Figure 1.--This American boy in a photograph taken about 1890 wears an elaborate lace trimmed Fauntleroy blouse with an elegant white collar bow. Note that he also has small black bows at the hem of his kneepants. Also notice the white buttons at the hem of the pants. Most knee pants had only three, usually dark buttons.
The least common type of bows worn by boy were the pants bows. Such bows usually appeared at the hem of a boys kneepants and were most commonly worn with
Fauntleroy suits. It was not only Fauntleroy suits, however, they also appeared on sailor suits and other kneepants. I'm not sure about the color, but believe that they were mostly black, or a color close to the color of the pants themselves. In contrast to the collar bows, they were usually quite small.
These pants bows generally follow the chronology for the two garments theyb
are mostly associated with. LittlecLord Fauntlerou suits and kneepants. Thus
these bows are most common from about 1885-1905.
Some basic details on these pants bows are available.
Pants bows were worn almost excclusively on kneepants. They were neraly alwats worn at the hem. They were most common on Fauntleroy suits. It was not
only Fauntleroy suits, however, theybalso appeared on
sailor suits and other kneepants suits.
I'm not sure about the color, but believe that they were mostly black, or a
color close to the color of the pants themselves. Unlike other types of bows such
as collar bows, they were not normally a clor designed to contrast with the boy's
suit. Notably, however, artists desiring to create an elaborate Little Lord Fauntleroy
suit might emphasize this design element by making these bows contrasting colors.
Figure 2.--This American boy, also in a photograph taken in the 1890s wears small little bows on the kneepants of his sailor suit.
In contrast to the collar bows, they were usually quite small. But some mothers decided on fairly large bows for even these pants bows.
The pants bows were tied in various styles. Many werecrather like straight bow ties. Other were nmuch fuller knots. The one constant tendenct was that the
bows did not have dangling tails.
Illustrators draeing idealized Fauntleroy suits and other boys' outfits often emphasized the bows on kneepants. They often were made larger than actually worn by boys and in some cases were made contrasting colors. Such illustrations were used in postcards and in a wide variety of commercial art.
Figure 3.--The illustrator in this idealized drawing emphasizes the pants bows bybmaking them a contrasting color. This was not common on actual boys' pants. This illustration was for the sheet music of a song. For some reason Buster Brown is pictured in a Fauntleroy suit.
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