French Boys Suits: Pants Types--Bloomer Knickers

Figure 1.--This CDV portrait show three boy, presumably prothers. The younger boys wear collar buttoning Norfolk jackets with Eton collars and polka-dot floppy bows and bloomer knickers. Note that they are wearing three-quater socks rather than lon stockings. Their oldr brther wears a sack (lapel) jacket with a sweater. Tht seems a rather working-class style suggsting the family was of modest income. The CDV is not dated, but we would guess was taken at the turn-of-the 20th century. The studio was Vandier in Paris.

French boys also began wearing bloomer knicker suits at the mid-19th century. This was another kind of shortrned-length pants. This was a popular style in France and other European countries into the early-20th century. We also see knee pants for younger boys, but the bloomer knickers were at least as popular if not more so. Thiscis a tgopic we have just begun to worknon as ojur achive grows. We do not yet have a complete chronology because examples of early formats do not seem very common. Only with the appearance of the CDV do we begin to see large numbers of images allowing us to make a reasobable assessment (1860s). We note large numbers of these images throuhhout the late-19th century. We also see these bloomer knickers being worn in the 1900s, but less commomly in the 1910s. We no longer see them after World War I in the 1920s. Like knee pants, the bloomer knickers were commonly done at knee length. They were worn with a wide variety of suit styles. We are not sure about the age conventions involved yet, but they were coimmonly worn by school-age boys. A few younger teens may have worn them at the turn-of-the 20th century, but we are not yet sure how common this was. Social-class conventions sem to hve been involved.Unlike American boys, French boys commonly wore these bloomer knickers wiyh socks, usually three-quater socks, rather than long stockings.


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Created: 6:40 PM 11/30/2014
Last updated: 6:40 PM 11/30/2014