Pinafores and other Edwardian Fashion for Children


Ben Lemmon

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Oct 9, 2009
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I was reading about Peter Pan the other day, and it mentioned something I didn't know about the Edwardian Era. It said that children, in this particular case, boys, wore pinafores until they achieved a ripe old age of 5 or so. I have looked up pinafore online, but it only mentioned it for little girls. What would a pinafore for boys look like? Also, what did middle-class boys (around the ages of 4-8, in particular) wear in that era of time?
 
Sep 1, 2004
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Yes, until achieving a certain age, they had been dressed as girls and had long hair.

When I was on my working experience in France last summer, my chef showed me his early school photo (from the 50's) and even there the boys wore pinafores. I laughed about it because on first sight, it seemed as gowns. So he explained me that in his school they had to wear the pinafores for not getting dirty and it was also like school uniform. I Hope this helps.

Regards
Vitezslav
 
Jan 28, 2003
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Yes, Edwardian boys were dressed in 'girls' clothing when very young.
http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://histclo.com/imagef/style/skirted/dress/cab1drs.jpg&imgrefurl=http://histclo.com/intro.html&h=395&w=325 &sz=8&hl=en&start=15&tbnid=6fqWcw_DkcnggM:&tbnh=124&tbnw=102&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dedwardian%2Bboys%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg. mozilla:en-GB:eek:fficial%26sa%3DG

I am rather surprised that in the 1950s such a tradition persisted. It can't possibly have been in state schools, as I clearly remember all my male schoolmates being clad in shorts, long socks, shirts and jumpers. As, indeed, they were in WW2.

The boys' long socks, incidentally, often had little green or red flashes at the top, which signified some sort of Scout achievement. If I remember rightly, the poor little Brownies and Girl Guides had to make do with very meagre clothing in terms of quality. How I shivered.
 
Jan 28, 2003
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I'm sure it was crucially important for the boys. But, sadly, not for the girls. I did indeed notice the sock thing for the boys, but I remember mostly the freezing get-up for us girls. I had a bit of a problem, as I was enrolled in both the Brownies and the junior Girls Light Brigade. No wonder I've ended up an atheist...
 

Bob Godfrey

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I won't crack any jokes about the Charge of the Junior Girls Light Brigade, Mon, tempted though I am. Do you remember those freezing winters (pre central heating and pre Global warming) when the entire class would be sitting in overcoats, mufflers, gloves and balaclavas? We were never sent home unless the ink froze in the inkwells. And I'm not kidding!
 
S

sashka pozzetti

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I think Victorian boys and girls wore similar clothes until they were at least 5yrs. Boys wore pink without anyone thinking they were the lost member of Village people,and it all sounds quite sensible. Think: clothes washing, toilet training, and making small tailored trousers.! :)
 
Dec 29, 2006
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Ben,

I thought sailor suits were very popular for both sexes. Films such as The Railway Children provide a good idea of how Edwardian children were dressed.

Monica,

The green tabs worn by Boy Scouts during the 1950s and 1960s were surely part of the Scout uniform, and would not have been worn at school - they were in fact garters, and were presumably derived from Scottish costume.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Monica is right about those garter tabs being worn at school by some of the boys. I remember them quite well though I was never a Scout. Maybe some schools would have objected, but most I guess were quite happy for a boy to take pride in being a Scout.
 

Ben Lemmon

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So would you suggest mentioning pinafores on a young four year old male child? I know it would be historically accurate, but would it cause confusion to the reader? J.M. Barrie mentions pinafores in Peter Pan, but it was written in the Edwardian Era. Plays put on after Disney's version seem to disregard this historical fact. It seems as though they don't want the audience to think the young characters are cross-dressers. What do you think?

And I was wondering. What happened to the page? It's all out of sorts now.
 

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