Fauntleroy Suits: Reorganization

Figure 1.--T.

A HBC contributor provided this comment: "I wonder if all young boys' velvet and lace suits should be lumped together under the portmanteau term "Little Lord Fauntleroy suit". Perhaps there should be a generic term 'Boys' velvet and lace suits' with a sub-division 'Van Dyck suits' and a further sub-division under the latter sub-division of "Little Lord Fauntleroy suits"--i.e. those directly inspired by the book illustrations."

Van Dyck Costume: 17th Century

The progenitor fashion was the original "Van Dyck dress" of the 17th century as shown in Van Dyck and other 17th century paintings. the outfits were often lace with extnsive lace and ruffled trim.

Van Dyck Costume: 18th Century

Van Dyck dress of the 18th century: again silk and lace, worn by boys for formal portraits such as Gainsborough's "The Blue Boy".

Simple Velvet Suit

Boys began wearing simpler velvet suits in the mid-19th century. They usually had realtively small collars, some with lace trim.

Little Lord Fauntleroy Suits

The first true Little Lord Fauntleroy suits, as inspired by Mrs. Burnett's book first appearred in 1885-86. They were a continuation of the mid-19th century style (ie velvet rather than silk or satin, but also influenced by Van Dyck dress--hence silk cummerbunds, cavalier hats, more elaborate pointed lace collars and cuffs, knee-pants with silk breeches, and silver buckle shoes.

Fauntleroy Zenith

The zenith of the Little Lord Fauntleroy suit fashion was reached in the 1890s abd early 1900s.

Fauntleroy Decline

The inevitable decline bgan in the 1900s. A devestaing world war took place in 1914-18. Fashions were changing, thrones were toppling, dress in general was becoming increasingly less formal. By the 1920s boys, even royal princes, refuse point blank to wear such elaborate costumes which they increasingly saw as sissy.

Fauntleroy Influence

The last spluttering gasp of the Van Dyck style can still be seen in page boys at weddings.

Christopher Wagner

Fauntleroy Related Pages:
[Return to the Main Fauntleroy page]
[Fauntleroy dresses] [Fauntleroy blouses] [Fauntleroy movies] [Lace collars] [Collar bows] [Vivian Benett]
[Fauntleroy patterns] [Literary characters: Cedric Erol]

Other Related Pages:
[Dresses] [Kilts] [Smocks] [Pinafores] [Velvet] [Sailor Hats] [Blouses]
[Ring Bearers] [Long hair] [Ringlet curls] [Bangs] [Bows] [Sashes]
[Hair bows] [Ruffled collars]

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Created: March 30, 1999
Last updated: August 29, 2000