Belgian Mail Order Catalogs and Advertisements with Boys Clothings: Chronology


Figure 1.--This is the ETE Summer 1966 catalog page on suits. Note that fabric swatches for the material are included. There are different styles of jackets and both short and long pants for the boys. There are single-and double-breasted jackets and some done as blazers. Skirts are shown for the girls. The suit jackets and blazers for girls suggest school wear. Note the pleated skirts. Short pants suits for boys were declining in popularity in the 1960, but seem to have continued to be worn a little longer in conservative Belgium than in many other countries.

Belgian mail order catalogs and newspaper advertisements offer a very useful time line on changing fashion trends. I am not sure precisely when mail order catalogs first appeared in Belgium. We have only limited information on Belgian clothing catalogs and advertisements as well as fashion magazines at this time. Belgian is a complicated country to assess. Sirely Dutch publications must have been read in Flemish (Dutch speaking) areas and French publications in Waloon (French speaking) arreas. German publications also probably were distributed in Flanders. We know there were many similarities with French fashions. Dutch and even German fashions may also have influenced Belgium. One of the subjects we want to consider is to what extent English and French fashions affected the two different language communities. It is unclear how easy it was to order clothes listed in foreign catalogs. HBC has begun collect mail order pages. Advertisements appeared in the newspapers before the first mail order catalogs appeared.

The 1870s


The 1880s


The 1890s


The 1900s

We have very little Bekgian infomation on the 1900s decade. We do have one item. A fashion catalog was published by a tailor in Belgium for the Winter 1900-01 season. The tailor was Dme des Hailes, Charleroi. The catalog included clothes for women, men and children's clothes. There were 20 pages. The page on boys' clothes emphasized sailor suits.

The 1910s

The 1910s were dominated by World War I (1914-18). The Germans invaded and occupied neutral Belgium in the first month of the War. Almost all of the country was occupied until the last months of the war. Conditions in occupied Belgium were very difficult. Food shortages were the most publicized, but there were also shortages of consumer goods like clothing. Belgian textiles mills would have found it virtually impossible to obtain cotton. We have no catalog and advertising information at this time.

The 1920s


The 1930s


The 1940s

The Germans early in World War II again invaded Belgium (1940). Again there wre shortages of everything. Even after the Allies liberated Belgium (1944), economic cinditions were very difficult. We do do not yet have catalog and advertising informtion.

The 1950s

The Belgian magazine Vrouw en Huis ("Woman and Home"). We have some issues from the early 1950s. It was a weekly magazine and as it was in Dutch for Flemish readers, was also sold in the Netherlands. I'm not sure how popular it was among French readers. The magazine in the early 1950s showed paterns for short pants satin outfits for little boys' best outfits worn with short coats during the winter. Knitting patterns for sweaters were popular. Short pants outfits for boys were very common.

The 1960s

We have some limited information on Belgium from the 1960s, but only from one catalog at this time, the ETE Syummer 1966 catalog. It is sone in both Flemish and French and has several pages on childrens clothing. This is a well estanblished mass-marrket retailer and thus provides us a good insight on popular fashions during 1966. We have archived several pages of the catalog, including pages on frocks, creepers and rompers, suits, and swimwear. Unfortunately as the printing is done in relatively faint colors, it is very difficult to read. We do not see the French style barboteuses any more, but outfits with romper pants were available for younger boys. There are different styles of jackets and both short and long pants for the boys (figure 1). There are single-and souble breasted jackets and some done as blazers Short pants suits for boys were declining in popularity in the 1960, but seem to have continued to be worn a little longer in conservative Belgium than in many other countries. Skirts are shown for the girls. The suit jackets and blazers for girls suggest school wear. Note the pleated skirts.

The 1970s


The 1980s


The 1990s


The 2000s






HBC






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Created: January 3, 2002
Last updated: January 3, 2002