Scottish Boys' Dresses: Chronology


Figure 1.--We continue to see boys wearing dresses in the late-19th century. The images we have found do not show Scottish features. We note an unidentified Aberdeen family with all the children wearing dark dresses, including both the boys and girls. The children look to be about 2-10 years old. The style of the dress are different. The two older children, both girls, wear what look like identical smocked dresses. They have identical small colored hair bows. The younger childer who we think are both boys wear identical dresses without smocking and neither hace hair bows. We assume they are siblings because of the similarity in dress. The cabinet card image is undated, but would have been either the 1890s or very early-1900s. The studio is S Gordan, Arberdeen.

We have some limited chronological information. see a wealthy family styling themselves the Mckays departing the Highlands for New Zealand in 1844. Two of the four boys wore kilts, the other two a dress and a tunic. The dress is kind of a combination between a check and a plaid. A full plaid and Scottish socks has been added to give Robert's dress a Scottish look. The Mckays wanted their departure memorilized in a Higland scene despite the fact they left from London. Photographic images are our principal source of information. We think this may suggest prevalence, but our Scottish archive is too limited to make any such assesment at this time. We continue to see boys wearing dresses in the late-19th century. The images we have found do not show Scottish features. We note an unidentified Aberdeen family with all the children wearing dresses, including both the boys and girls (figure 1). The cabinet card image is undated, but would have been either the 1890s or very erly-1900s. The convention of boys wearing dresses rapidly disappeared aftr the turn-of-the 20th century, but apparently did not disappear. One Scot reports, "In rural Scotland this fashion continued well into the 1930s. Before my first haircut (February 1938, aged 4) in my frocks and smocks, I looked like a Shirley Temple clone." [Fraser]

Sources

Fraser, Ronald. The Times, (London) November 29, 2002.]








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Created: 3:02 AM 8/11/2016
Last updated: 3:02 AM 8/11/2016