Tom (4) in 1925, U.S.A., middle class: We have chosen for Tom short trousers that button on to a short-sleeved waist in white with blue trimming at the sleeves and collar.

Tom (4), 1925, U.S.A., Mittelschicht: Für Tom haben wir einen ---.

Tom wears a summer-weight waist union suit made out of nainsook material. It has buttons at the shoulders so that he can easily step into the suit when the shoulders are unbuttoned. It has reinforcement straps that extend from the shoulders to the waist line, both in front and in back. There are waist buttons for the attachment of additional garments and tape loops on the sides for the attachment of hose supporters if Tom wears long stockings. Although most waist union suits buttoned down the front, Tom's suit has no buttons in front except for a concealed button at the fly so that he can urinate without removing his underwear. The suit has loose short legs, more comfortable for warm summer weather. Tom is wearing white three-quarter-length socks that are striped with blue around the top so that his outfit has a nicely coordinated blue and white color scheme. Notice the drop seat fastened with three buttons.


Tom wears short trousers that button on to his short-sleeved waist - white with blue trimming at the sleeves and collar. This kind of suit with button-on styling often was called an Oliver Twist suit. The waist opens with buttons half way down the front of the chest on a blue background that is part of the collar trim. Tom also wears a string tie with tassels (enlarged decorative ends). With his white three-quarter socks with stripes around the top, he wears closed-toe, single-strap sandals that fasten with a side button. The short trousers button on to the waist with six white buttons (two in front, two in back, and two on the sides). The trousers have shallow turn-up cuffs around the bottom of the legs. The white waist with blue trim is meant to be worn with the matching blue short trousers, the top and bottom making up an informal, summer-weight suit for semi-casual wear during warm weather.




More about Tom's clothing:
Socks: Socks usually were white, both pure white and as he wears here, white with a variety of colored decoration which might be coordinated with an outfit. We are guessing here as the images are black and white, but very likely. In the 1910s and early 20s you see mostly these three-quarter socks. By the late 20s you see knee socks, apparently especially for the boys.

Hosiery: With Toms summer outfit he wears socks. In colder weather hose supporters would be attached for the long stockings. Long stockings were still very common foir boys Tom's age, even with short pants. Tom might wear white long stockings for formal occassions even during the summer.

Oliver Twist suits: Our only source how to define an Oliver Twist suit are old fashion catalogs. For example we found the term "Oliver Twist suit" in old Sears catalogs. So far we have never seen anything in writing beyond these catalogs.
The only connection with Oliver Twist we can see with these suits is the button-on skeleton suits that Oliver and other Dicksonian boys like David Copperfield are often depicted as wearing. The buttons had the functional purpose of holding up the pants, but were also used stylistically. Often large buttons were used as they are easier for younger children to handle, but again were part of the detailing.
Oliver Twist suits were done in many different styles. The most common approach was a white shirt and coloured pants with the color of the pants used for detailing the shirt. Different colours were used, but blue was a very popular style.
This was one of the most popular styles for pre-school boys in the early and mid-1920s. They were attractive and practical, easy to wash and maintain. Easy to care for outfits were increasingly important after World War I.

Shoes: Pre-school boys wore a range of shoes. Here Tom wears single-strap shoes. We also notice twin-strap shoes. These were mostly worn by girls and pre-school boys. Most boys once they began school would wear shoes and not sandals.

Hair: Shorter hair was probanly more common, but pre-school boys from affluent families might have hair like this. Once he began school, it would be cut shorter.

Mehr über Toms Kleidung:


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