*** boys' skirted garments age trends

Boys' Skirted Garments: Age Trends

Figure 1.-- This cabinet card portrait is undated, but looks like the 1890s to us. The boys look to be about 2-8 years old. The inscription on the back reads, "John W. McAndrew + 2 brothers who died of diphtheria." Notice the youngest boy wears a dress and the middle boy wears a kilt suit, suggesting different ages conventions for dresses than kilt suits. It looks like at this family, boys were not brreched until about 6 years old when they began school. Notice how long the skirts are. The studio was Coumb in Bath, New York. Click on the image for an enlargement.

Generally speaking, ot was common for pre-school boys to wear skirted garments in the 19th century. Mother begsn to breech boys at about age 3 years, but many boys were breeched by age 5 years. This was eben more so by age 6 years when boys began school. This was important because most counties in Europe and North American began founding or expnding public school systems in the 19th century. We see older boys wrearing skirted garments, but it was much less common, except for smocks and klilts. Assessing age trends are complicated. The trends for skirted garments hve varied over time and from country to country. Most young childten wore dtesses in the 19th century. This did not begin to chnge until very late in the century. We note quite a number of younger boys being brrched at fairly young ages in the 1890s. We still note wquite a few younger boys wearing dresses in the early-20th century. This fadhion rapidly went out of style after World War I in the 2920s. And we notice variations from country to country. We know a great deal about the United States, in part because photography became so common there. Here the rapid industrialization of the country vastly increased the purchjasing of ordinary people. We know about many other countries. There were also different age ranges for various different kinds of skirted garments. We are develop age convention pages for each of the dofferent garments. Another factor tp be considered in social class. This is a more difficult factor to conider because lower income fmilies were less likely to splurge on a portrait. This was especially the case in Europe where family incomes were lower than in America, especially for working-class families. Social class is a factor because middle-class mothers had both the time and money to closely supervise their children, something that working-class mothers often did not have.


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Created: 6:50 AM 6/25/2012
Last updated: 6:50 AM 6/25/2012