Danish Sailor Suits


Figure 1.--This Danish boy had his portrait painted in 1915. He looks to be about 8-9 years old. Notice the double row of three strips. We don't recall seeing that before. Click on the image for a closeup.

Sailor suits were extremely popular in Denmark as they were throughout Scandinavia. The sailor suit may have been more popuklar in Denmark than any other Scandinavian country, perhaps because Denmark borders Germany where the sailor suit was also very popular. Boys wore blue and white sailor suits seasonally. I do not know of any distinguishing features of Danish sailor suits. They appear to ave worn the very traditional styles favored by the Germans and not the fancier styles that some French boys wore. HBC has noted several styles. Blue suits were commonly worn with kneepants and long stockings during the winter. Summer suits were often white or stripped in lighter material.

Chronology

The sailor suit for boys was popularized in the 1940s when Queen Victoria first dressed her son in one. HBC is not sure when Danish boys began dressing thei boys in them, probably about the same time as in Germany. Danish boys wre clearly wearing them by the late 19th century. Sailor suits continued popular in the early 20th century and even afterwasrds in the 1920s. They began to decline in poopularity during the 1930s.

Popularity

Sailor suits were extremely popular in Denmark as they were throughout Scandinavia. The sailor suit may have been more popular in Denmark than any other Scandinavian country, perhaps because Denmark borders Germany where the sailor suit was also very popular.

Age Trends

We are not sure yet about the age range for sailor suits in Denmark. We just do not have sufficent imges at this time. Our initual assessment is about 3-11 years o age. This is, however, just the age range we can confirm with actual images. We suspect that as in Germany that they were also worn by younger teens. But we can notyet confirm tht. This of course baried over time. Soilorcsuits were wirn in Denmark for avout a century. Despite the close assocition with the British royal fmily (Princess lexandria married the Price of Wales--the future Edward VII), we suspect that many conventions like age were nore associsted ith Germsny than Britain. Ahe trends if course varied over time. Younger boys wore sailor suits during the whole span tht sailor suits were worn. We are not entirely sure when sailor suits were most popular for older boys. We think it might be during the early-20th century, but this still needs to be confirmed.

Seasonality

Boys wore blue and white sailor suits seasonally.

Style

We do not know of any distinguishing features of Danish sailor suits. They appear to have worn the very traditional styles favored by the Germans and not the fancier styles that some French boys wore. HBC has noted several styles. Boys commonly wore suits with the traditional three stipes. HBC has noted some other styles. One middy blouse had two pairs of white stripes. Instead of the normal detailing of three white stripes, this boy has the detailing repeated. Notice the detailing on the dickey which rather than a nautical design, repeats the double pairs of stripes. Another style had a Rigby-style middy blouse with a relatively small collar with two white stripes.

Garments

Sailor suits were very popular choices for Danish boys. We are not yetvsure about headwear. Ww see mostly traditionally styled garments, although our archive is still limited. Boys wore both middy blouses and reefer suits. These were all standard items thriighour Europe so there is no way of ientifting most images unless the country is specified. We noyesome pull-over blouses with small double collars in the 1930s. We are not sure how common this style was. Pull-over blouses were widely worn, butwe are not sure bout the small collars. Without a more substantial archive this is difficult to assess. Blue suits were commonly worn with dark kneepants and long stockings during the winter. Summer suits were often white or stripped in lighter material. They were also worn with dark long stockings, but some boys also wore socks. During the 1920s, shorts pants began to become more common, but the cold northerly climate limited this to some extent when not worn with long stockings.













HBC







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Created: May 5, 2000
Last updated: 6:54 PM 4/4/2016