Early 1900s Boy’s Outfit

When you have old-fashioned skills like spinning and weaving, people assume you know about all things historical, and ask you to speak about them, especially to kids.  Because I think it’s so important for kids to know where things come from, I am always happy to do these presentations.

Kids like learning about fiber processes, because they get to do a lot of hands-on activities, and they’re pretty sure there won’t be a test.  We start with raw cotton and wool, card it, spin it, weave a little, and then finish up with a look at what they would have worn if they were child laborers in a cotton field or mill “back in the day.”   I bought this boy’s outfit at a little antique shop to use in those presentations.  (The cap actually belonged to my father-in-law when he was little.)

knickers, shirt, cap

Wool twill knickers, linen shirt, wool cap.

collar detail

Collar detail – no label in the shirt.

waist detail

Detail of waistband.

wool knickers

You can click on the picture to see a close-up of the fabric. I love this twill – it has two red stripes and one gold stripe, that repeat independently of the directional changes in the twill.

cotton lining

The knickers are fully lined.

I think this outfit would have been both sturdy and comfortable.  It’s not common to find boys’ clothes for sale – I guess boys were harder on their clothes, or less sentimental about keeping them!