American Fauntleroy Floppy Bows: Optional Item

Figure 1.-- Here we see a cabinet card portrait of an unidentified American boy rather elegantly dressed in the Fauntleroy fashion. Here mother has chosen to use a colorful floppy bow with a ruffled collar. He holds a walking stick. The studio was Edinger in Des Moines, Iowa. It was probably taken about 1900.

Floppy bows were popular, but were optional. Many American boys were outfitted with large bows to match the large collars that were also commonly worn with Fauntleroy suits. Given the size of the collar, any other type of neckwear would look funny. You needed something large to off set the huge collsrs. But the large collars were also commonly worn without these bows. You could skip the floppy bow and this was often the case. Here it was up to the mother's preferences. Amd a majority of mothers decided to go all the way and add the bow. Presumably fashion concious mopther wanted to add a slash of color, although we do note white and blsck bows along ith thr colorful ones. We are not sure just wehy mothers choses to add the bows or refrain from including the bow in the boy's outfit. We do not know if social class or, regional, or other matters were involved. We would guess that fashion concious mothers for the most part added the bows, but we nore rather elegantly dressed boys without the bows. We suspect that the boy for the most part had little to say about the matter. We are not sure if floppy bow usage varied among boys wearing Fauntkleroy suits and those just wearing the blouses.


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Created: 5:13 AM 9/16/2011
Last updated: 5:13 AM 9/16/2011