United States Boys' Clothes: Skirt Construction

boys skirts
Figure 1.--This cabinet card portrait shows an unidentified American boy who looks to be about 5-years old. He is wearing a shirt and floppy bow with a skirt. We suspect that mother called it a kilt, but it is neiter plaud or pleated. We are nit sure if there is a front plannel. We can tell by the tucked in shirt that the skirt was not made with a bodice. The card is not dated, but looks like the 1880s to us. The studio was Davis Garber, Broadway, New York. The numbers 1836/6461 are written on the back. A reader writes, "It looks very like a kilt to me. There appear to be pleats at the back, where they are rucked up. There appears to be a partial cross-over panel folding from the boy's left to the right. The fastening at the waist is curious as it is in the centre of the waistband and not on the boy's right side as a modern kilt folds. I guess you would call it a 'little bit of this and that'!."

Both kilts and skirts for boys as well as girls might be done with bodices. We are not sure how common this was, but believe bodice garments for younger children were very common. This affected what kind of blouse was worn which might be an indicator as to whether or not the child is wearing a bodice. Unfortunately it is very difficult to tell from the photographic record. This depends on the type of shirt garment worn. If you have a shirt that ws tucked into the waistband of the skirt, then you know that there was no bodice. If the boy was wearing a blouse, then there is not way of telling if the skirt had a bodice. Bloucing ment that the shirt garment was nit tucked in and thus the skirt could well hsve a bodice. It does not mean that it definitely did, but that it could. What we do not know is how commonly the shorts worn with blouces had bodices to hold them up. We suspect that it was very common, but we have only limnited evidence at this time.


Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to the Main U.S. skirt page]
[Return to the Main U.S. kilt page]
[Return to the Main U.S. skirted garment page]
[Return to the Main U.S. country garment page]
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossary] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]

Created: 5:28 AM 5/18/2011
Last updated: 9:48 PM 5/18/2011