*** United States suits components jackets suit styles collar-buttoning jackets accompanying clothing

U.S. Suit Jackets: Collar-buttoning Jacket Chronology--The 1890s

boys' collar buttoning jackets
Figure 1.--This cabinet portrait of two boys, probably btwin brothers, are dressed in collar-buttoning suits. The portrait is undated, but we believe it was taken about 1890 in Worcester, Massachusettes. The unidentified boys look to be about 8-9 years old. This was during the Fauntleroy craze, but their mother has only added relatively small floppy bows. Also notice the limited Norfolk vertical pleats, but without breast pockets. Mother has perfectly prepared the boys for their portrait. Notice the slicked down hair with a razor part. Notice the hight-top button shoes. In Europe we see varied footwear, including low-cuts and lace-ups. The photographic record shows Amerucan children and adults for some reason mostly wearing high-top button shoes.

Collar-buttoning jackets were popular outfits for school age boys. They were commonly worn by boys about 5-12 years of age based on the photographic record and period catalogs. We note boys suit styles done in sizes about 4-14 yers of age during this period. The photographic record suggests to us that lapel jacket suits were much more popular for teenagers. 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 craze. 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.


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Created: 8:50 PM 12/3/2014
Last updated: 10:23 PM 8/6/2017