Color in German Fashion: Garments

Figure 1.--This German cabinet card is undated. It is notable for the use of brown and blue. It looks to us like it was taken in the 1890s. The older boy wears a blue collar-buttoning knickers suit with Norfolk styling. We know that blue was a common color for boys' clothes, although we are not sure about the shadeshown here. Notice how the white detailing on the boy's blouse has been painted on. We were a little surprised about the girl's brown dress. It seems rather dowdy, but brown was not a color exclusively for boys. Notice her wonderful white hat. The younger boys wears a black velvet sailor style outfit. Notice the belt. Mother appears to have matched the color of the stripes with the outfits of the two yonger children. We are not sure how colorizing those stripes is even posible. We suspect tht the stripes were drawn on for some reason. The older boy's brown stockings seem unusual if mom had matched the colors for the other two children. It is unclear why she would have not matched the colors for the older boy, but brown was a common color for stockings. The studio was Richard Jähnig in Dresden-N.

We do not at this time know much about the use of color in German children's clothing. Our information at this times comes largely from colorized photographs. We have found some colorized photographs which provide some information. We are unsure as to the accuracy of the color depictions. One would think that paretas would want some reationship between the colors of the children's outfits and the colors depicted in the colorized portraits. And we nte some portraits with clor instructions. Some of the best examples we have noted of early tinted photographs are German. We note German costumes, presumably children in a family. Of course the widest use of color in fashion can be used for costumes. One of the most popular German style for children were sailor outfits. Of course blue and white were the most popular ailor suit colors. An example is a German brother and sister (about 1885). There were of course other colors.


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Created: 6:03 PM 2/20/2017
Last updated: 6:03 PM 2/20/2017