Latvian Boys' Garments: Fauntleroy Suits

Figure 1.--This postcard back portrait shows an unidentified boy weaing a Fauntleroy suit. He looks to be about 5-years old. Te prtrait is undated, but we would guess was taken in the late-1930s. The ealer thought the 1940s, but given the dislocations during the-40s (World War II and Sovier take over) this seems to us rather unlikely. The boy wears a Fauntleroy blouses with a slightly ruffled collar, but much smaller and more restrained than the huge, elaborate collars we see during the Fauntleroy era. We also see these outfits in Germany at the time. He seems to be wearing a velvet suit. The long stockings probaby reflect the act that the portraiy was taken in winter more than a part of a Fauntleroy style. Strap shoes were common in the Baltics at the tim for younger boys. The studio was F. Kalniņš in Dobele. Click on the image to see the writing on the back. We cannot read it as it is in Latvian.

We notice a few younger Latvian boys wearing Fauntleroy suits. We are not sure to waht exten Faintleroy suits were worn during the actual Fauntleroy era (1885-1905). This of course during the Tsarist era, and our archive is very limited. We do see some examples after World War I and independence during the inter-War era (1920s-30s). The ones we are found are rather like the ones we see in Germany during the inter-War era. The blouses the boys wore often has ruffled collars, but they were smaller and more restrained than the huge, elaborate collars we see during the Fauntleroy era (figure 1). They were not all that common, but we see some in the photographi record. We believe that they were mostly worn by boys from prosperous families. There was a substantial German ethnic community in Latvia, primarily located in Riga and the other cities and thus playing an important role in Latvian society. The centuries-long German presence in the Baltics ended just before Workd War II ended when Hitler ordered ethnic Germans in the Baltics Home to the Reich (1939).


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Related Style Pages in the Boys' Historical Web Site
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Created: 12:12 PM 7/25/2019
Last updated: 12:12 PM 7/25/2019