Boys' Clothes During the 1800s: Dresses

Figure 1.--

Little boys all through the 19th Century were dressed in dresses and petticoats like girls, especially in affluent families. Small children of both genders might include chintz dresses and gay, printed cottons in the French Empire style of long full-length style of classic Greek inspiration. They were worn with small white caps. While this changed as the century progressed, in the early 19th century there was virtually no differences between dresses for boys and girls, perhaps only the color of the sash. Empire style directory dressesm heavily influecenced by the classical gowns of ancient Greece, tended to have very hifh waist lines. Dresses in the early 19th century might include chintz and gay, printed cottons in the Empire style. These were worn with small white caps and long ruffled pantaloons. The dresses. Many fashions of the early 19th century seemingly come directly out of the pages of a story-book.

The introduction of the Empire dress in the 1800s freed freed little girls for secveral years from the constraints of corsets. The gracefuk Empire style was based on the world of classical Greece and was inspired by an interest in archology and the classical world. Napoleon and his failed Egyptian expedition was a major influence in the classocal revival. The Empore dress used soft fabrics and had a high waist. Soon pantalettes wre added to ensire that only a hint of the ankle could be glimsed. This modestu was required fir both boys and girls wearing Empire dresses. The freedom girls found, however, was short lived. It lasted only in the 1800s and 1810s. Soon more constrictive garments were deemed necessary for well-bread little girls.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: November 27, 2001
Last updated: November 27, 2001