Stuart's Oliver Twist and Middy Suits for Boys, 1915

Figure 1.--Stuart's offered several casual short pants outfits for younger boys with boy sailor and Russian blouse styling. The term "Oliver Twist" suits appears to refer to the button-on styling.

This page from the Stuart's catalog has two "Oliver Twist" and two sailor suit for younger boys. The sailor styles were considered suitablr for somewhat older boys while the Olover Twist style was made for younger boys. The Oliver twists suits come in sizes for boys ip to 4 years. The sailor style comes in sizes up to 5-6 years. These suits all come with knee-length short pants. They were worn with both short socks and long over the knee stockings. Note the very different hat styles from the ones weorn in the 1900s. There are four different suit styles offered, two in different colors.

Garments Offered

Stuarts offered six garments on this page for boys from 2-6 years of age.

No. 201: Boys' middy suit

Boys' middy suit of blue and white stripped percale. Rrimmed with sailor collar, four-in-hand-tie, bands around sleeve and at bottom of loose fitting blouse all of solid cadet blue edged with white piping. Side swing pockets in trousers. Detachable shield (or "dickey") supplied with each suit, which can be worn bare breasted, if desired. Sizes 2, 3, 4, and 5 years. $1.25

No. 201W: Boys' white middy suit

Same as 201, but made of all white linnen-finished suiting. Sizes 2, 3, 4, and 5 years. $1.25

No. 207: Middy suit

Extrenely good value in a "Middy" suit for boys. Blouse and trousers made of white linnen-finished suiting, with trimming of red and white piping around short full sleeves, shield and blouse. White lacing up front of blouse. Removable shield. Trousers have side swing pockets. Sizes 2 to 6 years. Wonderful value. Only 95 cents. HBC is unsure why this style was made to 6 years and the other sailor suit only to 5 years.

No: 404: Oliver Twist suit

An extra special value in an Oliver Twist suit. Trousers are of solid cadet blue, buttoning on to a white waist trimmed at neck and sleeves with bands of the blue material. Waist (HBC note: waist means blouse or shirt) fastens down front with selected pearl buttons. Sizes 2, 3. and 4 years 59 cents. HBC believes that the suits are called "Oliver Twist" suits because the buttins and button on styling are similar to a skeleton suit. Note the drawing shows this boy wearing long stockings.

No: 404W: Oliver Twist white suit

Same as design as 404, but made of all white. Sizes 2, 3, and 4 years. 59 cents

No: 430: Oliver Twist suit

Boys' Oliver Twist suit. Both trousers and waist are made of solid cadet blue material, trimmed with round collar and cuffs of white Madras, with cord forming tie at neck. Waiste fastens down front, and trousers are attached to waist with pearl buttons. Sizes 2, 3. and 4 years. Price ... 89 cents.

Items Pictures




A range of different shoe styles are shown, including strap shoes, spats, and one not clearly drawn pair.

Hair Styles


These outfits are all made of light-weight fabrics and thus made for spring or summer. That is one reason they mostly wear short socks. Also notice the short sleeves.


Note that these suits were being made for boys as young as 2 years old. Earlier boys that young would have been wearing dresses. Clearly by the 1910s many boys were being to wear clerly specialized boys' outfits and not dresses as had been common throughout the 19th century. Short sleeves appear to be a 1910s inovation. I do not recall seeing them earlier. Also note popularity of white and blue garments.


HBC noted above the use of the term "waist" which is no longer a term commonly used in the sence of a garment. HBC noted that it meant a blouse or shirt. The modern term blouse probably captures the sence best as it was a shirt without tails. HBC has generally considered a "waist" to be a garment or part of a garment covering the body from the neck or shoulders to the waistline, commonly used in womens and childrens clothing. We have discovered, however, that "waist" was also used to mean a child's undergarment to which other items of apparel were attached by buttons or clasps. This appears to be a term also used for stocking supporters. Sometimes mothers used pins to attach stockings to regular underwear rather than a specialized waist.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: May 2, 2001
Last updated: May 22, 2001