Sailor Caps: Wearing Position

Figure 1.--This unidentified portrait is also undated. The boy almost certainly is American, probably taken in the 1900s. Note the rakish angle of the cap which seems to contradict the rather mild-mannered image suggested by the portrait.

It is difficult to tell how boys normally wore their sailor caps. Generally we note in formal portraits that the caps and hats are normally fully seated on the boys head parallel to the floor. The major exception to this was the cap or hat set back on the head at angle. This was presumably done so that some of the boy's hair appeared in the photograph. It also often showed more of the cap. We are not sure if boys actually wore their caps back like that. It seems likely that this was more of an approach primarily for a portrait. We notice a few images of boys wearing their sailor caps rakishly cocked to one side. This is much less common, however, and we believe that relatively few boys actually wore them like this. There presumably were chronolgical and national variations here, but we have not yet beem able to assess these.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: October 4, 2002
Last updated: October 4, 2002