Figure 1.--School portraits provide a great deal of valuable information about period fashions. This California school group is undated, but was surely taken in the 1900s. Quite a number of the boys wear suspenders. Click on the image to see more of the boys. These school portaits are also useful because they show how children typically dressed at the time and are often different than the spriced up children in formal portraits.
We see various approaches to trouser suspension in the 1900s. The popularity of these approaches varied over time and among countries. Suspenders were still widely worn. We see this both in America and Europe. Suspenders seem even more common in Europe than America. Older boys might wear belts. Many American boys wore button-on pants that attached to waist suit underwear. We do not see this as commonly in Europe, although here our information is still limited. We do not yet see actual suspender pants in the sence of pants made with shoulder sraps made in the same material as the pants instead of separate eslasticized straps. Although we do begin to see American boys wearing bib-front overalls, especially in rural areas. Another approach for younger boys were bodices. We see the kilt skirts for kilt suits made with bodices. The bloomer knickers worn with tunic suits also had bodices. We see this in a McCalls pattern.
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