Figure 1.--Sears in 1897 offered thiskiltsuit in sizes 2 1/2 through 4 meaning that many boys woukld still be wearing it at age 5. Sears aimed its suits at the wider Anmerican consumer. I'm not sure if this age range would have also applied to more affluent families.
Kilt suits based on available images were generally made in sizes from about 3 to 6 years. The suits with frillier applique were usually made for sizes up to 5 or 6. Plainer more boyish styles were sometimes available in sizes up to 8 years. This would mean that boys of 9 or even 10 might wear them. Older boys were more likely to wear proper kilts, but with a variety of shirts varying from lace trimmed blouses to shirts with stiff Eton collars and bow ties. The age varied over time. The Sears 1897 catalog had kilt suits only for ages 2 1/2 through 4 meanig that boys might commonly wear them through about age 5.
Available photographs show boys of a wide age range wearing kilt suits. Unfortunately many of these images are undated and often do not uindicate a boys age. This makes interprting fashion trends difficult. While a boys' age can often be estimated--it is much more difficult to estimate the year that the photigraph was taken.
Clothing catalogs are very helpful in that they are usually dated and provide size information. The accompanying text often provides valuable information on materials and detailing. There are some disadvantages as the descriptions are often hard to visualize or the attached drawings lack detail. In addition, catalogs were often targeted to specific audienceds and thus can be misleading unless properly intpreted.
HBC has noted other catalogs at earlier dates with suits made in sizes 5 and 6. We will load this information here.
Butterick offered several different kilt suit patterns in 1876, although they did not use the term "kilt syit". There were different styles, one was called a Scotych suit. The age range caried. Some were done in sizes 4-5. Two others were done for 8 year olds.
The Sears 1897 catalog offered kiltsuits for boys from 2 1/2 through 4 meanig that boys might commonly wear them through about age 5. Sears aimed its suits at the wider Anmerican consumer. It thus was probably a fairly good indicator as to the age these suits were being wiorn in 1897 at the turn of tghe century. I'm not sure if this age range would have also applied to more affluent families. The Sears catalog provided valuable information on materials and detailing.
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