The Fauntleroy collar is surely the most destincive collar ever worn by boys and syurely the mostb un boy like and unsuitble for boys. It was only possible because boys at the time had little to say asbout the clothdese they iore. It was all decided by mother. There are two types of Fauntleroy collars, detachable and attached collars. And two basic styles--lace and ruffled collars. The detachable collars could be both lace amd ruffled. The attached collars, meaning coming sewn onto blouses were almost always ruffled. Lace was too expensive to be produced in quantity and sewn onto mass-produced, store bought blouses. Both the lace and ruffled collars were done in countless different shapes and styles. While the Fauntlery collars asre primarily associated with lace coolrs, mosdt were primasrily the less xpensive and easier to oroiduce ruffled colllar. Some ruffled collars had lace trim. Many of the mass produced Fauntleroy blouses had back flags like sailor blouses. Not all lace and ruffled collars were Fauntleroy collars. We see both before the Fauntleroy Craze (1885-1905), but they were relatively small. . They were the primary collars worn with Fauntleroy suits. We note any large white collar even Eton collars being reffered to as Eton collars. But the only true Fauntleroy collars were lace and ruffled collars, primarily worn during the Fauntleroy Craze
St. Nicholas Magazine in its November 1885 issue published the first installment of Mrs. Burnett's romantic novel about a little American boy who inherits an aristocratic British title. The story was an enormous success. Published as a book in 1886, it was an instant best seller in Americas. The book and resulting theatrical productions soon swept Engalnd and the Continent. No where, however, was the impact as pervasive as America. As a result of the book,innumerable American boys were subjected by their mothers to the fancy velvet suits. American mothers who before and after resisted the fancier European fashions for their boys--subcumed to the Fauntleroy craze. The fashion is probably the most despised costume in the history of American boyhood: velvet knee length page-boy suits, delicate lace collars, and--the crowning ignominy-long, flowing sausage curls. Little Lord Fautleroy-style velvet suits with lace collars were worn by small boys as party dress before the publication of Ms. Burnett's famed novel. Most boys' suits of the era, both kilt and knee-length suits, however, before the publication of her book were rather plain. Some of the fashions include jackets that older boys or even men might have worn without comment. Mrs. Burnett's book changed that almost over night. Little Lord Fauumtleroy put these fancy velvet suits on the fashion map and gave them their name.
There are two types of Fauntleroy collars, detachable and attached collars.
There are two basic Faunteleroy styled collars--lace and ruffled collars. The detachable collars could be both lace amd ruffled. The attached collars, meaning coming sewn onto blouses were almost always ruffled. Lace was too expensive to be produced in quantity and sewn onto mass-produced, store bought blouses. Both the lace and ruffled collars were done in countless different shapes and styles. Many of the mass produced Fauntleroy blouses had back flags like sailor blouses. Not all lace and ruffled collars were Fauntleroy collars. We see both before the Fauntleroy Craze (1885-1905), but they were relatively small. . They were the primary collars worn with Fauntleroy suits. We note any large white collar even Eton collars being reffered to as Eton collars. But the only true Fauntleroy collars were lace and ruffled collars, primarily worn during the Fauntleroy Craze
Younger boys in the late-19th century might wear lace collars. It is a collar style common associated with the Little Lord Fauntleroy suits which became popular in the 1880s. They were worn before that, but as far as we can tell, they were not very common. It was in the 1880s with the popularity of Mrs. Burnett's book, Little Lord Fauntleroy, that they became really popular--at least with mothers. No where was the Little Lord Fauntleroy suit and accompanying lace collar more popular than in America. In many ways the Little Lord Fauntleroy suit was one of the first detincrive American styles, although fancy velvet suits for boys were first worn in Europe. The American Fauntleroy suit was generally worn with a lace or ruffled collar. Boys still in dresses also sometime wore lace collars. HBC is unsure if the popularity of the Fauntleroy suit in America meant that the lace collar was more commonly worn by American boys than European boys. We have not yet developed a major section specificically for American lace collars, but most of the images in the general lace collar section are American images. We think this in part reflects the greater size of HBC's Anerican archive, but it doies seem to suggest that lace collars may have been more popular in American than Europe. Lace was an expensive item, often imported frm Europe. We tend to see an increasing number of ruffled collars during the 1890s instead of lace. Many ruffled collars, however, were trimed with lace.
We see quite a number of American boys wearing ruffled collars. Small ruffled collars were popular at mid-century. American boys at first from affluent families, following the European fashion. wore ruffeled collars in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They were worn both with Fauntleroy outfits as well as fancy blouses. We even see boys wearing them with sack suits. They may have been more popular in America than Europe because of the Fauntleroy craze in Ameica. Some boys by the 1810s were worn open collars, but this style was more popular in Europe. While fancy, the open collar was well suited for children. This changed by mid-century when collars were almost always worn closed. We see ruffled collars them at mid-century, although they were not real common and tended to be very small. As young boys and girls in the 19th century were often dressed alike in dresses, the collar was sometimes used to diferentiate boys from girls. Often the girls neckline might be cut lower while boys might have higher even though fancy collars. There were no definite rules on such matters, however, and mostly it was up to the fancy of the mothers. Ruffled collars became a major fashion statement in the late-19th century as the result of the Little Lord Fauntleroy craze. Lace collars were popular with early Fauntleroy suits, but gradually ruffled collars became more common. We see boys wearing huge ruffled collars in tthe 1890s. The collars were much larger than those worn by girls. Some of the collars were edged in lace. A good example is the Harrison boys. By the turn of the 20th century, ruffled collars becamme more common. A good example here is a boy in Washington, Pennsylvania about 1905. Ruffled collars were not just worn with Faunleroy suits. They were worn with other garments such as kilt suits and on blouses of various description. We note mothers sometimes using ruffle collars for a few years even after a boy had graduated to sack suits. Ruffled collars were worn both with and without fancy neckwear--mostly floppy bows.
Usage in connection with Fauntleroy collars is a little compicated. Thankfully at about the same time that the Fauntleroy craze began, George Eastman and his Kodak company be gan to develop products making the amateur sanpshot. This essentially began (1890s), but the Kodak Brownie was a game changer (1900). This means that we begin to mget images outside the studio mwhen boys are commonly dressed up in their best outfits, even wearing their suit jackets during the summer. Here seasonality is a factor. Boys in the summer when it is warm might just wear a Fauntleroy blouse without a jacket. The boy here is a good example (figure 1). When it gets cooler they wear their suit jackets. At the time it was very common for boys to wear suits. There were still not a lot of casual wear. Mostly boys wore suits. Another question is what about the winter when it really gets cold, especilly in the norhern states. Here we do not get a lot of information from studio mphotography which was still the major source pf photographic evidence. Boys rarely wore their overcoats for stufiomportaits. But thanks to the new box camerals we have some snapshots showing boys in winter scenes. And moms being moms, some of the boys wore their faintleroy collars so theu showed over the overcoats. And this was not just in the refined big cities with well-to-do families. We see it bin rough logging camps in northern Minnesota.
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