United States Boys' Clothes: Neckwear Gender Trends

American family neckwear
Figure 1.--These children were photographed by Munger in Ononomowoc, Wisconsin. They almost certainly are sublings. Note the boys wear floppy bows, but the girl does not have neckwear. The cabinet card is undated, but the mount suggests it was taken in the early-1890s.

While neckwear was commonly worn by boys, it seems much less common with girls. We are not sure about the early-19th century, but this was the case for the mid-19th and late-19th century. And it was akso the case for the 20th century, although after the mid-20th century neckwear for boys also declined. We do see some grls with neckwear, Some girls wore ties, but floppy bows were not very common. Neckwear was often not required and normally much less common. This is interesting becaise generally speaking, girls dresses were fancier and jore heavily decorated than boys' clothing. It was also commonly not as prominant as the neckwear worn by boys. We see large numbers of girls wearing dresses without any neckwear. Some boys also did not wear neckwear, but it was very common with boys, especially when dressing up. Family portraits provide excelent views of these gender neckwear trends.


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Created: 8:32 AM 2/10/2011
Last updated: 8:32 AM 2/10/2011