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This boy's suit is made of wool tartan, or plaid fabric, and dates to the late 1860s. Tartans from Scotland have fluctuated in and out of fashion throughout time. During the second half of the 19th century, tartan popularity was renewed by the English royal family. Queen Victoria and her family frequently vacationed in the ancestral home at Balmoral, in Scotland. It was there where tartans, known as plaids today, were adopted as a kind of getaway attire. This outfit is trimmed with black silk velvet. The skirt is cut on the bias, or cross grain of the fabric, for a more fluid drape. The tucks in the front of the tuxedo-like shirt hints at the adult man this wearer was to become, and stands alone in an otherwise female-oriented little boy's outfit. The jacket is modeled after a Zouave jacket, a style that became popular for women's wear in the 1860s.


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Plaid suit

date   c. 1870
process/materials   cotton, wool, velvet
item type   Personal Items/Clothing
accession #   #1958.07

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Boy's Dress

Boy's Dress

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