American mail order catalogs offer a very useful time line on changing fashion trends. Major changes took place in American boys' clothing following World War I in the 1920s. Some of the older styles were still worn in 1920. Younger boys still commonly wore sailor suits and there were many different styles. Boys still commonly wore suits. We begin to see some of the newer styles as well. One popular new style was the sport shirt or blouse. We note a Buternick pattern. Kneepants were much less common as younger boys were beginning to wear short pants. The shorts often still had the for older boys. We note younger boys still wearing kneepants with the three buttons trim. Older boys were more commonly wearing knickers rather than kneepants. We note some boys wearing kneesocks. We note different styles of Nazareth children's underwear in the early 1920s. We have found a catalog from the Harris Suspender Company for Kazoo waists. While the catalog is undated, we believe that it was published in 1920-21.
Most illustrations in clothing catalogs and magazines show American boys wearing flat caps and to a lesser extent beanies. A good example is a Right-Posture ad in the Saturday Evening Post (March 1920) with the boys wearing flat caps with suits. In the 1910s we see boys wearin hats and caps. In the 20s caps became more standard. Another Right Posture ad (October 1920) shows a boy wearuibn a fkat cap with casual clothes.
A variety of toddler styles were made in sizes from 2 to 5 years for todlers, although the term was not yet in use. The age range was somewhat flexible. Some of the garments were made to sizes for 8-year olds.
These included styles from smocks to sailor suits. Tunic suits were going out of style.
Sailor suits were still worn by American boys. Often they were available in sizes from about 3 to 8 years of age. Sailor suits were made in many different styles. Kneepants suits were the most common.
One popular new style was the sport shirt or blouse. We note a Buternick pattern.
Sweaters were another popular boys' clothing item. We note sleveless sweaters in a Right Posture ad.
Boys still commonly wore suits, even to school. The suit at the beginning of the decade was still the standard garmnt for school-age boys. Norfolk styling was still popular. We see many boys wearing Norfolk suits, especially to school. We don't see short pants suits yet to any extent. Most boys wore knicker suits, usually with black long tockings. Kneepants suits were also available, mostly for younger boys. Older teenagers might wear long pants suits. We note suits made in heavy and light weight material for seasonal wear. The Wearpledge Palm Beach suits here were for summerwear. We also notice a Right-Posture Nofolk suit in a Saturday Evening Post advertisement. There were other styles such as standard single- and double-breasted suits. Most boys except oldr teenagers wore knicker suits. Some examples are shown in a Right-Posture ad. We note Crompton coruroy suits with an ad showing knickers suits. Hard-wearing corduroy was a popular material for boys' suits. It was almost exclusivly a mateial used for boys' clothing.
Knee pants were much less common than in the 1910s, but they were still worn by younger boys. Knickers were standard for American boys at the time. As in the 1910s, most boys wire knickers. We see them offered with suits as well as stand along pants. They are a main stay in both catalogs and advertisements. The Schemenburg Right-Posture ads in major magazines like the Saturday Evening Post are a good illustration of the popularity of knickers. Other younger boys were beginning to wear short pants. We note younger boys still wearing knee pants with the three buttons trim. Older boys were more commonly wore knickers rather than knee pants. Older teenagers usually wore long pants, but this varied from family to family.
Long stockings were still quite common although three-quater socks and kneesocks are now being worn, especially in the summer. Waists suits were the standard underwear for children in 1920 as long stockings were still common. Styles varies somewhat. Sleeves and leg length varied seasonally. Most boys wore short pants, kneepants, and knickers so except for boys living in the most northern states with severe winters, long leg waists suits were not common. Many magazines ad catalogsshow children wearing long stockings. Black long stockings were especially common. A good example is a Right-Posture ad.
Long stockings were still extensively worn in the 1920s and, as aresult, many children wore stocking supporters to hold them up. We have found a catalog from the Harris Suspender Company for Kazoo waists. While the catalog is undated, we believe that it was published in 1920-21. We note a 1920 magazine advertisement for EZ waist union suits. It is valuable because it provides an illustrative domestic scene showing how children might dress in the morning. A similar EZ waist union suits add was also published in 1920.
High-top leather lace-up shoes were standard in 1920 for boys and girls still wore them as well in 1920. We no longer see We begin to see more low-cut oxfords as the decade progresses, but we still mostly see boys wearing high-top shoes in 1920. There were some other choices. We see sneakers which were also high tops. And we also see strap shoes and sandals, but they do not seem very popular with older boys. We suspect because they began to be seen as a girl's style. Some boys in affluent families wore patent pumps when dressing up for formal ooccassions. We note the various stles of footwear illustrated in a Right-Posture advertisement. They were promoting the suits, but the very detailed illustratiin shows off popular footwear styles at the time.
Nazareth was a very important company in the early 20th cebtury. We note different styles of Nazareth children's underwear in the early 1920s.
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