*** American Little Lord Fauntleroy suits: hair styles

American Little Lord Fauntleroy Suits: Hair Styles

Funtleroy hair styles
Figure 1.--American boys wore Fauntleroy suits ith many different hair styles. We note boys with various hair lengths. Many boys wore a range of short hair styles. Other boys wore long ringlet curls. This boy has ringlets with a top curl. The photographer is Houseknicht Bros. in Batavia, New York. The portrait was probably taken about 1895.

American boys wore Fauntleroy suits with many different hair styles. We note boys with various hair lengths. Many boys wore a range of short hair styles. By the 1880s when Fauntleroy suits became popular, it was no longer common for boys to wear their hair down to or over their ears as was common at mid-century. So we see most boys with short hair cuts similar to those of older boys. Some boys, however, wore their Fauntleroy suits with long hair. These longer styles were longer than common at mid-century, in some cases worn to shouldr length. American boys with long hair generally had in done in ringlet curls. This was much less common in Europe. Many boys had their curls cut when they were breeched. Some boys such as some of the boys wearing Fauntleroy suits had their curls cut later. It was not common for American boys to have long uncurled hair. We notice a range of other styles such as top curls.


Little Lord Fauntleroy suits were worn over a relatively short period of time, essentially two decads. We see Fauntleroy suits most commonly in the photographic record during 1885-1905. The Fauntleroy Craze began in 1885 with the publication of Mrs. Burnett's book. We continue to see Fauntleroy suits after 1905, but they are much less prevalent after 1905. Over that time hair style did not change much with one exception. Although not mentioned in the book, ringlet curls for some reason became associated with Fauntleroy suits. Most boys wore Fauntleroy suits with short hair, the same styles we see being worn with other outfits. We see quite a few boys, however, with ringlet curls or other long hair styles. Ringlet curls were worn by American boys before 1885, but mostly younger boys and not very commonly. This was especually the case of the long shoulder-length ringlets. And after the Fauntleroy era the Fauntleroy hair style for boys rapidly disaapeard. It became rare in the 1910s and no longer seen by the 1920s--at least for boys. Of course this was not the case for girls. Thanks to Shirley Temple it was an enormously popular style for girls in in the 1930s.


Age affected both when a boy's curls were cut as well as the age of wearing Fauntleroy suits. Most boys had their curls cut at about age 3-4 years. Social class factors were involved here. Working-class boys were likely to have their curls cut earlier if they had them at all. Thus the great majority of photographic portraits of boys wearing fancy hair styles The age range for Fauntleroy suits was a little different. They were quite popular for boys throughh ages 4-5 years. Boys did not wear Faumtlerou suits to scholl when they began at age 6 years. Some boys did not attend school or might have a Fauntleroy suit for best wear. Both hair stuyles and clothing was lrgely at the mother whim if thefamily was affluent enough to endulge in fashionable dress andthe rising affluence of the United states meant that many mothers were. And as relatively few women of means wiorked, they had aood deal of gime on their hands. These trends meant that most boys above the age of 4 years wore Fauntleroy suits with short hair. And the older they git the more likely rhey were to have short hair and the less likely to wear Fauntleroy suits. This leads to a complication. After age 6 years, Fauntleroy suits were less and less common. Any the same mothers who insisted that older boys wear Fauntleroy suits wee probanly the same to whom ringlet curls appealed. Thus boys older boys wearing Fauntleroy suits were probably more likely than the averahe boy to wear ringlet curls.


Boys wore Fauntleroy suits with a variety of hair styles. We believe the photographic record provides a good rough indicator of actual prevalence of the various styles. The cosr of a portrait by the 1880s was reltively low. Most families coukld aford them and the ones that could not probably did not dress boys in Fauntleroy suits. As best we can tell, most boys wore Fauntleroy suit with short hair. Most familie seem to have cut a boys' curls before or at about the same time they were breeched. We would estimate that only about 10 percent of boys, perhaps a few more had their hair done in ringlets or other fancy styles. While long ringlet curls were the most common fancy style, it was not the only such style. Here social class nd affluence were a factor. It involved a substantial investment in time. We suspect that many of the mother's curling their son's hir had help assisting in the home.


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Created: 3:02 AM 12/16/2007
Last updated: 5:36 AM 10/6/2018