*** boys' suit jackets : cut-away jacket country trends

Cut-away Jackets: Country Trends

Figure 1.--This CDV portrait shows two American boys wearing cut-away jacket suits in the 1860s, robably the lsate-60s. The suits are identical except that the younger brother wears knee pants. The boys look about 4-6 years old. The studio was J.F. Ryder in Cleveland, Ohio.

The cut-away jacket was worn by boys in many different countries. It wa a very widely worn suit style. We arevnot sure where the style first developed. We suspect it was England, but we can not substantiate it at this time. The cit-away jacket was a common style throughout Europe and North America in mid- and late-19th cenyry. We have not yet developed pages for many of those countries. There was considerable similarities among the suits worn in the different countries and the time line seens similar in the various countries. We do not yet have a sufficient archive to develop information on every country, but we are expanding our coverge. We do have a page on England. We do have a German page. There is also a United States page.


We notice a variety of fancy styles in the 19th century for younger boys. The principal jacket style by mid-century was the cut-away jacket. Suits with cut-away jackets appeared in the mid-19th century in a range of different styles. Many of these were very plain. The portrait here is an example of a very plain suit (Figure 1). Other suits were detailed with military styling. Piping, stripes, and embroidery were commonly employed in the detailing. The most striking such suits were the Zouave suits. Of course the best known suit style in the late-19th century was the Fauntleroy suit, one without military styling. The cut of the jacket varies as to how sharply the two sides separated. There were also differences in length. Fauntleroy cut-away jackets were especially small to show off fancy blouses to the best advantage. Cut away jackets were connected at the top in various ways. Some buttones near the collar. Others had tab connectors. Many cut-away jackets had breast pockets. The cut-away jacket suit was worn with and without vests and with a variety of blouses, both plain and fancy blouses. We are not sure about the age conventions involved as we ave few catalog from the mid-19th century. We see to see boys from about 3-8 years of age wearing these suits, but this is just an initial assessment. These jackets were normally worn with shortened leg pants, both kneepants and bloomer knickers. Quite a number of Ameican boys wearing these cut-away jackers are archived on HBC.


we do not have much information on cut-away jackets in Canada, but we believe that they were commonly worn. Our archive is too limited to discuss them in any detail. We note suits that look like English suits. A good example is an unidentified New Brunswick boy, we believe in the 1860s.


Suits with cut-away jackets were popular in the mid-19th century for younger boys. We see them being commonly worn in the 1860s and 70s by younger school-age boys. We have little information about the 1850s. They may have been worn in the late-50s. We see cut-away jackets in the 80s, but mostly as part of Fauntleroy suits. Our information is still limited, but we think that they were most common in the 1860s and the early 70s. The jackets were worn open except for some kind of connecting tab at the top near the collar. Most were made without collars. The jackets varied a great deal. Some were very plain without any ornamentation. We note other jackes that were heavily decorated with embroidery. Vests (waistcoats) were common, but not compulsury. We are not sure just how common they were. They were worn with all kinds of trousers, knee pants, bloomer knickers, and long pants. They suits were worn with a variety of accompanying clothing, including headwear, shirts/blouses, neckwear, and hosiery. Because of the chronological time involved, we mostly noice boys with small collars and neckwear. Out archieve is too limited at this time to develop these topics with much certainty.



We see younger German boys wearing suits with cut-away jackets beginning in the mid-19th century. I'm not sure what the German term was for this style of suit. We believe these suits were very common, at least with boys from afluent families. This seems to have been a fairly standard and popular style throughout Europe and America. The suits were often elaborately decorated--commonly with emroidered designs. Most were done with shortened-length pants, with knee pants or knickers. Our understanding of the chronological range is incomplere at this time. I'm unsure what kind of headwear would have been worn with these suits. The boy here was probably photographedf in the late 1860s or 70s (figure 1). We are not sure when this style first appeared and how long the style was popular. I'm also not entirely sure about the age range for these suits, but would estimate from about 3 years old (or wnen the boy was breeched) to about 8 years of age--but this is just an estimate at this time. The collars worn with these jackets varried. This boy wears a small ruffled collar.



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Created: 1:56 AM 10/2/2009
Last updated: 10:58 PM 9/9/2010