*** boys' skirted garments chronology

Boys' Skirted Garments: Chronology

boys skirted garments
Figure 1.--Here we see a tin-type portrait, the children of an unidentified American family. Thevchildren look to be about 3-9 years old. They are not identified, but are probanly two girls and a younger boy. The girls look a bit like boys, but their ages wearing dresses and thrir center part hair style suggest that they are girls. The fashions look like the 1870s. The boy as was becoming increasingly common is wearing a kilt suit rather than a dress.

Younger boys for several centuries wore dresses until being breeched. It should be stressed that both men wore dress-like robes in the medieval era. This did not begin to change until the high middle ages and the transition to modernity (15th century). And at the time there were no dedicated styles for children. Children wore sized downed versions of their parents clothing. We do not begin to see recognizable version of men's trousers/pants until a century later (late-17th century). This mean knee breeches at the time. The only skirted garments we note at first are dresses with the exception of the Scottish kilt. It is at this time that the convention of younger boys being dressed differently than older boys. Younger boys continued to wear dresses like their sisters. Breeching became a write of passage when younger boys began wearing trousers like their older brothers. The term breeching comes from the style of trousers at the time--knee breeches. Our information is largely based on the affluent classes as these are the people most likely to have portraits painted and leave written records. This limits the number of available images which did not chage until the invention of photography (1839). The types of skirted garments became more varied in the 19th century. We note boys in the 19th and even in the early 20th century wearing a range of skirted garments. Our information on the early 19th century is limited, but the development of photography means that beginning in the mid-19th century we have a great deal of information. And we can shift in the skirted garments, especially in America. At the turn of thec19th century, younger boys wire dresses. This convention gradually declined during the 19tcentury and was much less prevalent by the turn of the 20th century. In America the kilt suit became more popular than dresses for boys. Skirted garments survived for boys because of the popularity of the tunic suit (1900-20). After this the convention of boys wearing skirted garments went out of style. Interestingly while dressing boys like girls became an anathema, girls began commonly wearing boys'clothes, especiaslly pnts. This of course was the offehce that Joan of Arc burned atr the stake (15th century).


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Created: 7:33 PM 4/13/2023
Last updated: 7:33 PM 4/13/2023