All boy

Sometimes when you look at one of these old photos that show a child dressed in the ambiguous fashions of the Victorian era, you can just tell the child is a boy or a girl. That is the case here. This child is all boy to me. The dress is cute, but for the era it is surprisingly not adorned with much trimming, further leading me to think “boy.” It looks like a checked fabric of some type, perhaps a lightweight wool, with darker velvet cuffs and neckerchief and many buttons on the blouse. The sleeves look a little short for him, so perhaps he is taller than his sibling or cousin who may have had the dress originally. The skirt is pleated and you can easily tell there is a petticoat of some kind underneath to keep it fanned out so nicely. He has dark stockings and black shoes. Once again a photographer posed a child standing on a chair. Were people just more trusting back then? There is no way I’d let my child stand on a chair for as long as needed for one of these vintage photographs!

The photographer was Walter in Manchester….England? New Hampshire?

UPDATE: Iggy’s got a good memory and pointed out that we have seen this photographer previously, and he is located in Manchester, Iowa. Thanks Iggy!

Ooh, I just love your dress!

I wasn’t joking when I suggested we are looking at serious cuteness. The dress this boy is wearing is incredible. ┬áIt has a pleated velvet skirt, velvet vest type bodice with a lace front and a large satin sash tied in a bow at the waist, then a velvet jacket on top of it all. Notice that the dress not only has a velvet collar, but a tiny white collar on top of that, which mimics the use of a detachable collar to protect the garment from the oils and dirt our skin can leave behind. He has black stockings and black shoes. I don’t know what type of needle work is on the skirt and jacket, but if it is hand done it is exquisite work. If I had a boy this would be the type of recreation I would have wanted him to wear at historical events, beyond a doubt.

The photographer was Walter in Manchester, IA. I am guessing the 1890s for this photo.

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