Neckwear in the 19th century was an important fashion item. This was especially true in the second half of the centyry. Our infirmation in the early-19th century is limited. Men and boys in the mid-19th century wore black stocks like their fathers. There was no destinctive stles for boys. We do not note American boys wearing destinctive neckwear until after the Civil War. We note boys wearing floppy bows in the 1870s, but they were relatively small. This changed in the 1880s when we begin to see boys wearing increasingly large floppy bows. These were destinctive bneckwear for boys. Their fathers did not wear these lrge bows. Some younger boys seem almost enveloped by their giant floppy bows and large collars. The bows were made in a range of colors and patterns. The large collars of the day were worn both with and without these bows. Boys in the 1890s often wore large ruffled and somewhat older boys Eton collars. These also could be worn both with and without neckwear. Some boys wore floppy bows with these collars, but others wore them without bows. Neckties appeared, but were worn by older boys. Floppy bows were still worn in the 1900s, but less commonly and in smaller sizes. Neckwear after World War I by the 1920s began to become increasinglu standardized with neckties and bowties. Neckties were standard wear for men. We also see some less common types like string ties, but this seemed to have regional appeal. Gradually as casual styles became ibcreasingly popular we see fewer and fewer boys wearing neckwear. The same was true of suits nd other dressy clothes.
We do not yet have much information on the 18th century. Much more information is available on the 19th century, especially by mid-century with th development of photography. Boys in the mid 19th century wore black stocks like their fathers. We do not note American boys wearing destinctive neckwear until after the Civil War. We note boys wearing floppy bows in the 1870s, but they were relatively small. This changed in the 1880s when we begin to see boys wearing increasingly large bows. Some boys seemed almost enveloped by their bows and large collars. The bows were made in a range of colors and patterns. The large collars of the day were worn both with and without these bows. Boys in the 1890s often wore large ruffled and somewhat older boys Eton collars. Some boys wore floppy bows with these collars, but others wore them without bows. Neckties appeared, but were worn by older boys. We also know a great deal about the 20th centuty. Floppy bows were still worn in the 1900s, but less commonly and in smaller sizes. Neckwear after World WarI by the 1920s began to become increasinglu standardized with neckties and bowties. We also see some less common types like string ties. Boys after the mid-20th century with increasingly casual dress styles, were much less likely to wear neckwear.
We notice American boys wearing several different types of neckwear. Neckwear was not always worn, but it was fairlt common until the 1940s. The stock was worn for many years and was common in both America and Europe, but it was not a boys' style. It was worn by both boys and adults without differentiation. One of the most destinctive styles of neckwear worn by Ameican boys was the floppy bow. This was a style worn by adults at the turn of the 19th century. It was popular during the Regency in Britain where it was worn by Beau Brummel. I think it was less common in America. When the floppy bow reappeared beginning in the late 1870s, it seems to have been a style particular popular in America. They were also worn in Europe, but we seem to see many more examples in America, especially the large floppy bows. And floppy bow at this time were a distinctly juvenile style. They were worn with equally large collars of various descriptions. Neckties and bow ties becone common neckwear after the turn of the 20th century. Thes syles of neckway reverted to the mid-19th century convention of being for both adults and boys. We also note a variety of other styles like string ties and cross ties, sometimes called butterfly ties.
Neckwear was very common in the 19th century and early 20th century when fashions were often formal. Types of neckwear changed as did the prevalence. Neckwear was especially prevalent and prominant after the mid-19th century when America became more urban and more affluent. Neckwear was often considered an essential part of dressing up. There were some exceptions. Floppy bows were not always worn with fancy Fauntleroy bluses and collars. we see boys both with and without them. For some mothers the collars seemed fancy enough. Also neckwear was optional with Eton collars. With these exceptiond, boys commonly wore neckwear, especially when dressing up. Neckwear began to decline after World War I as more casual styles began to become popular. American boys by the 1930s, were no longer commonly wearing neckwear to school, except at private schools. We note that even as neckwear declined in popularity, we see many boys into the 1960s buttoning their collars. Today modern boys no longer wear neckwear. For maby boys even a collared shirt is to dressy. Another convention of importance was using neckwear for age grading. Boys of diffwrent ages might wear similar suits, but different collars and neckwear.
The neckwear worn by boys was similar that worn by adults throughout the 18th and early 19th century. This did not begin to change until after the mid-19th centuty. Boys and men at the time wore stocks. The stock went out of style in the 1860s when new form of neckwear appeaed. By the 1870s we see boys wearing modest bows which in the 1880s became quite large. These floppy bows and the large collars that went with them seem to almost engulf small boys. And the smaller the boy it seemed to be the larger the bow.
These floppy boiws and other destinctive neckwear became associated with the dtress of younger boys. This continued into the 1920s when neckties and bow ties became increasingly standard for boys of all ages. Up unil that time it was very common to see younger boys with different types of neclkwear than their older brothers. This commonly was the large floppy bow, but there was also other types of bows.
Conventions have varied for neckwear over time. We do not yet have detailed information for the 18th century. Boys in the mid-19th century tended to wear the samne neckwear styles as their fathers, if somewhat less commonly. Younger boys on the late 19th century tend to wear large floppy bows. It was during this period that the convention for boys and men was most differentiated. The basic convention was for boys, especially younger boys to wear really large floppy bows. Thus you can see in many family portraits, the younger boys wearing the largest bows and collars. Not all mothers followed this convention, but it certainly was very common. We know that mothers must have made the decision about bows because boys would need help tieing them. Floppy bows were still worn in the 1900s. The convention of diffent neckwear began to decline after the turn-of-the 20th century. After World war I we see boys generally wearing the same neckwear styles as men, mostly wearing biwties and neckties. We see many younger boys wearing bowties in the mid-20th century, but bowties were fairly rare for men. Nrckwear declined in popularity for boys in in the 1970s.
We note American boys' wearing different types of neckwear with a variety of garments. The type of garments and neckwear has varied over time. Boys in the 20th century wore neckties and bowties with shirts. Boys in the 21st cebtury are less likely to dressup with neckwear, but neckties and bowties are still worn. They also wore string ties and cross ties, but not as commomnly. Boys in the late 19th and early 20th century wore floppy bows with blouses. This was the most striking shirt like-harment and neckwear worn by American boy. We also see boys wearing stocks and scarves during the mid-19th century with blouses, shirts, and shirt-waists, but it is often difficult to tell the type of short-like garment. We note boys weatings bows with collar-buttoning suit jackes. Sailor blouses were commonly worn with scarves. We also notice boys wearing bows and some other neck wear with dresses.
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.
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. And we see some stocks evolving into bows. 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 Auntleroy craze we see boys wearing enormous collars and floppy bows. Many were colored. Some 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 swclined after the turn of the 20th cebtury. We still see some, but boys neclwear becme nore standardized. We see necjties 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.
We see different types of neckwear worn with a variety of collars. One of the most notable combinations is floppy bows, some quite large, worn with ruffled collars.
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