Button-on Clothing Styles: Sailor Suits--Chronology

Figure 1.--This family snapshot is unidentified, but we are fairly confident that it is German. The white string ties on the boys' sailor scarves help confirm that it is German. We see four children, three boys and a girl. They look to be about 3-8 years old. The boys all wear identical button-on sailor suits. We think this would be a well-to-do family. The lady seems to be nanny or governess looking after them. It would have been taken in the 1930s.

The sailor suit was an enomously popular style for boys in both Europe and America during the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. Yet we have relatively few examples of button-on sailor suits during the 19th century. We have just begun to build a chronology. We see 19th cntury button-on outfits, often with the buttons covered. But we do do not see many button-on sailor suit. Most of the 19th century sailor suit images we have found were tops that bloused worn over the pants. Most of the button on images we have found come from the 20th century. We are not entirely sure why. During the period in which button-on styling was most common from about the 1920s-40s, the popularity of the sailor suit was declining. This limited the number of sailor suits done with buttoning on styling.


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Created: 4:23 AM 3/3/2018
Last updated: 4:23 AM 3/3/2018