit. Other btton-up upper (torso) garments tended to longer and extended below the waist. These seem more like jackets. We are not sure how to describe these garments. They may at the time been considered a blouse, but this seems to be an incorrect usage given the length of the garment. The can not accurately be called a shirt. We are tempted to call them jackets. This probably is not the best term as there was not shirt or blouse underneath. We do not yet have contemporary catalog entries which describe this garment providing us with contemporary terminology. We note many variations of these garments in both Europe and the United States.

Blouses

The classic pull-over middy blouse is generally associated with the sailor suit. We note, however, a wide range of sailor garments which button up thefront. We note garments that were very similar to pull-over blouses and others that seem more like jackets. Some were very similar to middy blouses and also blouced at the waist, perhsps using a draw string. We are not entirelt sure how this would have been done. Perhaps it just bloused out a bit when tucked in to the waist. A good example is English boy Harry Shaw. He wears a button-up middy blouse. Many of these button-up middy blouses could be worn with standard dickies.

Jackets

other upper (torso) garments tended to longer and extended below the waist--if only slighly so. These garments commonly had buttons, but were worn open, rather like a Fauntleroy suit. The buttons were often a decoraive item and not really made to button up. These seem more like jackets. We are not sure how to describe these garments. We think jacket is the best term, but we are not at all sure what term was used in contemprary catalogs and fashion magazines. They may at the time been considered a blouse, but this seems to be an incorrect usage given the length of the garment and the way it was worn. It can not accurately be called a shirt. We are tempted to call them jackets. This probably is the best term necause there was a blouse, dickey, sweater, or other garment underneath. We have not yet found contemporary catalog entries which describe this garment provbiding us with contemporary terminology. We have begun to collect catalogs, but often they are only laveled sailor suits without going into detail. We note many variations of these garments in both Europe and the United States. Many of these button-up middy blouses could mot be worn with standard dickies. We note a wide range of garments worn with these jackets, including Russiasn blouses, sweaters, and garments especially made to nmatch the detailing on the jacket.







HBC




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Created: 5:10 AM 1/12/2010
Last updated: 5:10 AM 1/12/2010