United States Boys' Suits Chronology: The 1960s

Figure 1.--Here the children of a family atre all dressed up for church. The oldr boy wears a dounle-breated suit. The younger boys wears a short pants Eton suit. Blue was a popular color. Their sister wears a jacket over aess. The snapshot is undated, but we would guess was taken in the late-1960s.

Boys still commonly wore suits when dressing up in the 1960s, although some fornall formal occasiins were becoming informal. Suits were worn for occasions like theater, concerts, church, weddings, special family occasions, and other important events. Younger boys were commonly allowed to dress less formally, but they also had suits for special occassions. Except at private schools, boys no longer wore suits to school. Single-breasted jackets were standard. Double-breasted jackets wrre seem as old fadhioned, but made a minor comeback at the end of the decde into the 70s. We note narrow lapels for both suits and sports jsckets in the 60s, sandwiched between the 50s and 70s whenwhen wider lapels were fashionable. Preppy blazers became increasingly popular in the 1960s. A blue flannel blazerand grey slacks were a stanfdard to wear instead of a suit. Blazers and slacks with bow ties were acceptable for formal occasions, Boys still wore sports jackets to some extent. Most boys wore long pants suits. Here social class was a factor. A few mostly wealthy boys still wore short pants suits which were still available in sizes up to about 10 years old, but most boys by that age were wearing long pants suits. Short pants suits wre more acceptable for younger boys. Even young boys wearing short pants could be teased by other boys wearing long pants. Short pants suits could be acceptable in wealthu northeastern communities where boys attended private school, but were nt common among more average income groups. Increasingly these short pants suits were Eton suits. The Eton suit for little boys which first appeared in the 1920s was the standard dress wear for little boys. The Eton jacket worn by American boys was a short, collarless jacket, in various materials. It was usually worn with short pants. Black, navy and grey were popiular colors. It was no longer mostly worn by boys from affluent families, but rather a widely accepted style. The better made Eton suits generally had suspender shorts. The shorts worns with American Eton suits tended to be cut shorter than those for a regular short pants suit for an older boy. Short pants suits with lapel jackets were still avilable for boys in the younger primary years. The age range heregradually shited as the decade ptofressed. We note primary boys waring suits with bow ties. While still worn, suits were less commonly worn as casual styles made increasing inroads. A factor here was the growth of the suburbs which were becoming an increasing factor in family life. Suburban life led to greater informality.


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Created: 11:39 PM 10/31/2014
Last updated: 11:39 PM 10/31/2014