After the boy's nanny, perhaps with the assistance of a maid, had
fininished dressing the boy and his brothers and sisters, would have been
presented to his mother for a final inspection. Presumably nanny was well
versed in preparing the children and they almost always met mothers's
approval. This was of c ourse very important to the busy mother
emershed in the social sirll. If a nanny could not properly prepare
the children she would not have her job very long. It is likely that
many of the children complained to their nannies during the involved dressing process.
The children whose hair was done into ringlets probably complained the most.
I'm unsure to what extent the nannies conveyed the inevitable complaints
to the mother. The nannies understood that their job security was often based on how
well they turned out the children, so well turned out they were. In
fact a very close relationship often developed between the children and
their nannies. In many cases the children were closer to the nanny
than their mother. Even so, the nannies made it very clear that what ever
outfit the mother selected, the child would wear it and be done up very
smartly in it.
Figure 1.--After the children were dressed and carefully inspevted by the nanny or governess, they were finally presented all prim and proper to mother.
Mother presumably was the one who selectd the outfits for the children.
I think nannies at the time had little say in such matters. Fashion
and style was very important to late 19th and early 20th Century mothers.
They probably would have thought that a mere nanny would have little
to offer in the way of fashion advise, for either themselves or their
children. Tnis may have been somewhat different for governesses,
depending on the relationship with the family. I have little information
to go on, but speculate that this was the case. As to shopping,
presumably it was the mothers who took their sons and daughters
to the store to look at new fashions and be fitted. I'm not sure just
how the nannies and governesses fitted into this process.
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