Belgian Sailors Suits: Hair Styles

Figure 1.--This Belgian boy was photographed in 1908 wearing a sailor suit with long hair. Given the images we have of Belgian boys, we do not believe that this was nearly as common as shorter hair cuts. He looks to be about 8 years old.

Belgian boys wearing sailor suits had a wide variety of hair styles. These of course changed over time. Some boys had very short almost shaved hair, especially in the late 19th and eraly 20th centuries. Most boys wore short medium-length hair. This was especially true by the late 1920s after World War I (figure 1). Social class factors may be involved here. We suspect that boys from working class families may have been most likely to have had closse-cropped hair. The boys most likely to have been photographed in smart sailor suits, were probably boys from middle-class and more affluent families which more commonly had the medium length hair cuts we see in most of the available photographs. A few boys had long hair styles. We have not yet noted boys with ringlet curls. but this may because we have a limited number of images.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: July 4, 2002
Last updated: July 4, 2002