*** United States boys clothes: suits components jackets suit styles collar-buttoning jackets chronology

U.S. Suit Jackets: Collar-buttoning Jackets--Chronology

Figure 1.--Here we see an American boy in an early CDV wearing a collar-buttoning suit. The portrait is undated, but looks like the 1860s to us. He was from Philadelphia. The portrait number at the H.C. Vansyckel was 4619. Notice the military styling (buttons) and peaked cap. These CDVs cost six prints for a dollar. This meant that a CDV cost only a fraction of what a Daguerreotype cost. While this is a coolar buttoning jacket, we would now as HBC has evolved put itg in the cut-away jacket category.

We see American boys wearing collar-buttoning jackets in the mid-19th century through the very early 20th century. They were done in many different styles which varied over time. We are not entirely sure about the chronology of these suits. We are not yet sure about the 1830s as we have so few images. This of course change with the invention of photography. Beginning with the 1840s we have an increasing large number of photographs. They seem to have been very common in the 1840s and 50s, especially the military styles. We see them extensively in the Daguerreotypes during this period. And we see huge numbers in the 1860s because of the explosion of images as a result of the popularity of the CDV format. We see many collar-buttoning suits in the 1860s. A good example is V.A. Blasque about 1870. The styles of suits change, but they continue to be popular durng the rest of the 19th century. We see them after the turn-of-the century, but they sessntially went out of style in the 1900s. We see very few in the 1910s.

The 1830s

We do not yet know about collar-buttoning jackets in the 1830s. We are not entirely sure about the chronology of these suits. We are not yet sure about the 1830s as we have so few images.

The 1840s

We have very few imges from the the early-19th century to help with our fashion assessmnets. This of course changes with the invention of photography (1839). Suddenly wee have images, quite number of images. Not so many as we will have later in the century, but for the first time substantial nunbers of images and extrodinarily detailed images to rcord fashions. We see boys wearing colla-buttoning jackets. The jackets are often not very well tailored, but we see quite number of them. Many boys did not have jackets and were photograph just wearing blouses. But as far as we can tell, collar buttoning jackets became popular in the 1840s. While these jackets seem to have been very common in the 1840s, we can not yet be certain because we can not yet definitively date Dags. Thus ee can not yet be positive. We see American boys wearing collar-buttoning jackets in the mid-19th century. The problem here is that we can not yet destinguish 1840s Daguerreotypes from those taken in the 1850s. And unfortunaely few dags are dated. We welcome reader insights on dating these imges. We think jackets that are not well twilored were more likekly to be 1840s portraits. A factor here is that ready-made clothing was not yet common and American was just begining its phemonenal rise. Many families still did not have a lot of money to send on clothes. Another indicator is that we see better tailored garments in the Ambros that appeared in the 1850s, suggesting that tailoring is a factor to be considered.

The 1850s

We definitely begin to see many collar-buttoning jackets in the 1850s. It seems to be an important style for boys, although this is complicated by the lack of certainty in dating images. But we definitely see school-age boys wearing these collar buttoning jackets during the 1850s. We note one portrait which the dealer dates to 1856. This is appeant in the 1850s portraits we have collected. These jackets were done in many different styles which varied over time, but not hugely. The military styles were particularly popular in the 50s. We see them extensively not only in the Daguerreotypes during this period, but also the Ambrotypes wich can be more definitively dated. We also see tintypes, but these are virtually impossible to date because they continued to be made for decades. So we have to look for possible indicators in the portrait for decade clues. Neckwear and coollars are an important cues. rousers are also imprtant. We continue ro see boys and men raing psb=nts that do not mtch the jacket, espcially in the early-1950s, but by he late-50s we see more boys with suits that had marching jackets and pants. The fact that Dag and Ambro portraits are primarily seated torso shots, which often only show the jacket.

The 1860s

We see huge numbers of boys wearing suits in the 1860s because of the explosion of images resulting from the popularity of the new CDV format. In addition the the expanding prosperity in America because of the Industrial Revolution mean that more families could afford to dress well than earlier in the century. We note many many collar-buttoning suits in the 1860s. We continue to the militart-styled blue jackets that were so popular in the 1840s-50s, but they decline in popularity, especially after the Civil War (1861-65). More common were the cut-away jackets worn by younger boys. And we see collar-buttoning jackets without the milkitary styling that dominated the earlier period.

The 1870s

We continue to see the collar-buttoning jackets in the 1870s. A good example is V.A. Blasque about 1870. The styles of suits change, but they continue to be popular durng the rest of the 19th century. We note the Lembecke boys in 1871. The younger boy who looks sbout 8-years old wears a collar buttoning suit. The older boys wear lapel suits.

The 1880s

We continue seeing boys wearing collar-buttoning jacket suits in the 1880s. Largevnumbersc of youngervboys wore them invarious styles. A good example is Jesse Bell in 1884. The jacket had a collar and you could not see a shirt underneath. The 1880s of course was the beginnijng of the Fautleroy Craze (1885-1905). The collar buttoning jacket unlike the cut-away jacket was not suited for the Fauntleroy look. The jacket would cover up the elaborate frilly Faunleroy blouse. The collar could be worn outside the jacket, but the collare is only one part of the elaborate styling of these blouses. The Fauntleroy Craze was such a powerful fashion movement that this is just what some mothers did. This is, however, what some mothers did. Other options were pin-pn collars and large floppy bows. While the Faunleroy ;ook was extremely popular, not all mothers adopted the style for their sons. We see collar-buttoning jackets with out the large, frilly collars. Some boys did not even hve the popular floppy bows, but the jackets without neckwear as not very common.

The 1890s

Collar-buttoning jackets were popular outfits for school age boys. They were commonly worn by boys about 6-12 years of age based on the photographic record and period catalogs. Collar-buttoning jackets were especially popular in the 1890s. The styling was very plained with only minor differences. They had collars which varied slightly. Pockets wre often flap style, but th placement and number could veary. We note the same conventions as in the late-1880s throughout the decde. This was the most popular decade for these suits since the 1850s based upon our assessment of the photographic record. We also see large numbers of these collar-buttoning suits offered in the increasingly popular mail order catalogs. Collar buttoning jackets were not the only style, but they were very common. And like cut-away jackets they were a style for boys, not commonly worn by adult men. And the styles were, however, different. You no longer see the military-style jacket that were popular in the 50s. We commonly see the jackets throughout the decade. As in the late-1880s, mothers took different approaches to them. Mothers because of the immense popularity of the Fauntleroy look. Some mothers were determined to add Fauntleroy elements to these suits despite the fact that these closed-front jackets were not designed for it. Thus we see some boys eating these jackets withmlarge Fauntleroy collars. This included both Fauntleroy blouses and pin-on collars. While popular, not all mothers joined in with the Fauntleroy craze. Thus we see some of these suits worn with a very plain look, without any fancy Fauntleroy items. Often mothers, however, who eschewed the fancy Fauntleroy look, at least added a floppy bows. Sometines, but not always these mothers chose smaller bows than often worn with Fauntleroy outfits. A good example is 10-year old Percy Jackman in 1899.

The 1900s

We see collar-buttoning jackets after the turn-of-the century, but they essentially went out of style in the 1900s.

The 1910s

We see very few collar-buttoning jackets in the 1n the 1910s.


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Created: 1:23 AM 2/5/2009
Last updated: 11:42 PM 9/5/2022