* Danish sailor suits








Danish Sailor Suits


Figure 1.--This Danish boy had his portrait painted in 1915. He looks to be about 8-9 years old. Notice the double row of three strips. We don't recall seeing that before. Click on the image for a closeup.

Sailor suits were extremely popular in Denmark as they were throughout Scandinavia. Sailor suits have been one of the most popular styles worn by Danish boys. The sailor suit may have been more popuklar in Denmark than any other Scandinavian country, perhaps because Denmark borders Germany where the sailor suit was also very popular. We are not sure when the style became popular in Denmark, but it was a favorite with parents by the 1880s and popular with boys as well. They were mostly worn with knee pants and long stockings, depending on the age of the boy, until the 1910s when short pants became more popular. Some mothers dressed through the 1920s might dressed all of the children in sailor suits, until the boys were well into their teens. We note quite a wide age range among the boys wearing sailor suits. They were not just worn by younger boys. We do noy have a very large Danish archive, but we can see Danish boys wearing sailor suits into their mid-ttens at least boys 16 years old, perhaps older. This tended to be the case on thE cininent, but we note quite a few older Danish boys wearing sailor suits. The boy on the previous page is a good example. He is 15 years old. Boys wore blue and white sailor suits seasonally. We do not know of any distinguishing features of Danish sailor suits. They appear to ave worn the very traditional styles favored by the Germans and not the fancier styles that some French boys wore. HBC has noted several styles. Blue suits were commonly worn with knee pants and long stockings during the winter. Summer suits were often white or stripped in lighter material.

Chronology

The sailor suit for boys was popularized in the 1840s when Queen Victoria first dressed her son in one. HBC is not sure when Danish boys began dressing thei boys in them, probably about the same time as in Germany, but thgere were connectiins betwwn the two riyal families. Danish boys were clearly wearing them by the late-19th century. Sailor suits continued popular in the early 20th century and even afterwasrds in the 1920s. They began to decline in poopularity during the 1930s.

Popularity

Sailor suits were extremely popular in Denmark as they were throughout Scandinavia. Sailor suits have been one of the most popular styles worn by Danish boys. The sailor suit may have been more popuklar in Denmark than any other Scandinavian country, perhaps because Denmark borders Germany where the sailor suit was also very popular.

Age Trends

We are not sure yet about the age range for sailor suits in Denmark. We just do not have sufficent images at this time. Our initual assessment is about 3-16 years of age. We are fairly sure about this age range, although some slightly older boys may have worn sailor suits. This is just the age range we can confirm with actual images we gave foi=und which is based on a small sampling. As in Germany that they were worn by younger teens, but we also note boys wearing them in their mid-teen, perhaps even older boys. This of course varied over time. Sailor suits were worn in Denmark for about a century. Despite the close association with the British royal fmily (Princess Alexandria married the Price of Wales--the future Edward VII), we suspect that many conventions like age were more associsted with Germsny than Britain. Age trends of course varied over time. Younger boys wore sailor suits during the whole span that sailor suits were worn. We are not entirely sure when sailor suits were most popular for older boys. We think it might be during the early-20th century, but this still needs to be confirmed.

Seasonality

Boys wore blue and white sailor suits seasonally.

Style

We do not know of any distinguishing features of Danish sailor suits. They appear to have worn the very traditional styles favored by the Germans and not the fancier styles that some French boys wore. HBC has noted several styles. Boys commonly wore suits with the traditional three stipes. HBC has noted some other styles. One middy blouse had two pairs of white stripes. Instead of the normal detailing of three white stripes, this boy has the detailing repeated. Notice the detailing on the dickey which rather than a nautical design, repeats the double pairs of stripes. Another style had a Rigby-style middy blouse with a relatively small collar with two white stripes.

Garments

Sailor suits were very popular choices for Danish boys. We are not yetvsure about headwear. Ww see mostly traditionally styled garments, although our archive is still limited. Boys wore both middy blouses and reefer suits. These were all standard items thriighour Europe so there is no way of ientifting most images unless the country is specified. We noyesome pull-over blouses with small double collars in the 1930s. We are not sure how common this style was. Pull-over blouses were widely worn, butwe are not sure bout the small collars. Without a more substantial archive this is difficult to assess. Blue suits were commonly worn with dark kneepants and long stockings during the winter. Summer suits were often white or stripped in lighter material. They were also worn with dark long stockings, but some boys also wore socks. During the 1920s, shorts pants began to become more common, but the cold northerly climate limited this to some extent when not worn with long stockings.













HBC







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Created: May 5, 2000
Last updated: 6:54 PM 4/4/2016