Short Pants Suits: Suit Styles

Figure 2.--These Americans boys look to be brothers. The two yonger boys wear Eton jackets. The older boy wears a single-breasted jacket. They look to have been photographed in the 1940s. Ankle socks became increasingly popular in America during the late 1930s. Notice the peaked caps, commonly worn by affluent boys with suits.

We notice short pants suits done in many different coat/jacket styles. The name of the suit was generally derived from the style of the jcket. Short pants suits have been made in several different styles. These styles varied over time and from country to country. Commonly the same jacket style was made for boys of various ages. The younger boys common wore them with short pants and somewhat older boys with knickers or ong pants. This variedc, however, by country and chronological period. We notice American teenagers wearing varioys types of suits with knickers and in Europe we note teenagers wearing both short pants and knickers with suits as well as long pants.

Eton Suits

The classic Eton suit was made with long pants, but some younger English boys did wear them with short pants. We notice French boys wearing them for Wedding or First Communion outfits. A style for younger boys developed in the United States and were called Eton suits. They were almost always worn with short pants, commonly short cut suspender shorts.

Norfolk Suits

The original Norfolk suits were worn weith knickers, but by the 1920s boys were also wearing them with short pants. The Norfolk style declined in popularity in the 1950s as short pants began to be less commonly worn by older boys.

Double-breasted Suits

The double breasted suit appeared in the 19th century. They appear to have been more common in America than Europe. Boys began wearing them with short pants in the 1920s, but long pants were generally more common.

Rugby Suits

The rugby suit was worn by American boys in the 1940s-60s. It was generally a single breasted suit for American boys after they graduated from Eton suits. Like the Eton suit, the Rugby suit was generally worn with short pants, but with more mature styling. The shorts were longer and the jacket had lapels.

Marlowe Suits

The Marlowe suit was similar to a Rugby suit and marketed in better clothing stores for American boys from affluent families. Partly for that reason it was often madecas ashort pants suit.


The blazer is not precisly a suit jacket, because the trousers commonly did not match the blazer. It is, however, a clsely related style. It became very common in American tob wear a blazer, especially a navy blue blazer, with grey trousers.


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Created: 8:31 PM 8/19/2007
Last edited: 8:31 PM 8/19/2007