a la Little Lord Fontleroy

This photograph lives in the opening below our previous one of the couple on the maroon cabinet card. It was also made in Nebraska, so I assume they are the children of the couple. The boy has a very wide fancy collar and large bow on his suit, with lace cuffs, short pants, stockings and boots. He by far holds my attention, but little Miss to the right is also a beautiful child, with her full dress, lacy collar and gorgeous curls. Could these be the two children from a couple posts back?

The suit of clothes our young man is wearing is modeled on the Little Lord Fontleroy craze that swept America beginning in 1885 and remained fashionable through the turn of the century. The fashion was inspired by the illustrations by Reginald Birch in the book by Francess Hodgson Burnett, Little Lord Fontleroy. While the book described a boy in a velvet suit with a lace collar and long curly hair, of course fashion and personal style dictate what ultimately becomes part of the wardrobe. Many boys did not sport the long curly hair, and the suits were sometimes not even velvet. The fashion was incredibly popular with suits being handed down from one generation to the next. One source I looked at suggested that dressing boys in short pants may have led to the acceleration of breeching of boys and the drawing away from dressing boys in skirts and dresses during infancy and toddler ages.

I’ll date this cabinet card to 1890.

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