Boys' Suits: Alternatives

Figure 1.--.

Boys in the late 19th and early 20th century commonly wore suits with the jacket and pants matching. This was the srtandard until after World War I (1914-18) when two alternatives appeared. The first was the blazer, a garment which appsdared in late 19th century England as a kind of sports garment. By the 1920s many English schools began intrducing brightly colored blazers worn with grey trousers. Gradually boys vegan swearing blazers there were not part of a school uniform. This was especially popular in America. The other alternative was the sports jacket. The sports jacket had much varied styling and was worn with more varied trousers. Both were worn, however, as alternatives to suits, as part of the evolving casual life style in Euope and America. The sports jacket was not initially as commpn as the balzer, but became verty popular in the 1940s, especially after World War II (1939-45). Unlike suits, blazers and sports jackets are not always worn with ties.


The popular blazer, now commonly worn by boys, first appeared in England during the 1830s. It eventually appeared at fashionable public (private secondary) schools. It became popular at British school as sports wear, especially for cricket. (Leave it to the English to dress up in a blazer for sports.) The origins of the blazer is enduringly preserved in the blazers of cricket clubs around the world.

Sports Jackets

Sport jackets as we now know them began to appear after the World War II (1939-45). I am not positive why they are called sport jackets. Certainly they are not worn for sport. Probably the term originated in England where they do strange things (I hope our British friends wont be to offended) like dress up in ties and jackets for sports. British boys at prestigious Public schools (a strange term for exclusive private schools) might wear might wear a brightly colored blazer, for example, for cricket or other sports. Not only did the players dress up, but the spectators who came to see the games ("matches" for our British friends) also dressed up. The term sport jacket as it is now used probably refers to a suit-type jacket for informal special occasions, such as sporting events, but not occasions formal enough to require a suit with matching trousers. The players in cricket, for example, would wear the white trousers worn at a cricket match. The players would usually take off their blazers to actually play in the match.


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Created: October 1, 2001
Last updated: October 1, 2001