Ruffled Collars: Coordinated Outfits

Figure 1.--The three American children in this family cabinet card are dressed in different outfits. We see a boy, girl, and baby about 1-7 years old. Notice how the mother has used ruffled collars as a coordinating device. The style of clothes and mount suggest the portrait was taken about 1900-05. It was one of the new style mounts that did not have the studio identification. In this case the boy was onlky about 3 years old, but the same coordinatin effort could easily have been used for an older boy. Notice that the boy has his hair done in ringlets, but not his sister. also notice what lookslike a kind of top knot at the boy's crown.

The primary ruffled collar garment that boys wore was Fauntleroy blouses, especially American boys. They were done with both lace and ruffled collars for a relatively short period, about 1885-1905. We also see some tunic suits done with ruffles. They were used on many other garments--most garments and some younger boys wore. We see ruffles used on blouses, dresses and pinafores. Outfitting the family children in identical or coordinated outfits was a popular idea for quite a number of parents, we think mostly mothers. Ruffles were stylistic device that fashion conscious mothers could use to outfit all her children in coordinated outfits. As ruffled blouses were worn by some boys into their early school years. It was a device that could be used for boys up to about 8 years of age or even a little older. This was thus a style that could be used for several children even of different genders over a substantial age range. It was not a common device for coordinating the dress of siblings, but we do see examples of it in the phtographic record. Most of our example are American, perhaps because of our larger American archive, but the popularity of Fauntleroy styling was we think a another factor. The ruffled collar served as a coordinating device even when the children were wearindifferent garments incluing blouses, dresses, pinafores, suits, tunic, and other outfits. We believe this type of family stylistic coordination also occurred in Europe, but we can not yet confirm this. We know that ruffles were used in European clothing so we think that there were examples of this family coordination in Europe as well as America, perhaps not as many, but sure there were examples.


Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to the Main ruffled collar page]
[Return to the Main collar page]
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Cloth and textiles] [Clothing styles] [Countries] [Topics]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]

Created: 2:17 AM 11/28/2015
Last updated: 2:17 AM 11/28/2015