French Renewal/Confirmation Outfits

Figure 1.--I am not sure what religious celebration this boy is dressed for. I think he is a French boy at a Swiss school. Only Jean an another boy are wearing sailor suits.Click on the image to see the rest of the class at the Villa St-Jean in Fribourg, Switzerland.

We are somewhat cinfused avout the religious event associated with some of the French portraits we have seen. We have seen French school classes wearing sailor suits for what we thought was Confirmation. A French HBC reader tells us that it was more likely "le renouvellement ". We have seem French boys wearing various styles of sailor suits. Many mirrored the uniform worn by the French Navy during the 1930s. They all wear black oxfords rather than white shoes--presumably an economy measure. I do not know how common this was, but have some reports from Spain that boys also wear white sailor suits for First Communion. We are unsure as to how common sailor suits were for Confirmation in other countries. Unlike for First Communion, there was no special styles like sailor sits or cassocks that were worn for Confirmation. Rather boys wore their bet uits, often suits purchased for the occassion. Often they were more mature styled suits such as long pants suits ratherthan sailor suits or short pants suits. Boys did not wear arm bands for their confirmation. Thus we know tht the image here is a solennel (fist) communion and not a confirmation because the armband is only worn for communion. I am not sure what even the boy here was dressed for, perhaps "le renouvellement ". He was the only boy in his class wearing a sailor suit for the event.


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Created: June 6, 2004
Last edited: June 6, 2004