Children's Edwardian Clothing


"Good Taste and Bad Taste
in Dressing Children"

Ladies Home Journal describes the pitfalls of over-dressing children in the Edwardian era.

Children's Clothing

"Look here, upon this picture, and on this!"  The girl with the doll is all ready to have a good play in clean or in dirty places and still be comfortable and happy. But her companion can't venture to have a good time where there is any “nice dirt" to play in, and looks thoroughly miserable in being so much overdressed, with a hat old enough for her mother, and furbelows and trimmings quite out of place on a child. 

Children's Clothing

The first boy is in for a good time, and yet he looks the thorough little man with his bloomer trousers underneath his one-piece suit.  Then look at his "nice" but unhappy little companion who is made a ridiculous caricature of a man in his wee trousers so out of place on little legs, in a hat which would look better on a girl than a boy, and a blouse, collar and tie that were surely meant for his sister.

 

Children's ClothingSimple childish and yet undoubtedly smart is the dress of this little lady. Her white linen suit, shade hat, navy blue coat, her gloves and shoes, are all appropriate and inconspicuous.  A girl of twelve wants to wear pretty clothes, of course, but she also wants to be able to "do things" in them, and they must not be "fancy," nor should they make her look older than she is. Her clothes must get their style from their cut and fit, and not from the trimming.  She has many years before her to wear lace and jewelry—while she is a child she should dress like one!

 

Children's ClothingToo much—too dreadfully much of everything!  This girl's clothes probably represent greater money outlay than do those of the girl opposite, from the rhinestone buckle on her cap to her high heeled, patent leather shoes. Yet what is the effect? Cheapness, bad taste, unsuitability.  Making a woeful attempt to look fine, she adds an elaborate lace collar to a plain cloth coat (which is all wrong), wears a skirt far too old for her in cut, dons fancy gloves, impressive beads, an exaggerated hair-bow, and a jingly metal belt—too much, indeed!

 

Children's Clothing

Isn’t this a fine little fellow with his blue linen jumpers and his hobby-horse?  And then look at the unfortunate little soul next to him, dressed so that he cannot have a moment's freedom.  Our little friend with the hobby-horse is ready to get right down to play, and have a "bully" time, while the poor little fellow with the curls cannot have any fun at all, with his ridiculous hat, and his big Fauntleroy collar and jacket.

 

Children's Clothing

Comfortable and attractive is the little girl with the gingham dress, big rough-and-ready straw hat, and tan shoes and stockings.  But the other poor child is dressed up in cast-off finery of her mother's, in hopeless imitation of her big sister.  Her hat is much too old for her and so over trimmed that it looks like a lamp-shade, while her general appearance is that of being dressed out of the scrap basket. [From The Ladies' Home Journal, 1907.]