Boy's linen skirt suit, 1870s
This boy's suit is fashioned from brown lightweight linen and is decorated with bands of dark olive braid trim. The double breasted jacket has half-moon shaped pockets and mother-of-pearl buttons. The pleated skirt slips over the head with no closure.
The waist size can be adjusted with the ribbon tie belt. The seams of the suit are sewn by machine. Everything else, including the pocket application and button holes, is sewn by hand.
This delightful boy's suit is a fascinating remnant of our cultural history. Even as late as 1870, it was considered proper for an upper middle class boy to be dressed in a skirt. But as America approached the 20th century, this was seen less and less. As a newly muscular emerging world power, the United States perhaps felt less comfortable with a feminine image for boys.
The condition is very good. There are brown stains on the back of the jacket and some breaks in the braid trim. There are no structural problems.
The jacket measures: 26" chest, 10" from shoulder seam to shoulder seam, 12
length, and 17" from shoulder to hem.
The skirt measures: 25" waistband and 15" length.