French Boys Clothes: Headwear


Figure 1.--Tgis unidentified image is a French boy, probably taken in the 1920s. He wears a sailor cap and an overcoat. We are not sure what he wearing under his coat, but the long pants suggest a sailor suit. Image courtesy of the MD collection.

We have just begun to collect information on boys' headwear in France. We do not yet have much information. The headwear most associated with French boys is of course the Berets The beret has to be the most versitile head gear in history. What other head gear has been wore by little boys and girls, elite soldiers, scruffy Cuban revolutionariers, boy and girl scouts, shepards, a president's nemesis, and many others more. It is esentially a visorless cap--but the simple design can be worn for a multiplicity of different looks. While men, boys, women, and girls have worn berets in many different countries, no country is more associated with the beret than France. Berets were widely worn through World War II, but by the 1950s were no longer commonly worn. French boys as other European boys also common wore various styles of sailor hats and caps. Sailor styles were especially popular in France. Boys wore sailor caps and hats both with sailor suits and a variety of other clothes. Sailor headwear was worn through the 1930s. Boys also wore Tam O'Shanters or tams. Older boys might wear flat caps.

Chronology

We do not have much information on French headwear during the 19th century. We see boys wearing a variety of different headwear styles in the 19th century. We think that the beret was worn througout the 19th century, but was mostly worn in rural areas. Sailor hats appeared after mid-century. We see somw middle-class and wellm off children wearing wide-brimmed sailor hats. We know much more about the early-20th century. We see boys wearing sailor hats and caps. Berets were also common in the early-20th century. Older boys might wear flat caps in the inter-War era. After Wirkld War II, headwear becomes more informal and less common. We see a few boys wearing peaked caps at mid-century.

Types

We notice French boys wearing several different types of headwear. The headwear most associated with French boys is of course the Berets Actually French boys did not wear berets as commonly ascoften thought. The beret has to be the most versitile head gear in history. What other head gear has been wore by little boys and girls, elite soldiers, scruffy Cuban revolutionariers, boy and girl scouts, shepards, a president's nemesis, and many others more. It is esentially a visorless cap--but the simple design can be worn for a multiplicity of different looks. While men, boys, women, and girls have worn berets in many different countries, no country is more associated with the beret than France. Berets were widely worn through World War II, but by the 1950s were no longer commonly worn. French boys as other European boys also common wore various styles of sailor hats and caps. Sailor styles were especially popular in France. Boys wore sailor caps and hats both with sailor suits and a variety of other clothes. Sailor headwear was worn through the 1930s. Boys also wore Tam O'Shanters or tams. Older boys might wear flat caps. We also see some boys wearing British-styled school caps. It was, however not a school style in France.

Age


Gender

Sailor styles were popular fvor both boys and girls. The h\gurls, however, only wore sailir hats, Boys wore both sailor hats and caps.





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Created: October 20, 2001
Last updated: 9:00 PM 5/28/2011