Figure 1.--These brothers wear matching short smocks. The younger boy wears rompers with his smock and the older boy short pants.
Many Dutch rompers were made with an accompanying smock. The outfit could be worn with or without the smock. The smoc could be used as a protective garment or to provide a little extra warmth on a chilly day or morning. Nornmally the smock and romper were made in
matching colors. Most of these matching sets appaer to have been the bubfont of romper suits. A popular style was to add Russdian blouse type embroidery to the smock. Some times tassles were also added. The smocks could be worn by older boys withbshort pants. Ther smocks could also be used to coordinate the outfits of older anf younger brothers.
HBC has little information about Dutch boys wearing smocks or "boerenkiel". We do not believe that they were as common as in some neighboring Belgium. Some images from the turn of the century do show Dutch boys wearing pinafore-like smocks. It was much more common for girls to wear them. but Dutch boys also wore them. A Dutch source reports that boys did wear
smocks, but not as a part of the school clothing like in France/Spain/Italy. The most common smocks, the ones worn by peasants, are called "boerenkiel" (kiel=smock for boeren=peasants). They were widely worn in rural areas until about the mid-1930s. Smocks declined in popularity in the 1940s and especially the 1950s. By the late 1950s they were only being worn by younger boys.
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