Victorian Clothing for Children

Sailor Theme in Victorian Boy's Clothing

 by Joanne Haug
Boys Clothing

During the last decade of the nineteenth century young Victorian boys continued to wear variations of the sailor suit, a favorite Victorian boy's clothing since the 1870s. When a young boy of two discarded his white nainsook gowns of infancy he graduated to a more boyish frock with box pleats.

 
 

Often Victorian clothing for children was styled with the nautical theme by the addition of a deep sailor collar falling broadly across the back. Typically the front was V shaped with an embroidered nautical shield insert. A belt of the same material closed at the front with a buckle or buttons. Among the materials appropriate for this little boy's frock was cloth, wool, pique, linen, and duck. Braid and buttons were applied for decoration on woolen dresses, while embroidered insertion, edging and washable fancy braid garnished those of cotton.

An older Victorian boy of five to seven years graduated to a double breasted pea or reefer jacket with large buttons and a deep braid trimmed sailor collar. It was cut in blue wool broadcloth bordered with white or black braid. Often times nautical motifs, such as eagles, anchors or stars decorated the boy's garment. A matching dickey or vestie was worn beneath the jacket, similarly embellished.

 
Two Victorian boys
 

boy's suitThis jacket was typically worn open over a pair of knee length trousers with ornamental buttons on the lower leg. Pique and linen in blue or white was fashionable for summer sailor suits. In winter boys were dressed in black or navy velvet outfits.

Completing the nautical costume, the boy was dressed in dark stockings with black boots and donned the popular wide brim straw hat.

 

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