The collars which make up an entegral part of the Fauntleroy style varied greatly. There were many different types and styles of collars. Many of the classic velvet Fauntleroy were worn with esquisite lace collars. This was especially true in the 1880s and early 90s. This lace could be quite expensive. The ruffled collars that became more common after the turn of the 20th century were most commonly part of the blouse. The blouse the American boy here is wearing is a good example of this (figure 1). Some boys, however, wore collars sewn onto the jacket. Usually separate collars were lace. The collars also varied greatly in size and shape. Some of the collars were huge, almost hiding the small Fauntleroy jacket. Often the cuffs were made to match the collar.
The Fauntleroy collar and Fauntleroy style in general is a literary creation. Mrs. Burnett who wrote Little Lord Fauntleroy was influenced by popular French fashions when she lived in France for a period. This was probably more important than the Van Dyke influence, at least to Mrs. Burnett as she created the outfits for her two sons, Vivian and Lionel. The problem is that Mrs. Burnett did not really provide a detailed description of Cedric's outfit after he arrived in England. All she wrote was, "What the Earl saw was a graceful childish figure in a black velvet suit, with a lace collar, and with lovelocks waving about the handsome, manly little face, whose eyes met his with a look of innocent good fellowship." So she did mean for the Fauntleroy collar to be a lace collar, but there is no further description. The image of Cedric's clothing is more due to the influence of Reginald Birch who illustrated the first editions of Mrs. Burnett's book. And his illustrations seem more influenced by famed artist Anthony Van Dyke than Mrs Burnett. So as Mrs. Burnett herself did not provide a detailed definition or even a detailed description, we are left to create a definition ourselves. And we believe that the best approach is to create a definition based on what American mothers chose to go with the Fauntleroy suits they bought for their sons. We specify American mothers because it was in America that the style became most popular, although in the book, Cedric is outfitted in his famed suit after he reached England.
We would define the Fauntleroy suit as the large formal collars worn by younger boys both with velvet Fauntleroy suits and regular suits. They were widely varied. They varied in size, but some were very large almost engulfing the boy. There were two basic styles. One was the pin on collar which were normally done in lace and often in the Van Dyke style. The other was attached to Fauntleroy blouses. These were the especially large and normally ruffled rather than lace collars, although often with some lace trim. The cuffs of these blouses also repeated the collar styling.
Fauntelroy collars were worn by boys in Western Europe and North America during the Fanytleroy Craze (1885-1905) and to a lesser extent there after. But no where were Fauntleroy suits and collars so commonly worn as the United States. As a result much that we know about these outfits comes from the United States. We see countless American boys wearing Fauntleroy suits or outfits with Fauntleroy styling. This of course does not mean that the conventions were the smae everywhere. We see American boys from a wide social strata wearing Fauntleroy styles. Theyh were most common from the well-to-do, but they were midely worn by middle-clas boys and even working-class boys, although the quality of the outfits varried, especially with wi\orjing-class boys. Fauntleroy collars were the most common part of Fauntleroy nstyle work bu boys. Mother who mcould notn afford a velvet suit couls aford a basic readymade Fauntleroy blouse, especially the less expensive ones offered. Wee believe that in Europe it was not only less common, but ba more exclise style for the affluent. We suspect that nBritain was somewhere in between.
There were many different types and styles of collars. Many of the classic velvet Fauntleroy were worn with lace collars. These collas varied greatly. Some were small, inpensive pieces of lace. Others were might be
esquisite pieces of Belian or other expensive laces. This was especially true in the 1880s and early 90s. This lace could be quite expensive. The ruffled collars that became more common after the turn of the 20th century were most commonly part of the blouse. The blouse the American boy here is wearing is a good example of this (figure 1). Some boys, however, wore collars sewn onto the jacket.
Usually separate collars were lace. Lace collars were often seen on the early suits. The lace, however, could be quite expensive. This somewhat limited the size of the collars. Omce mothers began using less expensive ruffled collars, there was virtually no limit to the size of the collar. We're not sure about the material used for these ruffled collars. Some may have been sone in linen, but cotton was also used.
The collars also varied greatly in size and shape. Lace collars in particular were done in several different shapes. Many ruffled collars were influenced by the sailor style and had a back flap.
Some of the collars were huge, almost hiding the small Fauntleroy jacket. Often the cuffs were made to match the collar. The boy here wears a large ruffled collar (figure 1). There were, however, some collars even larger.
The Fauntleroy suit was always worn with a collar of some kind, isually a prominent collar. Bows wee optional. Many boys wore them, but theu were not required.
Often the cuffs were made to match the collar. The boy here is agood example of the matching collar and cuffs.
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