*** boys historical clothes: HBC frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Figure 1.--Thanks to Queen Victoria and Prince albert, the Scottish kilt and the sailor suit became standards for British primnces and as a result major fashion stample for boys in America and Europe. Here we see the Queen with three future kings.

Many HBC readers have asked a variety of subjects about our web site. As we want to reserve our limited availble time for actually working on the web site, we have only limited time to respond to eMails. We are, however, interested in your questions and will try to respond to those addressing the substantive topics addressed here. We thought to answer the more commonly asked questions here.

Where are the images? Why don't they show up on most pages?

Good question. The reason is simply money. The readership of HBC has reached such a level that our host began making site usage (bandwidth) charges. These charges were quite substantial, beyond what HBC could finance without assistance from our readership. We ask that you make a small contibution to help support the HBC site. Contributors will be provided an access code which will allow all of the images to be seen.

Why just boys clothes? What about the girls?

Help! Help! This project has mushroomed as it is. Chris thought by focusing on boys I could restrict the subject somewhat. There is way more material than we can handle as is. HBC may well be the largest fashion site on the internet. At least I don't know of one of even a fraction of HBC's size. And even with this size, there is only minimal coverage of many topics. I think, however, that someone should certainly address the subject of girls' clothes. We would welcome a sister site so to speak. Some of the historical material I've collected would help in that enerprise and I would be glad to assist. I hope someone will eventually start just such a project. While HBC focuses on boys' fashions, there is quite a bit of information about girls' clothing on our site. You might want to have a look at the Main girls' page. While it in no way addresses the topic properly, readers desiring information on girls' clothing may find it useful. And we continue gto look fior an associate that would be willing to create a sister site.

What about work and casual clothes?

Although not exclusively, I have given special attention to dress clothes. This is simply because they are more interesting. Clothes worn every day such as long trousers and overalls would be a bit boring to discuss, don't you think. I do, however, attempt to discuss casual clothes and would greatly appreciate any descriptioins of casual clothes that web visitors may choose to contribute.

Can we contribute material anonymously?

I do prefer to indicate sources as a confirmation of authenticity. However, I recognize that some of you are a little shy about your own personal experiences. Thus I do accept anonymous submissions. Please note that I would never use someone's name without first obtaining their permission.

Why do you charge for the expanded/satellite sites?

I know web surfers like free stuff. I do myself. Actually, anyone who contributes to the site receives free access. Those who don't have time to contribute are asked to contribute a small sum to offset the not-inconsiderable costs of paying the company hosting HBC, purchasing books, photography, scanning, software, ect. Seems fair to me. I'd like to know where else you can find so much real content with information and many actual images on this topic.

I disagree with some of your comments on styles, fashions, dates, ect.

Great! I'd love your input. America is a big country. Styles and preferences, especially in the era before television were much more localized. In addition, fashions in different countries varied. And HBC has greatly expanded its foreign coverage in recent years. Here we relky greatly on contributions from our international readers. Let me know if you see any thing you think should be changed. And we have expanded our website to address many topics besides fashion. And on many of these issues there are less likely to be clear cut, yes and no answers.

Why is clothing so important? I don't understand your interest? It seems to me that history should deal with more imporant matters.

Yes, I think history has generally dealt with the important leaders and the major events, like wars and depressions. I have no quarrel with that, such events need to be covered. That doesn't mean, however, that other subjects should be ignored. I think that social history has too often been given short shrift by historians. This web site seeks to have a look at one aspect in the life of children over the past 500 years. I think it is a subject that has been sorely neglected. If it bores you, fine. Tune into the History Channel and watch the Germans invade France for the one millionth time. If you are interested in the historical and sociolgical questions we are currently considering, click on the Questions page.

Figure 2.--This reproduction of a Fauntleroy suit for a TV program featured a bright blue suit. While we often think of Fauntleroy suits as black, because of the available black and white images, in fact there were several different colors--although I do not believe that bright colors such as the suit here were common.

Why are there no photographs with some of the pages?

I'm sorry that I have been unable to illustrate all of the pages. My goal is to have photographs and art work to illustrate all of the different styles and periods. Unfortunately, images tend to be ver large files and I have simply run out of space at this site. Almost all of the pages in the expanded site will have appropriate illustrations. I invite those of you who have interesting family photographs or pertinent historical pictures to provide copies to better illustrate the expanded web site.

Why do you focus so much on America and Britain?

That is a fair criticism. The reason is of course because I am an American and most of my sources are American. In addition the contributors to date have been mostly Americans and Brits. I suppse this is primarily a function of the greater computer usage in America and the fact this is an English- language web site. I am very interested, however, in learning about boys' clothing in other countries and adding that information and images to this site. We have in recent years added a great deal about Germany. If you have any suggestions on how to obtain information on France, Italy, and other countries, please let us know.

What about all the broken links?

Yes, that is a real problem. We are working on it. It is of course associated with moving HBC to a new faster site and consolidating the pages that were on several different free sites with all kinds of pop ups and distracting adds. Unfortunately it will be a few months before all the links can be fixed. One of the problems is that mant pages are still on the old sites. About half of the pages are now moved, so the number of broken links is gradually declining as more of the destination pages are moved.

HBC only talks about what the rich boys wore, I was wondering if you had any information or links to site about what the lower class boys wore, around the age of 12-14? Thank you for your time. Natasha.

HBC wouldn't quite agree with you that we only has information on what rich boys wore. HBC would say, however, that much of the information is about what upper and middle class boys wore. Remember that formerly adults and children dressed up for activities that we would now call for casual clothes. So what may look like a formal outfit worn by a rich kid could well be a middle class boy. You are right that there is less about poorer children. This is in part because poorer children tended to wear rather plain clothes that are not as well described in the literature. They also were less likely to be photographed as it was expensive, although by the turn of the century even poor families could afford a visit to the photographic studio. So some of the family shots with boys in plain suits and ruffled collars are actually families of modest means--although it does not look like it. Your point is well taken and it is a topic we hope to address in greater detail as HBC grows. I'm afraid I know of know web site addressing the clothing worn by poor children, although if you find one we would be interested in the URL.

I having trouble finding the subject I am looking for, couldn't the organization been improved?

I am sure the organization could be improved do so is another question. When ever you have a large site, there are going to be organizational problems. I have a few suggestions: 1) Go to the HBC home page, virtually all of the major topics are accessible from that page. There is a link to the home page on virtually all HBC pages. 2) Go to the site map which should be finctioning soon. 3) Use the HBC search engine which will find pertinent pages for you automatically. 4) The HBC index might also be useful to find the desired information. 5) If all else fails ask the HBC webmaster. That will be helpful because if several queries are received on an organizational problem, that will alert HBC of problems that need to be corrected.

Girls fashions

Hello my name is Jennifer and I was assigned to write a report on the 1940's and the fashion. I went to your website ansd i used all the information that you had. I gave it to my teacher and she had said that it was good information except for the fact that it had nothing on women or men or ladies. I was wondering if you have anything on fashion of the 1940's but for men or women or anything like that. We would really appreciate it. Glad you found HBC of interest. However, we have limited it to boys' fashions so as to narrow down the subject. A general fashion page is more than we can handle. I swamped with just boys' fashions. However, there are a lot of fashion sites. We are sure that if you search on the 1940s or on ladies fashiins you will find a lot of other sites that will be able to help you. You might also want to try your local library. I'm sure the librarian will be able to help you find all kinds of information. Also when you prepare a report you never want to take all of your information from one source. You want to use several sources, this help ensure that your information is accurate. Good luck with your research.

How do foreign language speakers find garments and styles on HBC?

Many of the terms are quite different and there difficult to look up. Yes, this is a problem. We would indeed like to make HBC easier to use for non-English speakers. HBC hs an English-language site and for practical reasons has to remain so. Actually as English is the world's most common second language, this is also a aid to individuals interested in fashion around the world. In addition, we do post foreign-language submissions. Thus readers, for example, from France who submit information in French will have their submissions posted in Frenmch and English. HBC has also pmade a major effort to create foreign language glossaries to help readers look up subjects in their language. These glossaries are also useful to fashion reaseachers using foreign-language materials. We have been working on this and there are now glossaries in several foreign languages. We would greatly appreciate any additions to these glossaries that foreign readers may care to make.

Why are there such terrrible translations on the HBC basic site?

You are quite right the HBC introductory translations on HBC's basis Tripod site are terrible. The problem is of course because HBC has only a limited foreign language capability in Spanish. The other translations are done by web-based translation engines which are still inadequate. Of course it would be nice to have better introductory pages in foreign langages as well as translations of HBC pages. I'm afraid, however, that HBC simply does not have the foreign language capability to do this. We have begun to work up some French language pages, but there are limitations on how far we can go with this.


The picture for the baggy jeans look of the 1990s is not working at all for me, I have tried internet explorer and netscape. Can you reload it or something? Thanks. Actually we have not loaded an image on the baggy jean page yet. For your information, when we create a new page we often create an image box, even though we do not yet have an image. That way, the box is already when we do obtain an image. Usually tou can tell if we do not have an mage yet because the caption will be blank. If there is a caption, than there is a broke image link.

On going research

There are many comments throughout the site "I think that means" or "I have little information on" or "I'm not sure" makesme, and most likely others, wonder "what DOES he know?" Consider re-wording or even, my goodness, doing more research. If you really don't know what you're talking about, why on earth would you have a website about it? Laurie: We think this criticism is a little unfair because even a brief look at HBC will find a vast amount of information. Laurie does, however, raise an issue we want to address. She is quite right that we often meention what we do not know are unsure about. We do this for several reasons: 1) It is useful to state what we do not know. Often we get requests for additional details with readers thinking that we did not include all the information that we had. 2) This highlights areas that we feel should be reserched further. We thought that it would be useful to post what we have learned until we can further research the topic. 3) We take a different approch to our site than is common. We post draft pages that we are still working on. In part we do this to ilicit comments from our readers which often helps us to assess existing information as well as direct further research. Posting drafts seems to upset some people, but that is our policy. 4) Perhaps most importantly, HBC is an interactive site. Many readers contribute to the site and those contributions have made a major role in building our site. By telling our readers what we do not know or what we are unsure of, we alert them to areas in which they could persue reserach to help expand HBC. In many instances they have provided insights and additional information to address these areas. 5) This approach is not how one would publish a book. But this is not a book, it is the internet. By doing this we have receieved information from countries that we never could have covered with our limited resources. We have received information from individuals about their personal experiences, information that is not published in other source. We have received comments from the aquantinces and students of former child prodigies. We have been contacted by individuals that were part of the casts of television and movie programs. Choristers and dancers have provided information on their experiences. We have received comments from members of royal families. Specialists in many areas have contacted to add their insights. Many other such examples exist. None of this would have been possible if we had not uploaded draft pages--often draft pages with only basic information.

HBC History

Can you tell us a little about the history of your HBC website. It seems to be quite an effort. Well HBC has evolved over some time. We began as a very small site on a free Tripod site. The site as evolved over time. Actually our readrs have played a major role in directing the growth of our site. We have created a short page on HBC's history for interested readers.


Navigate the Historic Boys' Clothing Web Site:
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Countries] [Chronology] [Photography] [Style Index]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Search] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]

Navigate the Historic Boys' Clothing Web chronological pages:
[Return to the Main chronological page]
[The 1900s] [The 1910s] [The 1920s] [The 1930s] [The 1940s] [The 1950s] [The 1960s] [The 1970s] [The 1980s] [The 1990s] [The 2000s]

Navigate the Historic Boys' Clothing Web style pages:
[Blazers] [Jackets] [Long pants suits] [Kilts] [Sailor suits] [Knickers] [Eton suits]
[Fauntleroy suits] [Hair styles] [Youth groups]

Created: April 24, 1998
Last updated: 2:58 AM 4/24/2015