France has been the European country playing the most important role is costume design. This appears the case especially for women's an girls clothes. Britain seems more important for men's and boys' clothes. France was, however, also important for boys clothes. While there are not a lot of boys' garments which originate in France, costume designers there influenced the trim and erailong for many fashions. In general, French designers were much more interested in elaborate styling than the British. Two common styles worn by French boys were sailor suits and Fauntleroy suits. The sailor suit and sailor styling appears to have been particulatly popular in France. American authoress Frances Hogdsen Burnett lived in Paris for a time and the fancy velvet suits wirn by French children were an inspiration for the Little Lord Fauntleroy suits that became so popular in America furing the late 19th centuty. Some obsevers reported that knited styles were also reported.
Sailor suits were very popular for French boys by the late 19th century. A popular style was to wear
middy blouses with knickers, both above and below the knee styles, with short ankle socks. By the 1920s they were being worn by younger boys, mostly with short pants. French boys wore many kinds of straw hats with their sailor suits, including the wide-brimmed style with streaming ribbons. They also wore them with the soft white caps with red pompoms like the caps worn by French sailors. Sailor suits continued to be popular in the 1930s when they were made in sizes to 12 years in both short pants and long pants styles. This meant French boys through about 13 wore sailor suits. Several different styles were worn, for details see the French sailor suit page.
American authoress Frances Hogdsen Burnett lived in Paris for a time and the fancy velvet suits wirn by French children were an inspiration for the Little Lord Fauntleroy suits that became so popular in America furing the late 19th centuty. Fauntleroy suits were popular in France. The large bows that American boys wore with their suits were not nearly as popular in France. Also it was much less common for French boys to wear their long hair in ringlet curls.
HBC begins to notice French bous wearing knit outfits in the 1930s. They may have appeared earlier. Knit sweaters had beem worn for some time, but in the 1930s HBC begins to notice a variety of other knit garments. Knit playsuits appear--many with short pants. These outfits appear to have been mostly casual outfits. I'm not precisely why that was. The French knit garments appear to be quite different than thosr worn in America and England.
Boys' fashions in France during the 1920s were begining to be more juvenil than in England . In fact this started at the end of World War I in 1918. Many old photos show boys with a touch of baby clothes. Interestingly, this juvenile style for boys became popular at the sme time that it was becoming less common for younger boys to wear dresses. This juvenile look lasted in France utill the early 1960s. Gradually esnctive juvenile styles declined in popularity and boys clothing began to more and more resemble adult styles as was the practice in the 18th century. The strongest period in France for this juvenile look for boys was from 1936 utill the early 1960s. This style was especially popular in the cities, but was worn Sunday in rural areas as well. Garments included rompers, short pants and even very short pants along with blouses with puffed sleeves and Peter Pan (col Claudine) rounded collars were the basic clothes. There were also smocks, but these were seen as more of a utilitarian than a dressy garment.
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