United States Boys' Clothes: Neckwear Color Trends

American family neckwear
Figure 1.--There were attmpts to colorize both Dagerreotypes and Ambrotypes. There were limits on what could be done with these formats as you can see here. This Dag is undated. We would guess it was taken in th 1850s, but the 40s is possible. Rosy cheeks were a common step as can be seen here. Gold rings abd brass buttons were also often clorized, but not here. Rather the studio has also colorized the boy's bow, clearly evolving from a stock. It looks to us like a plaid pattern. It looks pink, but this is because there was no way of applying bright colors. We suspect that the bow was a bright red plaid.

We know a great deal about nckwear because of the very extensive photographic record. The one thing the historic photographic record does not tell us because of the black and white photogrphy is color. Neckwear in the mid-19th century, especially the populr stock was commonly black, but this was primrily an adult garment. Not all stocks were black. We see some colors. This Dag shows what would have been a bright red plaid (figure 1). And we see some stocks evolving into bows like the one here. We seen boys wearing various neckwear as an optional item. Some were not colored like string ties, but others were colored like cross ties. As collars increased in size during the 1870s. And by the 80s as part of the Fauntleroy craze we see boys wearing enormous collars and floppy bows. Many were colored away of adding a flash of color to the often black and white outfits. Some of the bows were white, but many were colored. Often they were multi-colors. We believe many were bright colors, but have no idea what the specific colors were. Floppy bow declined after the turn-of-the 20th century. We still see some, but boys neckwear became more standardized. We see neckties which were variously colored and with ptterns. We also see bow ties which were less commonly colored. They were usually black, but we see some red bow ties.


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Created: 5:07 AM 6/27/2017
Last updated: 5:07 AM 6/27/2017