pinafore garments

Garments Worn with Pinafores

Figure 1.--This little English boy had his portrait taken in a Birmingham portrait studio, probably in the 1890s. He looks to be about 3 years old and looks to be wearing a plain dress with his pinafore. I'm not sure about the color. Note the pattern in the pinafore.

We have noted pinafores being worn with a wide range of different garments. The conventions for wearing pinafores are not precisely clear to me. My preliminary assessment here is based primarily on an examination of available images. I would thus be very interested in the observations of HBC visitors to confirm. add to, or expand the following assessment:


Boys still wearing dresses were the most likely to wear pinafores. I think this was most likely around the house and not for events like church or parties. I'm unsure about park outings. The little English boy here is wearing a dress with a pinafore and his mother has taken him o a photographic studio dressed like this (figure ). We believe that some mothers might have taken the pinafore off for the photograph.


Boys wearing smocks were seem unikely to wear pinafores as both were protective garments. Both garments this would be primarily home wear, but might include outings to local parks. Some boys may have worn both, but we do not yet have photographic confirmation of this.


I believe that a boy wearing rompers would probably not wear a pinny because rompers became popular after the fashion for dressing boys in pinafores had passed.


I am not sure about boys in tunics wearing pinafores. Some images suggest that this mat have occurred in the early 19th Century.


I do not have any edidence of kilted boys wearing pinafores, but this bears more investigation.

Party Suits

I do not believe that boys in Little Lord Fauntleroy suits or other fancy party suits wore pinafores. This is primarily because these were formal suits to be worn at special events outside the home where pinnies were not normally worn.

Other Suits

I do not believe that boys one breeched and beyond the kilt and Fauntleroy era wore pinafores. I have no evidence of pinafores worn with sailor suits or other more boyish styles such as Eton and Norfolk suits.


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Created: March 8, 2004
Last updated: March 8, 2004