* Belgian boys clothes : garments--skirted








Belgian Boys Clothes: Skirted Garments


Figure 1.-- We note this CDV portrait of two Brussels children, we think in the 1880s. Note that the boy is wearing a blouse and matching kilt-skirt. The skirt is not pleated. He has a Scottish-styled Glengary cap to complete the outfit. Note the seaside backdrop, one might have thought it was taken at aseasidec resort. It seems a bit strange for the girl to be wearing a heavy coat-like dress. Also note that the children wear socks rather than long stockings.

Belgian boys like other European boys have worn a wide range of skirted garments. We see the same kinds of skirted garments that we have noted in other countries. The convention of boys wearing dresses was a fashion that declined rapidly after the turn-of-the 20th century. Thus it was a convention primarily prevalent in the 19th centry and before. Our archive of 19th century Belgian images, however, is very limited. Thus we are just beginning to develop information on skirted garments in Belgium. The principal skirted garment was the dress. Younger Belgian boys, as in the rest of Europe, wore dresses well into the 20th century. HBC has noted two different types of dress outfits. One our full dresses indestinguishable from the dresses their sisters wore. In fact they may have worn hand-me-downs from an older sister or other relative. The styles generally followed those worn by women, but in reduced styles. We also see some boys wearing kilt-skitty garmenrs. We are unsure how common this was. Tunics were also worn. Tunics were a very popular style during the 19th century. We have little information as to when they appeared in Belgium, but believe it was early in the century. We are also not sure where they first appeared, but probably in England and France. We do know that by mid-century they were being widely worn, although we do not know to what extent working-class boys were wearing them. We also notice boys wearing smocks, but this seems to have been primarily a scgool garment. Girls wore pinafores. We are not sure, however, about boys.

Dresses

Younger Belgian boys, as in the rest of Europe, wore dresses well into the 20th century. HBC has noted two different types of dress outfits. One our full dresses indestinguishable from the dresses their sisters wore. In fact they may have worn hand-me-downs from an older sister or other relative. The styles generally followed those worn by women, but in reduced styles. While boys by the early 19th century were wearing specialized clothing styles, this was less trur for the dresses worn by girls and younger boys. The other basic dress type were skirts, presumably bodice skirts, worn with matching or coordinated jackets and vests. Pantallets were commonly worn with dresses until the late 19th century.

Kilts

We note Belgian boys wearing kilts in the 19th century. These were not Scottish Highland kilts, but the kilt-skirts worn with kilt suits. This was a very popular style for American and British boys in the 19th century. We are not yet sure how popular it was in Belgium. Our archive at this time is too limited to make an assessment. We note this boy from Brussels, we think in the 1880s (figure 1). Note that he is wearing it with a Scottish-styled Glengary cap. Kilts suits were also worn with suit jackeyts, but this boys wears the blouse type.

Tunics

Tunics were a very popular style during the 19th century. We have little information as to when they appeared in Belgium, but believe it was early in the century. We are also not sure where they first appeared, but probably in England and France. We do know that by mid-century they were being widely worn, although we do not know to what extent working-class boys were wearing them. We do have details on one 1852 tunic outfit shown in a Belgian fashion magazine. Boys styles could be quite elaborate in the mid-19th century, including both dresses and tunics. Tunics could be very plain or worn as part of quite elaborate garments. They were worn with both pantalettes and trousers. Tunics were still popular by the turn of the 20th century, but the outfits were plainer and generally worn with knicker-length or short pants. The belt was a common stylistic element with tunics. There were also different buttoning arrangements.

Smocks

Smocks were another garment imported from France that proved very popular in Belgium. We believe that smocks were very commonly worn in Belgium, but have little information at this time. Smocks were commonly worn to school in the late 19th centurty and early 20th century, but I am not sure how common they were as a non-school garment. We believe the styles, colors, and conventions for smocks, especially school smocks, were very similar to France, at least among French speaking families. We are less sure among Dutch speaking Flemish boys. As in France, smocks appear to have quickly went out of fashion in the 1950s. Unfortuntaley we have been able to develop little information about Belgian smocks. We do have, however, a page in Belgian school smocks. We also thinks smocks were worn in other instututions like prphanages. We note Belgian boys weating smocks in World War I colonies (camps) for refugee childtrn om France. A good example is the Debruyne boys (1918). These could have been smocks brought with them from Belgium, but most likeky they are the wearing a French camp uniform. We also have a good bit of information about French smocks.

Pantalettes

Boys wore pantalettes with both dresses and tunics. We begin to note then in the early 19th century. They ranged from the very plain to quite elaborate. Lengths changed iover time in line with dress hems and conventions of modesty. It was considered proper in the eraly 19th century to cover the legs of even very young children. Our information is still limited, but we have noted images from Belgian fashion magazines.







HBC






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Created: 2:01 AM 10/22/2008
Last updated: 2:01 AM 10/22/2008