Buster Brown Suits: Popularity

Figure 1.-- Mother was clearly after the Buster Brown look with the Dutch Boy bangs. Even a dog is added to the portrait. The boy's name is Arthur, but his last name is difficult to make out. (Click on the image if you want to have a crack at decipering the script.) While mother has attempted to recreate Buster Brown, dome features are lacing, including the large white collar, large floppy bow, white stockings or socks, and strap shoes. And this suit was pribably blue rather than red. The four triangle-up AZO stamp box dates this portrait to 1907-1918 time period.

We are not sure just how popular Buster Brown suits were. They are certainly one of the most recognizable styles of turn of the century America. This may, however, been more the result of the popular comic strip than the actual popularity of the outfit. Surprisingly HBC has been unable to find many photographic images of boys in Buster Brown suits, meaning outfits like Buster in the comic strip, in the photographic record. There are many images of boys in in tunic suits, especially sailor styled tunic suits. Images of boys in the complete Buster Brown outfit with Dutch Boy bangs, however, are relatively rare. Of course prevalence of images is an imperfect measure of contemprary fashiom, but it is certainly an indicator. And by the early-20th century we have not only portraits, but family snapshots as well, meaning that we have both formal and casual platwear depicted. Interetingly, there are many drawings of Buster Brown suits, but relatively few actual photographic images of boys in Buster Brown outfits are even outfits with many bof the Buster Briwn features. In particular, we often note the white socks and stockings are missing and the tunic suits is not red.


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Created: 6:46 PM 6/27/2010
Last updated: 6:46 PM 6/27/2010