** Scottish boys clothes -- skirted garments








Scottish Boys' Clothes: Garments--Skirted Garments


Figure 1.--This cabinet card portrait shows a Scottish boy wearing a Hihlnd Kilt outfit complete with a Glengary cap and sporan. Notice the low-cut shoesand Argyl knee socks. The portrait is undated, but the mount style suggets the 1880s. Gelatin ptints,nowever, appear only aout 1895. Thu the ;ortrait waproably tajen about the turn-of-the century. The cabinet card is slightly smaller than stndard Americn styles( 4 1/4 x 6 1/2 inches). It was a gelatin print rather than an albumen prnt. The studio was Lyall in Montrose.

Scotland is best known for skirted garments, more specifically the kilt. The kilr is not th only skirted grment orn by cottish boys, but it is certainly the best known. Younger Scottish boys like other European boys wore dresses in the 19th century. We do not know how common this was and any infgormation about the Higlands (wghere kilts were worn) and the Lowlands. We have virtually no specific information about Scottish dresses at this time. 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." [Ronald Fraser, The Times, (London) November 29, 2002.] We note Scottish girls and younger boys wearing pinafores in the 19th and early-20th century. Our initial assessment is that the styles and conventions were very similar to those prevalent in England, although our archive is very limnited at this time. This was a style that cut across class lines. We see boys and girls in working-class, middle-class, and upper-class families wearing pinafores. This was a style for pre-scgool boys, but girls of all ages wore them. Most of the ones we note are white. Styles could vary. We see both very plain ones and fancy ones which might be worn with party dresses by younger girls. The pinafore in Scotland rapidly declined in poularity after World War I. This was the general pattern throughout Europe although we still see some girls on the continent wearing pinafores into the 1950s. The Highland kilt is the garment most associated with Scotland. The Scottish kilt as a child's garment is a relatively recent phenomenon. The modern kilt, in fact, dates from only from the 18th century. It's use as a child's garment was largely due to Queen Victoria in the mid-19th century and her infatuation with Scotland. The young Queen, showing the romantic outlook of her younger years, outfitted her sons in flamboyant kilts. We are not sure if this was actually the Queen'd idea or someone on her staff or even Prince Albert. Nor am I sure weather it was an innovative idea or just a popular fashion the Queen the style--at least among mothers. And it was the mothers that for generations had the virtual absolute disgression in choosing their sons clothes--usually with no consideration of the boys' opinions. The result was a long-lasting dress style for generations of British and American boys. Several variants of the kilts introduced by the Queen developed. The kilt suit was the most ubiqutous. Other styles in which kilt suits were made include sailor and Fauntleroy suits. While kilt suits have passed from the boys' fashion scene, the Scottish kilt continues to be worn today by schoolboys, Scouts, dancers, pipe bands, and participants at various formal occasions such as weddings where ring bearers, attendants, and even the groom might wear kilt. Younger Scottish boys at the turn of the century wore tunics as was common in England and America. The style of tunic is somewhat different than was common in America. HBC know less about tunic styles in England. We do not know how common tunics were in Scotland.

Dresses

While the kilt is the skirted grment most associated with Scotland, it was certainly not the only one. Younger Scottish boys like other European boys wore dresses in the 19th century. This continued into the early-20th century. We do not know how common this was and any information about the Highlands (where kilts were worn) and the Lowlands. We suspect that social-class factors were involved. We have virtually no specific information about Scottish dresses at this time and very few images. This means that can make no stylish assessment at this time. We believe, however, that styles were basiclly the same as in England. Photographic images are our principal source of information. We think this may suggest prevalence, but our Scottish archive is rather limited. 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." [Ronald Fraser, The Times, (London) November 29, 2002.]

Pinafores

We note Scottish girls and younger boys wearing pinafores in the 19th and early-20th century. Our initial assessment is that the styles and conventions were very similar to those prevalent in England, although our archive is very limnited at this time. This was a style that cut across class lines. We see boys and girls in working-class, middle-class, and upper-class families wearing pinafores. This was a style for pre-school boys, but girls of all ages wore them. Most of the ones we note are white. Styles could vary. We see both very plain ones and fancy ones which might be worn with party dresses by younger girls. The pinafore in Scotland rapidly declined in poularity after World War I. This was the general pattern throughout Europe although we still see some girls oin the continent wearing pinafores into the 1950s.

Kilts

The Highland kilt is the garment most associated with Scotland. The Scottish kilt as a child's garment is a relatively recent phenomenon. The modern kilt, in fact, dates from only from the 18th century. It's use as a child's garment was largely due to Queen Victoria in the mid-19th century and her infatuation with Scotland. The young Queen, showing the romantic outlook of her younger years, outfitted her sons in flamboyant kilts. I'm not sure if this was actually the Queen's idea or someone on her staff or even Prince Albert. Nor are we sure wether it was an innovative idea or just a popular fashion the Queen adopted -- at least among mothers. And it was the mothers that for generations had the virtual absolute disgression in choosing their sons clothes -- usually with no consideration of the boys' opinions. The result was a long-lasting dress style for generations of British and American boys. Several variants of the kilts introduced by the Queen developed. The kilt suit was the most ubiqutous. Other styles in which kilt suits were made include sailor and Fauntleroy suits. While kilt suits have passed from the boys' fashion scene, the Scottish kilt continues to be worn today by schoolboys, Scouts, dancers, pipe bands, and participants at various formal occasions such as weddings where ring bearers, attendants, and even the groom might wear kilt.

Tunics

We do not yet have much information on Scottish boys tunics. We believe that the general pattern was similar to England, but we have relatively few images in our archive to assess this. We have no information at this time about Scottish tunics in the 19th century. We have noted English boys wearing them in the early 19th century and suspect that Scottish boys did also, at least in the cities. Younger Scottish boys at the turn of the century wore tunics as was common in England and America. The style of tunic is somewhat different than was common in America. HBC know less about tunic styles in England. We do not know how common tunics were in Scotland. The portrait seen here was undated, but was probably taken in the early 1900s, perhaps about 1905. It was taken in Ayr. We note some differences with the tunic suits that American boys were commonly wearing at the time. We especially note the Peter Pan collar and the below the knee pants which could be bloomer knickers, but we are not sure.







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Created: 5:44 AM 2/15/2014
Last updated: 3:24 AM 11/19/2015