HBC has acquired several images of an obviosly middle-class family. The images are undated and unidentified. We believe that the photographs were all taken at the same time during the early 1950s. One photograph includes a family car so we should be be able to date the image. We know the photographs were taken at the same time because the children were all dressed the same. We do not know where the family lived because the photographs were taken on a family picnic. There appear to have been six children of various ages and their clothing reflects the various styles worn at the time by various age groups. The father apparently took the photographs. We wonder where mother is. The ladies in the photograph look too old to be mother. There are two ladies one photograph which look like the grandmothers. We had thought that this family was French, but we have since learned that it was Belgian. There are great similarities between French speaking Belgiand and the French. Hopefully our Belgian and French readers can offer some insights about this family.
HBC has acquired several images of an obviosly middle-class family.
The images are unidentified. Hopefully our readers can offer some insights about this family. It was clearly a city family, possibly from Brussels or Antwerp, enjoying a little country air for a picnic, probably on Sunday.
The images are undated. We believe that the photographs were all taken at the same time during the early 1950s. One photograph includes a family car so we should be be able to date the image. Hopefully one of our HBC readers will be able to date the car. We know the photographs were taken at the same time because the children were all dressed the same. Of course the model of the car will not provide us a definitive date that the photograph was taken. It does, however, provide parameters such as the earliest possible time the photograph could have been taken. The car looks to us to be a 1948-50 model, because the windscreen (front window) is flat and divided into two pannels.
There appear to have been six children of various ages and their clothing reflects the various styles worn at the time by various age groups. The father apparently took the photographs. We wonder where mother is. Ofcourse the mother could have taken the photographs. It is unlikely that the mother would have taken the family photographs in the 1950s unless the father had passed away. The ladies in the photograph look too old to be mother. There are two ladies one photograph which look like the grandmothers. The extended family was still very important in France. They are dressed in a look of about 1950.
The children in the family wear a wide range of clothing, perfectly reflecting the styles of clothing worn in the 1950s by French children. We note rompers, sailor suiys and long and shortpants. The girl wears a dress. One interesting aspect of the photograph is that even though the occassion is a family picnic, the children are dressed fairly formally. The romprsuit and sailor suit are probably the younger boy's best party outfits. One boy wears a tie and the oldest boy a suit. Hardly how childen would dress for a family picnic today.
A French reader writes, "This garçonnet has a typical French face. His hair style was very commun in the 1950s. It permitted his mother to do sometimes do a choupette for special occassions. I would guess that on Sunday his hair was done in a choupette. He had
just the right shaped head for that! It is not sure he was a - petit garçon modèle - but he could well have been. HBC has very detailed and correct informationon the French romper! Your decriptions are quite correct. It is true that the rompers with emboiteries, smocking, were very popular. That is in part due to the fact that girls in school were taught
emboiteries and smocking as a required subject. Here the pleating is especially interested. This little boy wears a romper that was probably made by his mother or granmother because the pleats are symmetrical. My Parents who operated a clothing plant specialing in children's clothes make this style of romper, but always with with asymmetrical pleats for both the the top and the pants. The styles found in the magazines also almost described the asymmetrical pleats. Smocks were also made with asymmetrical pleats, but only for boys. Girls smocks were generally made with smocking or other decorations. Boys also had smocks with smocking, but girls never wore smocks with top pleats. That was one of the differences between boys and girls smocks." Another French reader writes, "The little boys 4-5 years old wore a white romper, the classical style. Notice his ankle socks are cuffed (turned down). It was then fashion after World War II.
We note the youngest boy in the family wearing bibfront shorts. Unlike some of the other family snapshots, he is dressed rather slopily. He wears what looks like a sweaster or hevy shirt with his bibfront shorts. His slightly older brother is dressed in a sweater and regular short pants. The two seem to have been very close as the youngest in the family. Looking more carefully at the image it may well be a kind of onafore.
The next youngest boy wore a short pants saior suit. He had a matching cap, althuogh he is not wearing it in the group photograph here (figure 1). Sailor suits were a popular boys style in France, but by the 1950s had gone out of style and was only being worn by younger boys and even then not very commonly. We suspect that this was a rather traditional middle-class family to still dressing the children in sailor suits. The boy here looks to be about 6 years old. I'm not sure what the cap tally says. I'm not sure what color the suit was, but light blue is the most likely. A Frnch reader writes, "The garçonnet 7-8 years old wore a sailor suit. Normaly the blouse would have been tucked inside the shorts.
The older teenager had an open shirt. This would have been appropriate for school or Sunday wear. This was the standard look for secondary school
The boys had a variety of sweaters including both jacket and cardigan styles. The family seems to have spent a good bit of time at the beach, including cool weather dys as the boys are seen wearing wool sweaters at the beach.
French girls in the ealy 1950s still commonly wore dresses. They always wore dresses, often under smocks to school. Even for casual family outings girls like the boys' sister here wore dresses. The girl's dress was in fashion for teenagers in the early 50s. White socks were common. We do not begin to see girls wearing shorts and jeans (other than at the beach) until the 1960s.
Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Countries] [Clothing styles] [Girls] [Theatricals]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [French glossary] [Satellite sites]
[Boys' Clothing Home]
Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing French pages:
[Return to the Main French family chronology page]
[Return to the Main Belgian family page]
[French art] [French choirs] [French movies] [French royalty] [French school uniforms] [French school smocks] [French sailor suits]
[French youth groups] [Difficult French images] [French art] [French Movies] [French ethnics]