Fashion during the 1910s was unique. It was all about class and style, continuing the traditions of the previous era. The difference was that fashion in 1910 became much simple. However, the first world war had an immense influence and affected the lives of people including their clothing and accessories. The age of 1910 witnessed radical changes in fashion and brought major changes in the fields of clothing. We have tried to trace the development of clothing and fashion throughout the 1910s. The greatest changes happened in men’s and women’s wear, but predominantly 1910s fashion was characterized by a shift in attention towards catering to the needs of children than ever.
Overview of boy’s clothing
Little boys usually wore a matching suit coat, combining them with toddlers. Also, they wore overcoats. Even for boys, the gown style remained popular. But they wore a shorter length, usually up to the knees. While playing, everyone wore boots. It was the children’s fashion that set the stage for the development of adult fashion during the 1920s.
Boys mainly wore knee-length trousers, knickers mostly throughout the year. With time, the length of the trousers grew short, so boys mostly had bare knees since their adolescent days. During summertime, boys wore ankle-length socks with sandals or canvas shoes, white in winters boys wore full-length knee socks. Not only that, but they also wore cardigans and pullovers. While going to school they wore suit jackets, pairing them with neckties. In this Edwardian era, the fashion trends moved towards modernity, producing flexible and comfortable clothes for both genders. Apart from the above-mentioned things, boys wore ruffles with smocks and also kept their hair long. The children of wealthy people wore mostly white coloured clothes.
Boys, too, were allowed more freedom, with suits that included knee-length trousers (as seen in the image Vintage Victorian shared). Both genders were now looking less like small adults and more distinctively like children. Apart from clothing, hairstyles also became popular among boys. They kept long straight hair and sometimes ringlet curls. Boys, however, preferred keeping shorter curls. One very popular style among boys was keeping bangs.
The sunshine movement and the fresh air had some influence on the clothing of the era. After these revolutions, we could see boys wearing less formal clothes. Knickers suddenly became popular besides knee pants. World war one became a major dividing point, bringing some radical changes in clothing for people of all ages. It’s very evident from the way fashion started to change in the latter half of the 1910s. Most importantly, the fashion industry concentrated on meeting the clothes requirement of people rather than focusing on trends and styles. This led to a complete change in fashion trends. It no longer made sense to dress children as innocent babies. As a result, towards the end of the 1910s, boys were being dressed differently.
As we already said, major fashion changes occurred during the 1910s. When the decade began, boys’ clothing was mostly formal even for children. As the age began to progress, we could see a lot of changes, especially after the first world war. The 19th-century dresses like kilts suits, Fauntleroy suits disappeared. Changes in the clothing of children occurred much before the adult fashion changed. Later in this age, comfortable casual dresses became popular. The tailor suit outfit became mostly worn by boys of all ages. Most dresses changed a lot at the end of the 1910s but the knickers and shorts remained constant. Most clothes were made up of natural fibres like silk, wool, cotton and linen, and sometimes with rayon. For everyday wear, gabardine and serge were used
We have listed below the major garments worn by young boys of the 1910s. Let’s have a look below:
- The Sailor Suit
During the mid-1910s, the classic sailor suit became extremely popular among boys. The clothes reflected military fashion and styles, especially the outfits of boys and men. By 1910, the tailor suits were popularly worn by every boy, irrespective of their status. It became their primary outfit. Boys preferred wearing them to every occasion like parties, dance gatherings, or other formal events.
- Knitted Garments
Earlier, garments knitted during those days were mostly small accessories or underwear. During the 1910s, people started knitting jerseys and dresses as well as mittens and hats. Even knitters knitted a child’s sweater for winters. The resultant product was a smart, soft, and comfortable garment, which was bright and comfortable. Knitted garments began to be a part of manufactured clothing, which was affordable and easy to maintain. However, children’s clothing wasn’t produced in large amounts especially during the 1910s, hence people had to depend on knitted garments.
- Knickers and Trousers
School going boys usually wore tapered knee pants, known as Knickerbockers. Sometimes they were even called knickers. They were secured at the knee and paired with thigh-length stockings. Knickers manufactured by designers were dark coloured and stylish. Elementary school students wore shorts as part of their uniform. As they grew up, they wore long trousers, known as pants.
- The Norfolk Jacket
The Norfolk jacket was a single-breasted, loose, front belted jacket silhouette. This style of clothing emerged right in the 1910s. The jacket also had box pleats. The Norfolk jacket was the first-ever jacket to be worn without pairing it up with matching trousers or knickers.
Changes prompted due to world war I
The effects of the first world war were strongly felt. After the world war, everyone’s clothes became less severe and somber. Girls’ outfits became shorter and made with decorated materials so that they looked stylish. For boys, socks became shorter and length came up to mid-calf and it’s further shortened to the ankles. Boy’s suits had a greater reflection of military details. As everyone was busy with their lives, the clothes were made simple, ao that they need not be maintained regularly. As a result, it simplified clothing and demanded a lesser need to be mended, washed, or cleaned.
Clothing for boy kids
When this shift in the focus towards children’s clothing was taking place, the 1910s became a decisive era. Children’s clothes no longer were the replicas of adult fashion, just in shorter versions. Children’s clothing was specially made for children. It’s no wonder that people grow nostalgic for the Edwardian era’s style of children’s clothing.
Young boys looked like a little version of adults. Sailor suits and knee-length trousers were immensely favoured and well-liked options. Stretchy, knitted fabrics were preferred by both boys and girls alike as they were easy to make, were cosy and had a high degree of flexibility. Both Carnegy’s brother and sister used to wear a knitted sweater in 1916. Then onwards, schools also initiated uniforms such as – flannel blazer and shorts for younger boys and trousers for older boys. Apart from other facets of fashion in the 1910s, World War 1 had a bolstering impact on young boy’s fashion as military fragments started amalgamating with the attire in the hindmost of the decade.
It was quite symbolic that as the scenario of the culture was altering and reconstructing, the pattern and paradigm of children’s outfits were also changing drastically. The vintage outfits and dresses were being superseded with newly designed and carved out dresses by keeping in mind children’s comfort and pleasure so that children could play freely without any hassle (enough flexibility).
The Edwardian era took clothing and fashion to new heights. It made liberation the focal point which was exemplary in the newly brought up clothes and fashion for men, women, and children. It is up to you whether you are tilted towards those 1910s or 1920’s fashion or not and if you are quite fancy about those yesteryear items of clothing then you might take your children to several exhibitions and costume events. There are numerous online portals from where you can amass several vintage 1920s outfits. If you are convenient to use a needle and thread, then you could improvise and use your sewing cognition and create distinct moulds, patterns, and decorations and could produce your boggling dresses and outfits.