Store Windows Showcasing Boys' Clothing

Figure 1.--The Macey's window in 1999 depicted scenes from the movie, "Miracle On 34th Street". There is a court scene in the movie where, among other people, a little boy testifies about his beliefs in Santa Claus.

Store windows at one time were a marvelous advertisment for contemporary fashions. These windows would showcase primarily contemporary fashions, but historical fashions often were sometimes displayed. I'm not sure when and wear these window displays became so popular. The historical fashions were particularly popular at Christmas. I remember in particular during my boyhood in the 1940s, the wonderful Chrisdtmas windows with displays of clothing and toys. Some of the images also show children looking at the windows providing additioinal fashion information.


Some American department stores were known for their window displays. This was especially true of their window displays. These window displays were popular when the department stores were located down town and were useful in attracting shoppers that were on foot. With the move to the suburbs and the development of shopping malls these displays are no longer as popular or as spectacular as they once were. I can remember as a boy noteing the boys' fashions in store windows. It seemed to me at the time (late 1940s asnd early 50s) that the more upsacle stores would often show case short pants suits. Eton sduits for the younger boys and single breasted grey or black suits for the older boys. Other department stores were more likely to have long pants suits or casual clothes. Some stores were particularly well known for their Christmas displays which would include animated maniquins, elaborate model trains, and many other wonderful toys. These displays would often recreate Christmas past and the historical clothing worn during those historical eras.


I know less about English store windows, but believe that the general pattern was similar to America. One particularly English phenomenon was the store windows of the local school outfitters. These would show case the many brightly colored caps, blazers, ties, and scarves selected by the local schools--usually private schools for their destinctive uniforms. Today in England the colors are much more muted and there is much less diversity. A few schools, however, still have bright colored uniforms.


French store windows also show a wide range of children's clothing. Unlike England, there were no outfitters with many colorful school uniforms. French store windows, however, often show cased fashionable childrens wear. We note a Paris store window on avenue des Gobelins photographed in 1925. It featured blazers and sailor suits with longish short pants and many other styles. It is a good documentation of the fashions in the mid-1920s. These clothes are children's fashion for the summer of 1925--canvas hats and sailor suits.




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Created: January 7, 2000
Last updated: June 9, 2004