European and American boys at the turn of the 20th Century wore two
garments in the Russian style, tunics and blouses both worn as part of
a suit ensemble. The Russian tunic had existed for some time. The Russian blouse suit was a new style. The Russian style came in two styles, a tightly buttoned at the neck style which appeared in the 1890s and an open square collared style which appeared after the turn of the century. The open square collar was rather an informal style worn with short pants. This style was popular throughout Europe and America. As clothing became more informal in the 1900s and 1910s, younger boys began wearing a Russian blouse by itself in both a closed and open neck style.
The open necked Russian blouse was primarily a warm weather garment. They were generally worn as a casual garment, somewhat like a modern boy might wear a "T"-shirt. Boys in the open necked Russian blouse could also be dressed in a more formal more formal manner suitable for an outing with the family or even a party. The open neck blouse was usually worn with kneepants.
The closed necked version might be worn for more formal occasions than the open necked Russian blouse. They were made of many different materials. Some were made iut of heavier materilas and seem suitable for cold weather wear. This style appeared in the 1900s and could be used as a kind of formal shirt for a boy who a decade earlier might have worn a Fauntleroy blouse. The closed neck Russian blouse could be worn with kneepants, but kilts were also worn with it. Long pants were not common as it was prinarily a younger boys' style.
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