Dresses: Modern Boys' View

Figure 1.--This CDV probably taken in the 1860s was inscribed on back "Howard Bull, Uncle Robert Bull's son". The photo was made in Middletown, NY. Most peole viewing this CDV would have assumed the child was a girl.

Historical fashion is of special interest to girls. Some boys are also intrigued about the clothes worn by boys in different eras. The prevalence of dressess for boys comes as a great surprise to the modern boy whose as no idea that young boys until relatively recently commonly wore dresses. In fact for most of modern history, boys have worn dresses. It has oinly been since the 1920s that the fashion has faded.

Often children and for that matter adults - examining old photographs will fail to realise how common the fashion of dressing boys in dresses really was. They simply assume that children in dresses were girls.

One father provided the following report to HBC. "My six year old son had to do a project about children in the past. Your web site has been really useful. He is fascinated by the fact that small boys wore dresses and had long hair! Thank you for the information."

Christopher Wagner


Navigate the Historic Boys' Clothing Web dress pages:
[Return to the Main dress page]
[Pinafores] [Ringlet curls] [Smocks] [Bodice kilts] [Kilts]
[Fauntleroy dresses] [Sailor dresses] [Fancy dresses]
[Dresses: 16th-18th centuries] [Dresses: Early-Mid-19th century]
[Dresses: Late-19th century] [Dresses: Early 20th century]
[Difficult images] [Movie dresses]

Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Introduction] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Biographies] [Bibliographies] [Activities] [Countries] [Contributions]
[Boys' Clothing Home]

Created: October 2, 1999
Last updated: October 2, 1999