Introduced in 1846 via a painting of the Prince of Wales (the future Prince Albert VII), the sailor suit sustained great levels of popularity with American families in the 19th and 20th centuries. While the high esteem of this ensemble in
Vanished from the wardrobe of older boys by the 1930s, the sailor look lived well on into the 20th century in girls’ apparel, women's sportswear, and infant's and young children's clothing.
McCall pattern #7938, 1934
John Galliano, Fall 2009
At present, sailor suits for the very young are still available, but most are designed for special occasions such as christenings and weddings. Instantly recognizable, the sailor suit now functions as a symbol of innocent childhood, a charming image of a child at play in an adult role.
Did you wear a sailor suit as a child? Do you have photographs of your ancestors or relatives in sailor suits? Share your childhood clothing memories here!