We notice some boys wearing skirted suits with not attempt being made to make the skirt look like a kilt. These may be early versions of the kilt suit for boys. This seems most common in the 1860s and 70s. We are less sure about the 1850s, in part because the photographic record is incomplete. We note that these skirted suits were worn by boys. Some have boyoish touches like military styling. We are not sure, however, if all of these skirted suit outfits were worn by boys. Some not show no attempt to present the skirt as kilt, but also show feminine touches, such as ruffles and florishes on the skirt. This does not necesarily mean, however, that they were worn by girls. We are not sure at this time to what extent such outfits were worn by girls.
Here we have a skirted suit wth knickers that an American boy wore in 1862. We even have the name of the boy, Harry Danniel. The outfit has military styling, but no attempt to make the skirt look like a kilt.
Here we have a skirt suiy, probably from the 1870s. Again there is no attempt to make the skirt look like a kilt. In fact there are a variety of fancy, feminine touches. Here we are not sure if the child is a boy or girl. Here the hair style is also confusing.
This cabinet card portrait shows twins Claude and Clyde Luce. They look to be anout 3 years old. The boys are dressed in identical skirt suits which were probanly valled like suits at the time. Notice mother has chosen plaid material for the vest and skirt. Other thn the plaid material, the boys' skirts have no kilt features. The mother almost certainly would have described the outfits as kilt suits. The card does not indicate the studio. We have, however, a CDV baby portrait of the boys. Click on the image to see the baby portrait. And it was taken at the A. Barnes Studio in Hillsdale, Michigan. The CDV/cabinet card mix helps fate the image. This and aspects of the outfit help date it. We would guess that it was taken in th late-1860s or early-70s. This was just the time fram tht kilt suits were becoming popular.
This is another skirted suit. Here there is a minor attempt to present the skirt as a kilt as there are a few large pleats. There is also a two curious diagonal apliques on the skirt which we are unsure how to interpret. We are not sure if the child is a boy or girl. The child also has ringlet curls worn with a center part.
This standard cabinet card portrait shows a boy with long hair, but not done in the more common ringlet styling. He is wearing what was probably caklled a kilt suit at the time. The skirt, however, has no kilt styling. Thus it would be more correctly called a skirt suit. The outfit was done in velvet. We are not sure about the color, but it was clearly not black. We might guess a light-blue. Note the cap that matches the suit. The portrait is undated, but we would guess the 1880s, in part because the boy is not wering a Fauntleroy blouse. He is wearing a blouse, but it has a rather simple ruffled collar. The mount does not look like a 1870s style and black long stockings were not commin in the 70s. And the blouse does not look like the fancy ones popular in the 1890s. So a 1880s portrait seems the most likely. The boy is sitting by an upright piano. We are not sure if this means that he was learning to play. The boy is identified on the verso as 'Master R. Demarst, age 6 years'. We do not know what the initial stands for, but Robert seems likely. The studio was W. J. Root, Chicago, Illinois.
Here we see American brothers Clarence and Ear Heath in 1896 being photigraphed at a very basic studio (figure 1). Clarence weaers a skirt suit which looks like it may be pleated.
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