HBC is unsure at this time as to the gener connotations of ringlet curls. Today of course they are associated with girls. The connontations in the late 19th century are less clear. The available photographic record shows girls wearing ringlets. HBC notes, however, that boys with ringlet curls are rarely pictured wearing the same ringlet style as their sisters. Normally his sisters do not have the same ringlets. HBC has noted this tendency on large number of images. HBC's preliminary assessment is that ringlet curls in the late 19th century were more of a boys' fashion than a girls fashion. This is, however, a very preliminary assessment at this time. HBC has noted no reference to this on in contemporary household advise journals or in the written record of family letters. The tendency to use ringlet curls as a younger boys fashion changed rapidly after World War I (1914-18). Boys were still seen with ringlets, generally short ones, during the early 1920s, but ringlets became increasingly a girls fashion, except for very young boys. By the late 1920s and early 1930s with the appearance of Shirley Temple--ringlets had become an entirely girls' fashion.
HBC is unsure at this time as to the gener connotations of ringlet curls. Today of course they are associated with girls. The connontations in the late 19th century are less clear. HBC's preliminary assessment is that ringlet curls in the late 19th century were more of a boys' fashion than a girls fashion. This is, however, a very preliminary assessment at this time.
The available photographic record shows girls wearing ringlets. HBC notes, however, that boys with ringlet curls are rarely pictured wearing the same ringlet style as their sisters. HBC has noted this tendency on large number of image. Their sisters have their hair done in a range of different styles.
HBC has noted in the largest number of family images that the younger brother may have ringlets, but his sisters have various hair styles and lengths without ringlets.
Brothers and sisters occasionally both have ringlets, but the ringlets are styled differently. There are a variety of variations in both the length and styling of the ringlets.
One alternative to curling long hair is putting it in braids. We note portraits of girls with braids with brothers, normally little brothers, in ringlets. The braids can both be made to hang long like ringlets, or curled up behind the head or on top of the head. we suspect that some of these girls, if they did not jave little brothers wearing ringlets, would have worn ringlet curls 6themselves.
On a few occasions HBC has noted brothers and sisters wearing similar or identical ringlets. They occasionaly even wore similar clothes. It was fairly common for brothers and sisters to be dressed alike, but similar hair styles was not common at all.
Normally the brothers and sisters assessed here are brothers with older sisters. Normally an older brother would not have his hair styled like a younger sister.
HBC has noted no reference to brothers and sisters wearing ringlets in contemporary household advise journals or in the written record of family letters. HBC hopes to persue this line of research.
There seem to be substantial differences between the chronological trends for boys' and girls' ringlet curls. We have limited information on the early-19th century, but with the invention of phoptography we do have a great deal of information beginning in the mid-19th century. There are notable differences in styles and popularity of ringlets for both genders. Both boys and girls wore ringlet curls in the the late-19th century, but they seem especially common for boys in the late-19th century. Ad as ringlets for boys become common, they seem to become less common for a time with girls. We note this especially among families which had boys whose hair was done in ringlets. We have begun to build a chrinological archive to study trends in greater detail.
Most of the information and images here concerns American boys. HBC has little information at this time about brother sister hair styles in other countries.
Many mothers like to dress their children in identical or similar outfits. Generally this involved similar clothing. It was much less common to coordinate their hair styles. Generations of mothers dressed their children, in some cases both sons and daughters, identically or in similar outfits--convinced this was a charming fashion. This was a simple matter in the 18th and much of the 19th Century. As little boys wore dresses just like their sisters, it was easy to ooutfit the boys and girls in identical. At the time it ws considered in appropriate to outfit girls in boys clothes. As distinctive dress styles for little boys developed in the late 19th Century and the fashion of dressing little boys in dresses disappeared after World War I (1914-19), this became more difficult. Many nothers, however, still wanted to dress their children similarly. Thus styles outfits with girls dresses and coordinate boys outfits were developed.
One style that girls have worn, although the popularity has varied over time has been ringlet curls. The popularity of ringlets has varied significantly over time and among countries. We believe that during the time that ringlets became most popular for boys, about 1880-1905, that they were less popular for girls. One major difference between boys' and girls' ringlets is that quite old girls even young women might wear them. Also girls, especially in the early 1900s might wear them with very large hair bows.
Navigate Related HBC Pages:
[Return to the Main Ringlet Curls page]
[Return to the Main hair page]
[Return to the Main curl page]
[Bangs] [Long hair] [Hair bows] [Caps] [Collar bows]
Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [Essays] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]