Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy



Have you ever wondered how our ancestors dressed. This website will help.

The transition from elegant Little Lord Fauntleroy suits, kilts, sailor suits, and dressy short pants to casual blue jeans and baggy trousers for boys is an interesting study in social history. The mod boy of today would hardly recognize his counterpart of 100 years ago who might have found himself outfitted in a delicate lace collar and fancy velvet knee pants, sailor suits, or kilts. Parents at the time dressed formally and insisted that their children also dress smartly to reflect well on themselves and to demonstrate their social status. Gradually styles changed in the mid 20th Century to more realistic short pants and knickers before the modern incarnation of sneakers, casual baggy jeans and sweatshirts.

Parents, especially mothers, used to choose their sons’ clothing and until they were older teenagers, the boys had little say in the matter of fashion. Children, especially well off children, were often dressed in fancy, formal clothes–even for play. The modern child would find clothing common a century ago highly restrictive and uncomfortable. It would certainly inhibit an active child who wanted to enjoy the playground in the comtemporary scene. The modern child, even very young children, have a great deal of say in how they dress, often demanding expensive designer clothing. Today children are major arbritors of fashion and even very young boys have considerable influence as to what clothes are purchased for them. Many also have considerable disposable income, either through alouances or for teenagers, part time jobs. The fashion industry understands this very well and eagerly seek to supply what they than the modern boy desires. Informal styles are now in vogue with children rarely dressing up and, in many cases, only under considerable duress.

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