Another popular style for younger boys were kilt suits. They were done in various styles. There was a jacket and kilt or skirt, normally done with a doddice. Many were done with plaid material, but normally a muted plaid. They were not worn with the Highland regalia. Butternick offeredkilt suits in several different styles. They were called 'Scotch suits' or just plain 'boys' suits'. These suits were done in sizes up to 6-8 years.
Butterick was founded by Ebeneezer Butterick, a taylor in Stirling, Massachusetts during the Civil War in 1863. He revolutionized the home sewing when he created graded sewing pattern. The inspiration was his wife Ellen who complained that it would be eassier to sew with a pattern. . We do not yet have any of the earliest patterns. We do have a 1900 pattern for a 1900 fancy Fauntleroy blouse. The company continues to be a major force in home and still offers patterns for home sewing. The company in itspromotional literature says that it continues to lead the way in make-it-yourself fashions. I'm not sure just when Butterick began marketing patterns.
Butterick marketed these bibs in both New York and London. The fashions I believe are American, but at the time American fashions were very strongly influenced by English fashion. I think the reason that Butterick was selling the patterns in England is not that the fashions were particularly appealing, but that England at the time did not have such useful patterns ad sewing instructions.
The Scottish kilt was never extensively worn by American boys, despite the sizeable number of Scottish Americans. A related garment, however, the kilt suit, was very commonly worn by two generations of American boys. I believe that the style was also widely worn in England and to a lesser extent in France. Its popularity in Germany and other continental countries, however, appears more limited, although admittedly I have little information on these countries.
Another popular style for younger boys were kilt suits. They were done in various styles. There was a jacket and kilt or skirt, normally done with a doddice. Many were done with plaid material, but normally a muted plaid. They were not worn with the Highland regalia. Butterrick offered kilt suits in several different styles. They were called 'Scotch suits' or just plain 'boys' suits'. These suits were done in sizes up to 6-8 years. We do not note any boys' suits with pants on this page, just dresses and kilt suits aling sith overcoats and jackets.
The oufit here is a kilt suit which Butterick calls a Scotch suit, avoiding the term kilt (figure 1). The suit has a cut-away jacket, a popular style from the 1860s. It also buttons as the collar. It is difficult to see but it has a matching vest (waistcoat) worn under the jacket. The jacket seems to be edged with decorative buttons. It can't be determined by the illustration, but the kilt-skirt presumably was done with a bodice for support. It has a front pannel with decirative slants and the back is pleated. I am not surw, but this suit seems ti come with a sporan, an accessory not commonly worn by American boys with kilt suits, The kilt suit is done up to size 8 years.
This kilt suit was called just a 'boys' suit' by Butterick (figure 2).. The jacket had lapels. There was a connecting tap near the neck line. There is modest detailing at the cuff with buttons. The jacket is drawn in slifgtly and there is muted detailing on the two wings of the back. The jacket was worn with a matching vest (waistcoat. The kilt skirt was presumably done with a bodess. The kilt has a front pannel with decorative trim at the front and is pleated at the back. There is a narrow colored band at the kilt hem.
This is another boys' suit which was just called a 'boys' suit' (figure 3). The jacket was the cut-away style, but the bottom did not fall away from the top as severly as most cut-away jackets., There was a collar, but no lapels. The jacket has decorative edgeing. The back of the jacket has a scalloped bottom. There is a matching vest (waistcoat) which is decribed as adjutable. I'm mot sure how itvwas adjusted. The jacket sleeves have military-style decoration. The kilt-skirt has a front pannel, but it is not pleated. There are decorative colored bands. Butterick calls it a skirt rather than a kilt, perhaps because it was not pleated.
Boy dresses like this were mostly done for pre-school boys. And in sizes up to 6 years this was mostly the case here. We are somewhat unsure about the size 6 years. Notably some of the dresses were inly made to sizes 4 or 5 years. We do not think boys wore dresses like this to school. There is no evidence of it in the historical recird. Yet age 6 years is when American boys began school. Some boys were schooled at hime, but this would have been a minority. The public schools were just developing in the 1870s. Perhaps the standard age of 6 was not yet well established as the age to begin grade 1. We are not yet sure about this. Or perhaps 6 year olds had school clothes, but still wire dresses for special occassions. We are just not sure. This may also have been the case of the boys weaing kilt suits becaise we know they were made in sizes up to 8 years.
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