Sunday, January 29, 2012

Young Lads - Clothes Count!

This past week we took at trip down to New Haven to view the Zoffany exhibit at the Yale Museum of British Art.  It closes on February 12th, so if you have a chance to make it down there, don't miss it!  And if you do miss it, consider buying the book.

While soaking in all the wonderful clothing details that Johan Zoffany so kindly shared with us, I noticed a few things about how young lads are portrayed.

Most of them are sporting the 18th century version of a mullet -- short bangs and long hair, as seen in the painting below.
Zoffany Lavie Children c 1770
And that little boys are given special dispensation in regards to fashion rules, while at play.

I also noticed that whenever people were standing in front of paintings of children they always looked at them and sighed. "awwwhh", often punctuated with "how cute".  We love our kids and we love pictures of kids.  Why do you think kids are such camera magnets at reenactments?  Which brings me to the point of today's post -- we need to put the same amount of effort into our kid's kits as we do in ours!  Don't misunderstand, that doesn't mean we have to spend the same amount of time or money, but we do need to do it right.

During the weekend of Feb 17/18, master tailor Henry Cooke will be conducting a workshop on "Constructing a Young Lad's Kit".  He'll be teaching how to make an accurate kit, that is relatively easy to construct and has room for growth.  Even if you don't have a young lad of your own, it's the perfect opportunity to create a few outfits to have on hand for your regiments stores. So don't miss this opportunity to make that photo op count, with really great kit for the younger set.  To find out more about this workshop visit

1 comment:

  1. Social dispensation of fashion rules? Or simply another example of the rule, "properly attired for the task at hand"?

    That boy, clothes all disheveled, in his shirtsleeves, does have his coat nearby, ready to put on when Mama or his tutor show up!

    In dressing my boys, I found I could get more wear out of a coat by making the sleeves longer, and just moving the cuffs. Make it slightly loose, like a work coat, and it fit fashionably close, the second year.

    My favorite photo of my son, is in his colonial suit, that I made as carefully as I could. With the reproduction shoes I agonized over buying. He wore them for three years (purchased large, used inserts the first year, then they stretched!), for modern "dressy wear", as well as period, and now another family uses them! In hindsight, they were worth every penny, and the clothes worth all the hand sewing I did!