Collar Bows on Boys' Kilt Suits

Figure 1.--American boys commonly wore floppy bows with kilt suits. This boy wears a kilt suit with a matching vest, but a relativly small bow.

Kilt suits became increasingly popular in the 1870s and were widely worn by boys through the turn of the century. Kit suits were a compromise for the doting mother between dresses and pants. Mothers who thought their sons too young for trousers, could dress him in kilt suits foe a few tears before breeching him. Unlike true Scottish kilts, kilt suits were commonly worn with bows. The bows, however, were often not nearly as large as those worn with Fauntleroy suits. This is especially true of the kiltsuits worn in the 1870s before the Fauntleroy craze of the 1880s. Larger bows were worn with the kilt suits worn in the 1880s and 1890s. There are many examples archived on HBC. A good example is Bert Dodge, A Massachusetts boy in the 1880s.


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Created: May 3, 1999
Last updated: April 20, 2007