American First Communion Suits: Colors

Figure 1.--This unidentified American boy wears a white knickers suit for his First Communion, we think about 1930. A reader writes, "Since the knicker suit has a knit band on the bottom I think the date is probably the 30s. I will see about the knit band but I think they did not come out until the late-20s or early-30s." HBC thinks that the knit bands may have appeared in the very late-20s, but I think our reader is correct they were primarily a 30s fashion. We are not entirely convinced, however, that this is a knit band, but it may well be. Could it be turn-down knee socks cuffs. Or could it be a version of the regular fabric band that knickers had at the leg hem? Click on the image for more details on the boy's outfit.

First Communion suits were done in a variety of colors. This is of course dificult to assess in period black-and-white photography. This is a little easier for First Communion suits than other period suits bedcause so many were dark or white suits. We think the dark suits were mostly navy blue rather than black in the 1900s and 10s. We are less sure about the 1920s and 30s. We begin to see white suits in the 1920s, but we continue to see the dark suits as well. The advantage of the dark suits is that they could be worn for ,many other occassions as well after the First Communion. White suits had fewer usees after the First Communion celebration. The white suits were done primarily as short pants suits, but we see somre knicker and long pants suits as well. Boys wearing white suits might wear ankle socks or knee socks. Boys wearing knickers suits henerally wore long stockings. Some parents bought a variety of other colored suits thinking more about usage after First Communion.


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Created: 9:36 PM 11/4/2009
Last edited: 9:02 PM 11/5/2009