*** Historical Presidential Clothing: 20th Century

Historic Presidential Boys' Clothing: 20th Century

President Kennedy
Figure 1.--John F. Kennedy is pictured here at about 11 years of age in 1928. Boys by the 1920s were wearing suits, soft-collared shirts, and ties with recognizable modern styling.

The clothing worn by presidents as children and the clothing worn by their children are a good reflection of contemporary children's clothing. America of course has no royal family to help set fashion standards as was the case in Europe. The American president and his family have in part played this role. Thus a review of the American presidents provide glimpses on popular children's fashions of the day. In addition, the clothing of the presidents themselves provide additional glimpses. Very limited information is available on the childhood of many presidents, especially the childhood of presidents like Abraham Lincoln that grew up in modest circumstances.

The 20th Century began with hard charging Theodore Roosvelt and ended with William Clinton, who just managed to hold on to his office, despite being impeached by the Republican-dominated House of Representaives for personal misconduct. Boys fashions evolved from Buster Brown and sailor suits worn with knickers or short pants in the 1900s to the jeans and logo-emblazoned "T" suits worn in the 1990s.

Available information on the presidents of the 20th century is as follows: