*** American mail order catalogs with boys clothes--1927

American Mail Order Catalogs with Boys Clothings: 1927

children's clothing 1927
Figure 1.--'Parents Magazine' in he 1920s had a regular department for patterns of children's clothes. Various types of clothing were illustrated in drawings, and the reader could order the appropriate pattern by number by writing to the magazine editor. The magazine offered this reefer coat and Eton suit in 1927. Notice this Eton jacket buttons at the collar. Long stockings were still very common, but here is an early example of the brightly patterned knee socks that were common in the 1930s. Not the younger boy ears a peaked cap with the Eton suit and the older boy wears a flat cap.

American mail order catalogs offer a very useful time line on changing fashion trends. Flat caps were the most common headwear. e have only limited infmation on Todler outfit at this time, but have begun to collect information. The toidler years are geerally seen from the end of infancy (about 1 year) to the pre-school years )age4-5 years. Thus the todler year are about ages 1-3 years. We see various styles of suits. Knickers were still very commonly worn. Long pants were becoming increasingly common. Younger boys still wore short pants, especially in the summer. We note patterns for coats and suits offered by Paren's Magazine. Long stockings still being widely sold. Adds for long stockings show the new longer length needed for shorter clothing. Also the new lighter colored browns and tans are prevalent. Cotton has replaced wool as the most common materrial. Kneesocks were increasing in popularity. Underwear might be underwaists or waist suits. Several companies specialized in boys clothing, such as Kaynee.

Toddler Clothes

We have only limited infmation on Todler outfit at this time, but have begun to collect information. The toidler years are geerally seen from the end of infancy (about 1 year) to the pre-school years )age4-5 years. Thus the todler year are about ages 1-3 years. We note a Lane Bryant catalog with outfits for todlers. We note rompers which Lane Bryant calls creepers. They were rather long rompers done to knee length. They were done in sizes 6 months - 2 years. We also notice outits that are beginnig to look like shortalls. An outfit describd as an overall play suit, but looking like shortalls was done in sizes 1-3 years. Other outfits like short sets, Fauntleroy suits, and sailor suits were done in todler sizes, but also in larger sizes to about 8 years of age.


American boys were increasingly wearing shirts, but blouses were still available. Both blouses and shirts were offered by Kaynee. The one pictured for the youngr boy has a sports collar and we believe is a shorts sett, meaning a button-on style. The self-belt webelieve is largely ornamntal, covering up the waist buttons on the shirt.



we have begun to collect inormation on different styles of suit, including youngr bos styles like Funtleroy suits, sailor suits, and Eton suits We also have some infomationon Norfolk suits. We have found information in the Lane Bryant catalog and patterns offered by Parents Magazine.

Lane Bryant Fauntleroy suits

Little Lord Fauntleroy suits had not entirely duisappeared in the 1920s althogh we can see from the photographic record that they were not very commom. We mostly see them being worn for very formal events like weddings. Although we still see them in catalog we see very few in our extensive American archive. Lane Bryant offered two Fauntleroy out fts. One was a shorttalls-like set described as suspnder pants for todlers and pre-school boys. The other was an actual Fauntleroy suit with a cut-away jacket, described as an Eton jacket, for somewhat older boys up to age 8 years. The jacket and pants are very similar to the suits won during the Funtleroy craze of the 1880-90s, except they include short pants rther than knee pnts. The same-style white silk-satin blouse was worn with both, a plainer version of the Fauntleroy blouse. The material was velveteen, a cheaper version of velvet. The pants and suit were vailable in black or navy blue.

Lane Bryant sailor suit

Parents Eton suit

Parent's Magazine pffered a pattern for a boy's single-breasted two-piece suit; side-closing short trousers. Designed for ages 4, 6, 8, and 10 years. Notice the matching peaked cap and the interestingly patterned knee socks--also the shoes with rather extravagant bow laces.

Parents Norfolk reefer coat

Parent's Magazine offered a pattern for a boy's double-breasted Reefer Coat; convertible collar. Designed for ages 8, 10, 12, and 14 years. Notice the Norfolk styling and the neat collar and tie worn underneath. The boy wears a cap with a bill, above-the-knee knickers, patterned knee socks with cuffs, and oxford shoes."


We notice a lot of ooutfirs for boys besides suits after World War I in the 1920s. There was tendency to sell shirts and pants as a kind of set. This included short-like tops which matched the pants as well as tops that were coordinated with the pants. These outfits were commonly called sets. They were usually done for boys about 3-8 years old. Sometimes it was just the color, but we also notice the same material being used. Mixed in with these outfits were sailor suits, both traditional and non-traditional styles. The pants with these sets varied, but were often short pants. Some had self-belts. Long pants might be used for the sailor suits. A good example are thev younger boy outfits offered in the Wards winter 1927-29 catalog. Even for the winter catalog, Wards offered short pants for the boys, but they are shown wearing the shorts with long stockings for warmth.


Boys wore both short pants and knickers in 1927. Knickers were very common. Short pants were generally seen as more suitable for youunger boys. This can be seen in a Kaynee adertisement. Although not obvioys because the shorts have a self-belt, the sport-collar shirt akmost certaiinly was a button on-set with the pnts. Catalog and retailr Lane Byant offered a shorts set in sizes 3-8 years. They didn't use the term, but this was a major fashion for American boys and began with the 1920s. A factor here is that they were were button-on outfits. Here the shirts and pants had to be purchased together to be sure the buttoins on the shirts matched up with the button-holes in the pants.


Sleepwear for centuries was nighthirts. Men, women, and children wore them. Pajamas appeared in he late-19th century (1880s). At first only mem wore them. They were considered to be a mannish garment. By the 1920s they were fairly stsndard for men and boys, but some older men older men wore then. Women and girls were also beginning to wear pajamas. But night shirts called nightrobes or similar names were also worn. The nightrobes were more common for eomn, but many girls had begun wearing pajmas. We have a page on nightwear from the 1927 Franklin Simon store catalog.


Major changes were underwear as regards hosiery in the United States. Knee socks were growing in popularity, and we begin to see brightly colored patterned knee socks. Previously boys wore darl long stockings, often black. Long stockings were still very commonly worn in 1927. Boys wearing knickers wore both knee socks and long stockings, but . Knee socks were becoming increasing popular with children, especially the older boys. Ankle socks were beginning to be worn, but not commonly with knickers. Younger boys wearing short pants might still wear long stockings during the cooler month. We no longer, however, see three-quater socks to any extent, but abkle socks were not yet common.

Sears long Stockings

The 1927 Sears catalog offered long stockings for both boys and girls. This style was marketed for both boys and girls in sizes up to 9 1/2 years. They were still available in the dark brown and black which were the most common colors in the 1910s and early 20s. The new lighter tan color had appeared. White was available, but was not very popular with boys. Cotton had become the principal material. The add stressedcthat they were trim and neat with elastic ribbed legs.


Underwear in 1927 for the most part still seems rather old fashioned. We see the styles that were common in the 1910s. Modern less cumbersome styles were just beginning to appear in the late 1920s. Many styles of underwear included support features for both pants and long stockings. Long stockings weee still very common. An important manufacturer was Nazareth. We see shorter leg styles appearing to accmodate the short pants and shorter skirts that yonger children were wearing.


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Created: April 29, 2000
Last updated: 11:28 PM 1/19/2019