Bibliography of Boys' Clothing: Citations

Figure 1.--An excellent well-researched overview of fashion developments over time is Margaret Crush's "Piccolo Book of Costume". It is very accurately illustrated by Faith Jaques.

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.

Children's Fashions

Here are some of the best references HBC know of that deal specifically with children's fashions. We will list general works on fashion only if they have major sections on children's fashions.

Unknown author, Age of Innocence: An Exhibiton of Children's Clothing from 1700 to 1980 (New York: The Galleries at F.I.T., 1980).

Bennett, Paul W. "'Who Wore the Pants?' Dress, Gender and Power, 1850-1914." History and Social Science Teacher 25 no. 4 (1990): 221-225.

Buck, Anne. Clothes and the Child: A Handbook of Children's Dress in England, 1500-1900 (Carlton, Bedford: R. Bean, 1996).

Carpenter, Virginia. "American Children as Seen in Fashion Publications: 1850-1890." Master's thesis, Cornell University, 1948.

Collard, Constace Eileen McCarthy. From Toddler to Teens: An Outline of Children's Clothing Circa 1780 to 1930. [s.l.: s.n.], 1973.

Crocker, Karen N. "Coming of Age in Victorian America: A Guide for Dressing the Young Lady Reenactor." Citizens' Companion 4 no.3 (August/September 1997), pp. 12-15.

Crocker, Karen N. "Dressing the Young Reenactor." The Lady Reenactor 1, pp. 32-35, 58-59.

Crocker, Karen N. "Infant Dress--1845-1865." Citizens' Companion 2 no. 4 (October/November 1995), pp. 10-12.

Crush, Margaret. Piccolo Book of Costume. It is very accurately illustrated by Faith Jaques. Crush does not specifically deal with children's clothing, but includes a great deal of information about children's clothing.

Haug, Joanne. "Dressing Up: Boy's Early Childhood Costume" Lady's Gallery 1 no.3 (1993), pp. 44-49.

Helvenston, Sally I. "American Children's Costume in the Period 1841-1885 and its Relation to the Child's Role in Society." M.S. thesis, Florida State University, 1975.

Haug, Joanne. "Dressing Up: Boy's Early Childhood Costume" Lady's Gallery v.1 no.3 (1993): 44-49.

Helvenston, Sally I. "American Children's Costume in the Period 1841-1885 and its Relation to the Child's Role in Society." M.S. thesis, Florida State University, 1975.

Kartchner, Grace Joan. "Dresses of Mormon Girls, Ages One to Twelve, in the Great Salt Lake and Utah Valleys from 1847 to 1896." M.S. thesis, Oregon State University, 1975.

Kevill-Davies, Sally. Yesterday's Children: The Antiques and History of Childcare. Woodbridge, Suffolk, England: Antique Collectors' Club, 1991.

Leisch, Juanita. "Advice for Young Mothers." Civil War Lady 1 no. 1 (May/June 1991): 20-22; 1, no. 5: 17; 2 no.8, pp. 19-20.

Leisch, Juanita. "Advice for Young Mothers: Sound Advice for Dressing Youngsters." Civil War Lady 1 no. 2 (1991), pp. 14-16; 1, no.3 (1992): pp. 19-21; 1 no.4 (1992), p. 17.

Leisch, Juanita. "Children's Corner." Civil War Lady 1 no.6: 17; 2, no. 7: 17-18.

Miller, Beth. "Advice to Young Mothers." Civil War Lady 2 no.10 (1994): 18.

Miller, Beth. "Dressing Baby." Civil War Lady 2 no.9 (1993), pp. 10-11.

Miller, Lynnette. "Infant Caps--A Small Controversy." Civil War Lady 2, no. 11 (1994), pp. 27-28.

Norman, Karen J. "Analysis of Selected Children's Literature Published From 1864-1899 as a Source for the Study of Children's Clothing." M.S. thesis, Florida State University, 1980.

Olian, JoAnne. Children's Fashions, 1860-1912: 1,065 Costume Designs from "La Mode Illustre." (New York: Dover Publications, 1994).

Richards, M. Lynn. "Memories of a Girlhood Apparel From the United States Indian Territory, 1850- 1907." Costume 29 (1995): 68-81.

Rose, Clare. Children's Clothes Since 1750. (London: Batsford, 1989).

Rowland-Warne, L. Costume. Eyewitness Books. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992. Although a children's book, many excellent color photographs of original and reproduction clothing and accessories.

Schimpky, David. Children's Clothing of the 1800s. (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.: Crabtree Pub. Co., 1995). (Canada)

Worrell, Estelle Ansley, Children's Costume in America, 1608-1910, (Charles Scribner's Sons: New York, 1980).

General Fashion Sources

Some general fashion publications do not deal with children specifically, but are particularly important because they cover a specific type of garment in great detail.

Cunnington, Cecil Willett and Phyllis Cunnington. The History of Underclothes. London: Faber and Faber, 1981.

Earnshaw, Pat. Lace in Fashion: From the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Centuries. New York: Drama Book Publishers, 1985.

Ewing, Elisabeth. Fashion Underwear. London: B. T. Batsford, 1971

Faeth-Greketis, Maryanne. "The Corset Question." Citizen's Companion v.1 no.1 (April/May 1994): 13

Gallery of English Costume: Costume for Sport. Manchester: Art Galleries Committee, 1963

Hughes, Nicky. "...From Head to Toe, Sock It To Me." The Watchdog v.4 no. 1 (Winter 1996): 7.


One of the many topics addressed by HBC is activities that children engage in and the clothing they wear in association with those activities.


Aldrich, Elizabeth. From the Ballroom to Hell: Grace and Folly in Nineteenth Century Dance. Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 1991. The book addresses dancing costumes.


One important source of information is paintings and drawing, especially in the era before photography provides countless images of children anf their clothing.

American Genre Painting in the Victorian Era. New York: Hirschl & Adler, 1978. good color illustrations

Ayres, William, ed. Picturing History: American Painting, 1770-1930. New York: Rizzoli, 1993. Many good illustrations.

Hills, Patricia. The Painters' America: Rural and Urban Life, 1810-1910. New York: Praeger, 1974.

Johns, Elizabeth. American Genre Painting: The Politics of Everyday Life. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991. Good illustrations.

Ormond, Richard and Carol Blackett-Ord. Franz Zaver Winterhalter and the Courts of Europe, 1830-1870. London: National Portrait Gallery, 1987.


We will often collect texts that address the subject of the culture and concept of childhood as such works also affect fashion concepts.

Brumberg, Joan Jacobs. The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls. Brumberg's work is always helpful in assessing American childhood.

Elkind, David. The Hurried Child. This relatively recent work by development psychologist David Elkind is another classic. This valuable work, however, focudes almost exclusively on America.

Frontline (PBS). Also look at the recent Frontline documentary on "The Merchants of Cool" which looks at the consumer subjectivity of the "mook" and the "midriff" for American teens. This would be great for teaching!

Garrett, Elisabeth Donaghy. At Home: The American Family, 1750-1870. New York: Abrams, 1990. Useful for illustrations

Kinder, Marsha. ed. Kids' Media Culture.

Leisch, Juanita. "Advice for Young Mothers." Civil War Lady v.1 no. 1 (May/June 1991): 20-22; v.1, no. 5: 17; v.2 no.8: 19-20.

Orme, Nicholas. Medieval Childhood (Yale UP: 2001). This is a handsome, lavishly illustrated, and important work. Orme is highly respected for an earlier work on medieval education.

Postman, Neal. The Disappearance of Childhood (1982). There are quite a few works on the topic of the disappearing childhood. It's a trendy topic amongst worried child psychologists and some educators. The Postman book is a classic work on the changing modern experience of childhood. This valuable work, however, focudes almost exclusively on America. One reviewer writes "Can we talk about the general issues involved here? Postman's book I suppose is a 'classic' but it's hugely limited from a theoretical and stylistic point of view. it has this strange sentimental/nostalgic tone.

Steinberg and Kincheloe, eds. Kinderculture: The Corporate Construction of Childhood.

Wheatley, Nadia. Wheatley has written on the creation of "young adult"' fiction, a category which was formulated to cater for the kind of "old young".

News reports: There is some recognition that a consumer market is emerging for "tweens" that covers this age group. One of the popular news magazines did a cover story on it a couple of years back. (I think it was Newsweek and the New York Times has done a story on the "bustless generation" and high fashion. Sorry, I don't have exact citations. There was also a bit of discussion in the 1980s that "Reagan youth" were seeking out more "realistic" depictions of life within popular culture, as opposed to the sentimentalized and fairy-tale-like fare of their boomer parents. Again, I don't have a citation.


Photography is another major source of information for HBC.

Darrah, William. Cartes de Visite in Nineteenth Century Photography. Gettysburg: W. C. Darrah, 1981. Good for studying fashion and hair.

Haworth-Booth, Mark, ed. The Golden Age of British Photography, 1839-1900. Millerton, NY: Aperture, 1984. Several good photographs from period showing clothing.

Heyert, Elizabeth. The Glasshouse Years: Victorian Portrait Photography, 1839-1870. Montclair: Alanheld & Schram, 1979.

Lansdell, Avril. Fashion a la Carte, 1860-1900: A Study of Fashion Through Cartes-de-Visite. History in Camera Series. Princes Risborough, Aylesbury, Bucks, UK: Shire Publications, 1985.

Leisch, Juanita. "A Photographic Survey Made Easy: How We Know 'Who Wore What'" Citizens' Companion v.2 no. 5 (December 1995/January 1996): 21-24.

Mace, O. Henry. Collector's Guide to Early Photographs. Radnor, Penn.: Wallace-Homestead Book Co., 1990. Use for the examples of photographs from the period.

Reilly, James M. Care and Identification of 19th-Century Photographic Prints. Rochester, NY: Eastman Kodak Company, 1986. A few good 1840-1865 examples.

Rinhart, Floyd and Marion Rinhart. The American Daguerreotype. Athens: University of Georgia, 1981.

Severa, Joan. Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans & Fashion, 1840-1900. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1995.

Taft, Robert. Photography and the American Scene: A Social History: 1839-1889. New York: Dover, 1964.


Parry, Linda. The Victoria & Albert Museum's Textile Collection: British Textiles from 1850 to 1900. New York: Canopy Press, 1993.

Schmitt, Carolann. "Fabrics and Fibers." Civil War Lady v.2 no.9 (1993): 7-8.

Schoeser, M. and C. Rufey. English and American Textiles from 1790 to the Present. London, 1989.


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Created: November 7, 2001
Last updated: August 18, 2003