Double Breasted Kilts for Boys

Figure 1.--This double breasted kilt outfit appeared in an the January 1879 American fashion magazine, "Peterson's Magazine". Notice the open collared lace collar.

The double breasted style, like many styles for men and boys, originated from militry uniforms. It was common in the 19th Century for soldiers to have extensive rows of buttons on their uniforms. The effect was purely ornamental. The style was at mid-century carried over onto boys jackets with destinctive military styling. Eventually the militarybtyling was lost, but rows of ornamental buttons continued on many different garments.

Double breasted styling was used with some kilts. The double- breasted style was more common in dresses and suits, but the fashion was also used for kilt suits. I do not yet have any historical information. I am collecting available images which hopefully will provide some insights on the development of this important style.

The double breasted styling on kilt suits seems to have been most common in the 1880s and declined in popularity during the 1890s.

The styling and materials used for double breasted kilt suits appears tomhave been much the same as for kilt suits in general.

Figure 2.--This boy looks to be about 8 or 9 years old. His kiltsuit has double breasted styling on both the jacket and kiltskirt.

The double breasted styling appearsvto have been most common on boys' clothing, a confirmation of its miltary images. Thus double breasted kilts and dress styling can be used as an indicator of gender when long hair and curls makes it difficult to identify a child.

Some kilt outfits came with double breasted jackets. However, this style does no appear to have been common. I have seen double-breasted kilts as early as the 1870s, but they may have appeared earlier. Some kiltsuits only had the double breasted styling on the jacket. In some cases the designer was so taken with double breasted styling that the buttons were continued from the jacket down to the kilt skirt.


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Created: January 20, 1999
Last updated: January 14, 2007