Vintage Clothing Garments: Color

Figure 1.--Most velvet Little Lord Fauntleroy suits in old photographs look black. This is in part because this was the most common color, but also most of the colored suits were done in dark colors. Try for example to figure out the color this velvet sailor suit. We would say that the image shows it was no black, but determining the actual color shade is basically impossible. Click on the image for the answer.

An especially helpful aspect of archiving vintage clothing on HBC is a source of information on color. This is particularly important for HBC because we rely so heavily on period phjotographs which were until relatively recently were almost entirely black and white. We can make some color assessments from black and white images, but this is very limited and highly subjective. Thus the actual vintage clothing items provide this valuable information on color. Eventually we will index the vintage garments we have archived by color. Several colors were especially popular for boys clothes, including blue, brown, and white. Many other colors were used. Here age is a factor as brigter colors might be used for younger boys clothing. The garment is another factor. Brighter colors were more acceptable for shirts than pants. Also casual and play bclothing was often done in brighter colors than more formal clothing.


Black was a color worn by both boys and girls. Black was the most common color for velvet Fauntleroy suits.


Blue was a particularly popuilar color for boys, but it was also worn by girls as well. Blue was popular from an early point, but with the appearance of the sailor suit, became even more popular. Of course there were many shades of blue. Light blue seems to have been especially popular for younger boys.


Brown is a color that was commonly worn by boys, but much less popular with girls.


Burgundany was a color worn by boys and girls, often for winter garments. We note burgundy velvet. Fauntleroy suits. Here we see a bugundy velvet sailor suit (figure 1).


Green is not one of the colors most popular for boys. Unlike some other colors, however, there were no gender conventions. We do see boys with green garments. An example is an English Buster suit about 1940.


Grey is another important color for boys and one that was much less common for girls. Here there were country variations. Grey was particulasrly popular in England, in part because it was so commonly worn as part of school uniforms.




White was a very popular color for boys. We note this frfom an early point when majny of the dresses worn by boys were white. And we see boys wsearing white blouses with large collars. White short pants suits for younger boys were popular during the mid-20th century. Older boys also wore white. White shorts in particilar were very common and were the standard dress shirt. White pants were less common, but might be worn seasonally.



Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to ther Main vintage clothing page]
[Return to ther Main color page]
[Return to ther Main clothing technology page]
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries] [Topics]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]

Created: 2:46 AM 2/11/2006
Last updated: 8:14 PM 5/31/2011