Sailor Suits: Suits with Unbuttoned Dickies

Figure 1.-This German boy is a rare example where we see a boy's dickey becoming partially unbuttoned. This is a detail from a school portrait, probably from the 1920s. Notice that he is wearing an undershirt with his middy blouse, something you raely see when a boy is wearing a middyblouse without a dickey. Image courtesy of the BP collection.

We see many images during the summers of bous wearing middy blouses with the dickey removed. This made the garment a little cooler to wear. Much less common is to see a boy (or even less so a girl) with their dickey not prperly buttoned. It is fairly common to see boys with other items of cloting somewhat ajar., such as shirts unbuttoned, but this is very rare for sailor dickies. We think this is because they were securely buttoned in place by mother before leaving home for school or for play. And there would be no reason for the boy to fiddle with it, even if he took the blouse off. Tere are of course countless reasons for a boy to fiddle with other garments, jackets, sweaters, shirts, belts, pants, hosiery and footwear. This means there are a variety oif reasons other items miht not be buttoned right or put on incorrectly. This does not seem to the case with dickeys. Thus on a warm day, a boy might roll down his long stockings, but is unlikely to unbutton his diskey--in part because he might lose it and mother would not be very happy aout that. The rare examples we have found are, however, useful because they show how the blouse was contructed and worn.


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Created: 10:19 PM 3/5/2008
Last updated: 10:19 PM 3/5/2008