*** boys clothing for parties party types

Types of Parties

Figure 1.--A little American girl, Lucia, is having a birthday around 1905. A little friend is all decked out in his very best blouse with a huge collar trimmed with eyelet lace.

A popular outing for children of all ages are parties. Very young children might have pretend tea parties. This was particularly popular with little girls. The most common type of party for younger children is the birtday party. The birthday party is today the most important day of the year for mmany children in the Western world. We are not sure about other countries. It certainly is for American children, equalled only by Christmas. The same is true for children throughout Europe. We assume that birthdays parties are also held in many other countries around the world, but have few details. We are not sure when birthday parties first became major events for children. We suspect that it is one of the institutions that became established during the Victorian age as the modern concept of childhood began to form. I'm not sure about the precise chronology of birthday paries. I know they were a well established convention by the time I started having mine in the 1940s. The centerpiece in an American birthday part one was a bithday cake and blowing out the candles. This is not today as important as it once was. Children used to dress up for their birthday parties, although this varied from country to country. Modern birthday parties are decidely casual events. We have begun to collect birthday accounts, but have not had much success. We note an American birthday party in 1917. We also note the American birthday part seen here in the 1950s (figure 1). Modern birthday parties are decidely casual events. Birtday parties are not the only type of parties for younger children, but they are the most important. American birthday parties primarily involve inviting childhood friends. In other countries it is more of a family affair. For older children, other kinds of parties begin to become more important.

Tea Parties

Very young children might have pretend tea parties. This was particularly popular with little girls.

Birthday Parties

No party is more important to a boy than his birthday party. It used to involved getting all dressed up, but since World War II, birthday parties like th rest of ,odern life have become much more casual. The birthday party: The development of the child's birthday party is a relection of the changing culture of childhood in American and other countries. I have been unable to find much of anything on the history of birthday parties, how and when they started as an aspect of American life, as well as how this practice has evolved into a regular ritual for children. One of the few sources I have encountered so far is a quote from Carl Degler's At Odds on page 71 which mentions briefly that birthday parties for children started in the 19th century. Family age grading: One interesting phenomenon of birthday parties is age grading. This approach is described in Howard Chudacoff, How Old Are You?, 1989. It's a useful history of age grading and associated rituals.

Valentine Parties

Halloween Parties

Christmas Parties


Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to the Main party page]
[Return to the Main home activities page]
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration]
[Boys' Clothing Home]

Created: October 21, 1999
Last updated: 7:00 PM 7/10/2011