We have very lille chronological information on Mexico at this time. Portraits suggest that children from affluent families in the 19th century were dressed like European children. In fact unlsss the provinance of the image is knnown it is rarely possible to identify portraits of Mexican children from European families by their clothing. The fashions involved followed fashion changes in Europe. Children of families from modest backgrounds are more likely to be identified as Mexican because they wore a kind of camposeino dress of plain white shirts and pants with barefeet or sandals. This style did not change significantly over time. Some boys wore guallaberas, but this was more an adult fashion. Styles began to change in the 20th century, especially after World War II. American fashions became increasingly important.
We have very lille chronological information on Mexico at this time. Portraits suggest that children from affluent families in the 19th century were dressed like European children. France was very influential in fashions, but I am not positive this influence included boys. In fact, unless the provinance of the image is knnown it is rarely possible to differentiate portraits of Mexican children from European families by their clothing. A good example is the protrait here, a piece of folk art (figure 1). Without knowing that it was Mexican, it could easily be seen as American or European. We would guess that it was painted in the 1830s. The fashions involved followed fashion changes in Europe. Children of families from modest backgrounds are more likely to be identified as Mexican because they wore a kind of camposino dress of plain white shirts and pants with barefeet or sandals. As far as we can tell, this style did not change significantly over time and was worn throughout the 19th century. Mexico in the 19th century was alargely rural country with a relatively small urban population. Many Mexicans lived on large rural estates--haciendas. Some limited industrialization began in the late 19th century. This camposino outfit was presumably the most widely worn boys' clothing.
Mexican boys clothing in the early 20th century was still very significantly affected by social class and demographics. Affluent Mexican boys in the city, both the rich and confortable miffle class dressed essentially like European boys. The urban poor dressed variously. We note both the standard white camposuno outfits as well as clohing styles influenced by the more affluent city dwealers. We continue to see Mexican boys wearing in rural areas wearing white camposino outfits in the early 20th century. Meexico in the 1910s was convulsed by Revolution. The rural poor championed by leaders like Villa and Zapata played a major role in the Revolution. The Partido Revolucianio Institucional (PRI) which seized control of Mexico after the Revolution persued a policy of reforms with generally disappointed results, but Mexico was changed and fashion differences between urban and rural areas begin to decline. We still see the white camposino outfits in the 1920s and 30s, but they gradually become less common. We begin to see Mexican children increasingly dress like European children. Middle class boys might sear short pants, but this was less common with working-class urban children and rural children. Afer World War II, American fashions begin to become increasingly common as trade and family connections with the United States expand. Mexico's failure to develop a viable economy and continuing rural and urban poverty are a significant factor affecting clothing and fashion in the country for both adults and children.
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