Friday, May 30, 2014

Buster Brown Haircut

Anna Maule and her two sisters
Joe Koferl
Buster Brown was originally a comic strip character created in 1902 by Richard Felton Outcault, who was associated with the Brown Shoe Company. Buster, with his pageboy haircut, was based on a small child in Outcault’s hometown. 

This is a photograph of my Grandmother and father. My father is dressed in a dress typical of the period. I think that my father is either three or four years old in the photograph. This is the time when they were living in American Venice. You can see him with his Buster Brown Haircut. 


By the 1910's "Some mothers still dressed their younger boys in dresses, but the convention of dressing young boys in dresses and kilt suits became increasingly less ."

Why Did Boys Wear Dresses?

"It is interesting from an historical perspective to speculate as to why little boys were dressed as girls. Many qu estions come to mind. Many stress the practical factor of the ease of caring for small children in skirted garments. This was probably a factor, but practicality was not the only factor. Clearly the mother that lovingly dressed her son in frilly Little Lord Fauntleroy suits and curled his hair did not place practicality high on her priorities. Also the practicality arguement does not explain why some boys were kept in dresses well past the age of toilet training. Clearly more was involved andvpeople in past generations saw it important to distinguish the young boy from the man. Attiring boys in dresses did set them apart from men, but did not set them apart from adults--as until the 19th century they wore dresses much like their sisters and mothers. Why was the boy's costume not distinguished from that of a woman's? This question leads to some interesting insights into pschological power relationships and the staus of women in previous eras."  

The sailor suit fashion continued popular in the 1910s. Styles at the beginning of the decade were little changed than at the turn of the century, except that shorts and knickers largely replaced knee pants. By the end of the decade sailor suits were being worn by increasingly younger boys in Britain and America, although older boys continued to wear them in Germany and other European countries. Most American boys wore knickers, often including high school age boys. 

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