Boys' Suit Jackets: Cut-away Jackets--Trim

Figure 1.--This CDV portrait was taken of an American boy. He looks to be about 5 years old. A blind stamp is marked on the right bottom edge of the photo indicated the studio, "Carson" (or Garson), but not the location. Not the heavy embroidery repeated on his bloomer knickers. We wiuld guess it was taken in the mid-1860s, although 1866 or later. Note the uncharaistaliscally large bow.

These jackets in the mid-19th century were often decorated with elaborate embrodiery and other trim. Not all cut-away jackets had elaborate emroidery. Many wee in fact very plain with almost no embroidery or other trim. A factor here was age. The suits for the younger boys seem to have the most elabortate trim and decoration. The style of the emroidery varied widely. They were a wide variety of geometraic ptterns. The embroidery was most common around the edges of the jacket, bnut sometimes there is embroidered work all over the front of the jacket. I'm less sure about the back because almost all photographic portraits are frontal shots. I am not sure what the inspiration was. I think some magazines may have carried patterns, but can not yet confirm this. The work was all hand done. Some jackets had patch pockets which might also be a focus of the embroidered designs. This jacket trim and emroidery was often repeated on the pants, but not commonly on the vest (waistcoat). Stripes on the pants, especially bloomer knickers were also very common. We also notice braid and ribbons being used as decorative devices. A good example is an unidentified Canadian boy. Buttons were also used as decorative devices.


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Created: 12:20 PM 12/31/2005
Last updated: 9:48 PM 9/9/2010