With the enormous changes in fashions over the past few decades, we sometimes forget that changes have been equally as radical in the way we dress our young, especially when we look at baby boy clothes. The parallel between the changes in society’s attitude towards childhood and the development of different styles of baby clothes is at first startling but then quite understandable.
When we look back at previous centuries, we can see that childhood was brief: for example, even as late Baby Boy Leggings UK as the eighteenth century, children of the poorest families were sent out to work sometimes from the age of five onwards. Clothing for children then was simply a smaller version of adult clothes.
At that time childhood was not seen as an opportunity for play as part of natural development and so there was no requirement to allow for this in designing children’s clothing. The attitude was that children were just getting ready to become adults and as a result, clothes were restrictive.
From ancient times newborn babies were tightly swaddled – this was to restrict movement and ensure correct posture. Swaddling would last for the first twelve months of life and was the only clothing a baby needed. Nowadays, extreme swaddling is no longer the norm in Western society but still exists in some Eastern cultures.
But by the end of the eighteenth century the use of long gowns to clothe both baby boys and baby girls had become common. One initial benefit was that they helped to keep baby feet warm because they were very long, but as the child began to walk the length of the gown stopped at the ankles.
By the time they advanced to toddler age both boys and girls were clothed in copies of Mom’s dress. Since the European Middle Ages, when clothes were washed not as often as we do now, the preference had been for dark colors so that dirt and stains were not as noticeable. The wealthier classes were able to afford more colorful and elaborate clothes and that indicated their status.
Baby boy clothes had taken a very new direction – due largely to a new type of clothing, the romper suit. Believed to have been developed first in France, the romper suit changed societal norms. A move away Boy Leggings Baby from clothing both boys and girls in the same type of garment had begun by the end of the nineteenth century but romper suits almost eliminate the fashion.
Romper suits meant that for the first time baby boys could be famous from baby girls. Preschool boys are believed to have used the suits for play. To begin with, long stockings were worn with knee-length romper suits. Toddlers wore boots and the suits had long sleeves. Variations such as two piece suits or the use of velvet material followed on from the more normal one piece style.
Over time the design of the romper suit changed – the legs got shorter and so instead of wearing long stockings, short white socks were worn and instead of boots modern shoes such as sandals were worn. The less formal ones had very little decoration, whereas the more dressy ones had lace collars or even frills.