*** tools : bibliography of boys clothing

Bibliography of Boys' Clothing

Fauntleroy suits kilts
Figure 1.--Fauntleroy suits and kilts were some of the most popular party clothes for boys in the late 19th century. Often subtle differences differentiated the clothes of younger and older siblings, notice the different collars of the two older brothers. We are not sure about the third child, perhaps a sister, but more likely a younger brother still wearing dresses.

There is a substantial body of literature describing clothing styles over time. Here are several data bases with extensive references. Often there are just a few volumes on children's clothes or children's clothes are only part of the book. HBC will construct a bibliography of useful resources and provide some links to other bibliographies. I would be most interested in any information you have gleaned from books on clothes and costuming. We will often collect texts that address the subject of the culture and concept of childhood as such works also affect fashion concepts.

Bibliographical Citations

Here are some of the major works that HBC has found that deal with children's fashions or childhood. Much of the work that we have noted is American, but we hope to add information on other national experiences as well as we develop HBC and learn more about available sources. Our primary interest is fashion sources, but children's fashions can not be understood without a knowledge of the changing concept of childhood over time.

Reader Suggestions

My knowledge on many of the specific clothing styles or national practices is very limited. Even if you have only a comment or short paragraph to add, I'd be very interested. In addition, please let me know of any other interesting bibliographical lists that you may have come across that you think would be helpful to add here. A great deal of historical research is needed to answer the many questions that I have come across and that many of you have inquired about. In many cases I have included questions in the text of the various pages, hoping that readers may be able to offer insights. Some information is available on the Internet, but disappointingly little. Hopefully the bibliographies I am collecting here will aid future library research. There is quite a vast body of information available on fashion. Relatively little research, however, specifically addresses fashion literature.

gender skirted garments
Figure 2.--There is a vast literature on women's dresses. This information can help date images of unbreeched boys in dresses because women's fashions were often reflected in the dresses worn by boys. Incidentally the child's name is Cecil. We are mot sure if he is wearing a dress or smock. (It is not a pinafore as it has sleeves.)

Bibliographical Lists

There is quite a bit of interesting bibliogtaphical material on fashion available on the internet.

Lacis: Interesting books which you can purchase

Costume: The Costume Page

Clothing journal: An extensive list of scholarly articles

Costume bibliography:


I have not yet given this page the attention it needs. It is one of those projects I do plan to pursue in the future, organizing the different costume pages by topics. For example, women's fashion information on topics like dresses, pantalettes, ringlet curl, hair bows, and other topics provide needed background information on 19th Century boys clothes. Men's fashions, especially in the 20th Century, provide information on 20th Century boys' fashions. In the interim, if you know of a good bibliographical site, do let me know and I will upload it here for the HBC Community benefit.


Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Introduction] [Artists] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries] [Girls] [Photography]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [Essays] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]

Created: May 7, 1998
Spell checked: July 23, 1999
Last updated: November 7, 2001