One visitor to HBC asks:
Do you have any idea who manufactures and/or sells little boys Eton suits (short jackets with no lapels, short pants and shirts with Peter Pan collars)? I would like my 5-year-old nephew to wear such a Eton suit for my wedding. I have searched the internet for stores in the United States and England, but have had no luck in finding a store that sells these suits. If you know of no manufactures or retailers that still sell them, please let me know. Do you know where I might find a pattern for my seamstress? By the way, what has happened to little boys' formal wear in recent years? Everything that I see in stores is atrocious!
This of course is an interesting question how did we get from the smark
nicely tailored short pants suits boys once wore to the baggy jeans and
over-sized "T" shorts and the general abhorance of dress-up clothes
currently in vogue.
There are usually no clear answers as to what causes fashions to change.
There are several factors that may be at play here. While speculative they
at leasr offer some food for thought. Let me know if any thing occurs
Casual clothes have become the in fashion for both adults and
children since the 1940s. It is part of a general shift in life style
accompanying the move to the suburbs since World War II (1941-45).
Boys now wear casual clothes to ecents like church, bith day parties, and
other events where they once dressed up. Thus the modern boy has
less need for formal clothes than wa once the case.
Boys now have a much greater say in the clothes they wear, even
relatively young boys. Mothers now have much less say in the matter.
The fancy stylish clothes that some mothers would prefer are a difficult
sell for many boys. The modern wants comfortable, casual clothes. They
generally dislike formal clothes of any kind. If they do have to dress
up they want styles like their fathers. Boys also do not like clothes
that resemble clothes that little boys or girls might wear. Even if the
fashions were initially boys' fashions, once they become girls fashions
they become anathema to boys. Thus dressy short pants, kneesocks
(especially white kneesocks), Peter Pan collards, and closed toe sandals
are all fashions modern boys now dislike.
Modern parents are much more intent on using clothes to identify
young children. Boys and girls as infants and even todlers used to be
dressed alike. There are strict
color rules for babies. Baby boys clothes are
now blue. A boy would never be dressed in pink.
Older boys are as quickly as possible dressed like little men in adult
suits. There appears to be a desire to establish a boy's masculinity as
soon as possible. This is quite interesting as the same does not appear
to be true for girls, who now commonly wear jeans and long pants from an
early age. The reason for this desire to establish a boys' masulinity
at as early an age as possible is an interesting devlopment in itself.
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