Sailor Suits: Germany--Traditional Styles


Figure 1.--This Berlin boy wears a traditionally styled middy blouse. ome Geran sailoir suits haf long pants, but this boy wears knee pants.

The basic traditional standard for German children's sailor suits was the unifom of the Germany navy--heavily influenced of course by the British Royal Navy uniform. Some sailor suits from the beginning were styled traditionally like the British or German naval uniforms. Boys thus wore both navy blue and white suits, seasonally like the Navy. The traditional styles were done in black/navy blue and white with the three stripes based on Nelson's three great victories. The most traditional suits had the "V" sailor collar and back flap with three stripe detailing, but we see many variations. Note that the sailor suits that the boy here is wearing has a very traditional look including the three-stripes that were standard in Britain (figure 1). The white blouses might have contrasting collaes abd cuffs. Thevdark blue blouses did not have the contrasting detailing. The three-stipe detailong, however, wwas standard on all traditional suits. The detailing was all on the blouse. The trousers were a plain solid color.

German Naval Uniforms

The basic traditional standard for German children's sailor suits was the unifom of the Germany navy--heavily influenced of course by the British Royal Navy uniform. Some sailor suits from the beginning were styled traditionally like the British or German naval uniforms.

Three-Stripe Detailing

Traditionally styled sailor suits had the three stripe detailing for which sailor suits are best known. The three-stipe detailing was standard on all traditional suits. The detailing was all on the blouse. The trousers were a plain solid color. They are suposed;y based on Nelson's three great victories during the Napoleonic Wars. Some deny that this was the original inspiration. That may well be, but what ever the origins, that is wgat the three stripes have come to represent. The battles of St. Vincent (1797), the Nile/were the Nile/Aboukir Bay (1798), and Trafalgar (1807). Nelsonís victories were of enormous importance. They meant immediately that Napoleon despite his great victories could not totally dominate Europe or get to the British. The Royal Navy's dominance also drained the The French economy and permitted the British to support the debilitating Peninsular Campaign. And it engendered conflict between Napoleon who wanted Russia to comply with his Continental System and the Russian Tsar. In the long term, Nelson's stunning victories, especially Trafalgur, made possible Britain's command of the sea for the rest of the 19th century. Nelson's victories were so overwealming that they were recognized by virtually every other navy in the world in the three-stripe detailing used in sailor uniforms.

White and Blue Suits

Boys thus wore both navy blue and white suits, seasonally like the Navy. The traditional styles were done in black/navy blue and white. They both had the traditional "V" sailor collar and back flap with three stripe detailing, but we see many variations on this basic model. The white and dark suits were very similar , but there were didderences. The white suits were the summer version. They were made in a light-weight material for warm weather, but even so were made with long skeeves. Note that the white sailor suits that the boy here is wearing has a very traditional look including the three-stripes that were standard in Britain (figure 1). The white blouses might have contrasting collars abd cuffs. The white suits might be wren with either light or dark pants. The dark blue blouses were done in a heavier material, suitable for cold weather. The dark suits did not generally have the contrasting detailing. The dark blouses wew always worn with daek pants.







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Created: 10:38 PM 8/22/2004
Last updated: 12:24 AM 3/18/2008