United States First Communion Suits: Coat Styles

Figure 1.-.Here we see a boy from Reading, Pennsylvania wearing a white double-breasted suit. The portrait is undated. We would guess it was taken in the late 1920s or early 30s.

Looking at First Communion suits over time are a good indicator of popular boys' fashions over time. I'm not sure what Catholic boys wore in the early and mid-19th Century, but by the late-19th Century those families that could afford it dressed their sons in smart new suits. Boys wore a variety of suits, single and double breasted suits. Double breasted suit coats were often chosen in the early 20th century as they were seen as more of a formasl style. We see some Norfolk suits, but generally more formal styles were worn. The Norfolk style was seen as a bit sporty. Some boys wore sailor suits, but this was not as common as in Europe. Styles for younger boys such as Fauntleroy suits were not normally worn, even though some older boys did wear Fauntleroy suits. We see some boys wearing Eton styles after World War I (1914-18). The trend in more recent years have been more to a less formal outfit, a white shirt, tie, and slacks.


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Created: 6:47 PM 7/15/2005
Last edited: 6:47 PM 7/15/2005