Boys' Clothing Glossary: "J"

Figure 1.--.

We have begun to build a glossary of boys' clothing terms. As boys clothes until the 19th century was the sane as adult male clothing, we have included many applicable men's clothing terms. We have also included some women's terms as younger boys commonly wore dresses until the 20th century. As HBC is extensively used by non-native English speakers we plan to give considerable attention to this glossary so that words can be looked up. It will also serve as an index as we will provide links to the appropriate pages. We eventually hope to add foreign words, but that will take some time.

Jacket and trouser suits: Boys began wearing the modern style of jackets and trousers in the early 19th Century. Quite young boys might wear a jacket, but at first with a skirt/kilt or as part of dress outfit (figure 1). There were endless variation of this theme, centering on the style of the jacket and length of the pants. Generally boys wore dresses when very young and then after they were breeched would wear a variety of costumes (tunics, smocks, kilt suits, Fauntleroy suits, sailor suits, and many other outfits). Often when he was about 12 or 13 he would receive a relativly adult looking jacket and trousers.

Jeans: No clothing item is more associated with America than the once humble blue jeans or overalls as they were once called. The standard overalls of Levi Strauss were originally work pants for me only. They now appear in a variety of different syles and garments from baseball hats to baggy jeans. Jeans assumed more importance in a boy's and girl's wardrobe around the world during the second half of the 20th century than virtually any other garment.

Jerken: Man's sleeveless vest.

Jewelry: Boys until the 1990s were not know for wearing jewelry when earings became increasingly common. While girls are more associated with jewelry, boys have also worn a variety of accessories. Boys have even before earrings became a vogue worn a variety of jewelry. Watches have been the most common, but a varriety of other pieces of jewlry have also been worn.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: July 9, 2001
Last updated: July 10, 2001