Ring Bearer Costumes: Chronology

Figure 1.--These children were the ring bearer and flower girl in a formal wedding. The portrait was undated, but HBC would estimate that it was in the 1920s. For a fuller description of the boy's outfit, click on the image.

Ring bearer costumes have changed over time, just as other clothing styles. As some of the suits are costumes stylisly designed, however, they often do not reflect contemptary fashions. HBC has no information on 19th century ring bearer outfits. Boys in the early 20th century often wore a variety of fancy short pants suits with long shite stockings and strap shoes. At mid-century white short pants Eton suits were popular, but formal wedings might have fancy outfits. In the late 19th century, a variety of fancy outfits with knicker pants. The Eton suit remained a standard for many weddings. Sailor suits have also been a popular choice, although I am not sure about the chromolgy. Some costumes have national styling. Kilts have for yeats been popular for weddings and continue to be.

The 1920s

Ring bearers in the 1920s commonly wore fancy elaborate suits. There were a variety od styles, including short pants of variius lengths or above the knee knickers. The shorts by the end of the decade tended to be shorter than atthe beginning. They were often elaborately trimmed with ruffles and lace and worn with long stockings, usually long white stockings or to some extent kneesocks. The boys might wear strap or buckle shoes. Some boys might even have their hair styled. The boy here has quite a striking hair do (figure 1). I'm not sure how to describe it. He appears to be wearing a satin outfit with a large coolar, perhaps a sailor collar. We note considerable differences from country to country.

The 1930s

Ring bearers in the 1930s continued to wear wore fancy elaborate suits. We believe that short pants outfits became more common than above the knee knickers, but our images are still limited. White kneesocks became more common as long stockings were becoming less and less common in the 1930s. There were still a few formal weddings where a ring bearer might wear blouses trimmed with ruffles and lace. The boys might wear strap or buckle shoes. Some boys might even have their hair styled. Generally boys had short hair as long hair styleshad declined significantly in popularity.

The 2000s

We note a variety of ring bearer outfits in the 200s. Blouses and long knickers or short pants were common. For blouse outfits long knickers seem to have become more common than short pants for formal weddings. They might be worn with tights rather than kneesocks because there are less likeky to be wrinkles, but this varies. We also note boys wearing junior Eton short pants suits, both black and white ones. They are generally worn with kneesocls. We noted boys wearing saddle shoes in the 1990s, but that seems less common in the 2000s. Girls commonly wear strap shoes, but you rarely see boys in the 2000s wearing them.


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Created: June 16, 2001
Last updated: 10:36 PM 11/14/2007