Kilt Suits: Ages--Sears 1897

Figure 1.--Sears in 1897 offered this kiltsuit (no. 4210) 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.

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.

Sears offered these general instructions and stressed that these were outfits for boys. The section was headlined, "Children's Klit Suits Children Ages, 2 1/2, 3, 3 1/2, and 4 Years". Sears advised mothers "In ordering these suits be sure to state age of boy and say whether large or small of his age. Our line of Kilt Suits is very complete and embraces about 50 styles; but for your consuderation we present to you two special bargains selected from all the suits that we are offering at a price that is sure to bring orders for those in need of this class of goods.

Kilt Suit Styles

Sears advertised four different styles of kiltsuit in the 1897 catalog. Why they chose these four out of their 50 different styles is unclear to HBC.

No. 4209

First among this lot of bargains Is our $1.45 kilt suit, which we furnish in navy blue, slate, and tan, as desired. In ordering, be sure to state color wanted, and if to be sent by mail enclose 15 cents to pay postage.

Want of space prevents showing even a small portion of the line we carry; but we do offer you the two biggest bargains we carry, and we know that if we recieve your order, youbwill be somwell pleased that you will favor us with your orders for other departments.

The garment is made of good weight broadcloth, blouse waist cut in the most approved manner, large squarecback sailor collar with white anchors in each corner of the back, handsomely embroidered with silk floss, round front, ornamented with little bow, rubber buttons. Full-plaited kilt, box front, ornamental on each side with four small rubber buttons to match the waist. Continuous waistband with extra well-made button holes and finished with a hem one inch wide, double-stitched and extra well-made throughout.

No. 4210.

Our $2.60 all wool navy blue cheviot kilt suits, for boys 2 1/2, 3, 3 1/2, and 4 years of age. Be sure to state age of boy and say whether large or small of his age. If sent by mail enclose 25 cents extra to pay postage. If by expres C.O.D., subject to examination, send us $1,00, the ballance and express charges can be paid after the suit is received. Coat made with round sailor collar, lapel front, simulated vest, trimmed with silk braid, one-half inch wide, and silk ball buttons, lined throughout with serge, the sleeves lined throughout with stripped silesia, slashed out on each side of the back and trimmed on each side with four silk ball buttons to match coat, continous band, extra well-made and finished with button holes, wide hem on the bottom. Thi s makesca very dressy and stylish little suit. The illustration for this suit ison the main kilt suit age page.

Figure 2.--Suit No. 4211 was made in a jaunty sailor style.

No. 4211

Our special 75, kilt suit. This suit is made for choldren from 2 1/2 to 4 years of age. It is made of a heavy blue and white stripped ducking, with very large square blue collar, fancy cuffs, fancy tie, a suit that would retail in any first class store at nearly double our special offer price.

No. 4212

Our $1.15 kilt suit. We offer for $1.15 a very fine kilt suit, one that cannot be duplicated, in any retail store within 50 per cent of our special offer price. These suits are made for children 2 1/2, 3, 3 1/2, and 4 years of age. In ordering be sure to state age. At 15 cents extra we will send these suits by mail, postage paid. When ordering by mail be sure to enclose the 15 cents to pay postage. The suit is made from a heavy blue and red stripe duck, has a very large fancy square red collar, scalloped and nicely bound, large red scalloped cuffs and front.

Figure 3.--Suit No. 4212 was a very coloful kilt suit. It was made in a red and blue stripe abs the saclloped collar and front piece was red. The drawing suggest a lighter colored stockings--perhaps red.


The Sears illustrations are notable for several reasons. All of the boys wear long hair, although not ringlet curls. While many young boys had long hair at the time, most did not. The boys also all wear long dark over the stockings. Their shoes all have white bows. HBC has noted some photographs of boys with bows on their shoes. Most boys did not have them and thecones that did always had dark bows. One boy wears a Scottish style Balmral tam with his kilt. Some Americans boys did wear these tams--but rarely with the feather shown.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: March 24, 2001
Last updated: March 24, 2001