French Sailor Suits: Basic Garments--Blouses

Figure 1.--Sailor blouse collars were commonly done with stripe detailing, but there were other alternztives. Here is an unusual one. .

The sailor blouse was the single most important part of the sailor suit. Most of the sailor styling was on the blouse. You could buy the pants sepsrately as usually there was no detailong on the pants that needed to be matched. The classic sailor blouse had two destinctive features, both replicating the style set by the British Royal Navy for enlisted uniforms. They were part of the collar. First was the V-front and the second was the connected back flap. The detailing in the font collar normally was continued on the back flap and in some cases repeated at the wrist cuffs and or the waistline. The classic detailing was stripes (especially three stripes), but there were other ways of doing the detailing. We also notice stars on the back flap and various naval or national devices on the dickey or sleeve. The V-front styling was not the only syle of sailor blouses, but it was by far the most impotan The sailor blouses were normally done in navy blue or white, biy we also see a varirty of colors. The navy and white blouses were by far the most common, but the sailor suit was such a populr gasrment that many wrere also done in various colors. Usually the blouse and pants matched. French boys wore both classic sailor suit blouses as well as many stylistic variations. A variety of other garmnents such as dickies and black silk scarves were also commonly worn with the sailor blouse. The sleeves wwre mostly long, in part because French naval uniforms has long sleeves. We see Emile Jean Deschanel wearing a sailor blouse with short sleeves in 1913, but that was not very common. We do see boys wearing other blouses with these sleeves after World War I, but sailor blouses with short sleeves were less common. The traditional middy blouse was a pullover, but some were made to button up the front. There were many blouse or jacket styles in the late-19th century that buttoned up.


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Created: 5:57 AM 11/10/2014
Last updated: 5:57 AM 11/10/2014