Perfect for study, costuming, or a doll enthusiast, these 3 pairs of early to mid-1920s straight knee trousers—one steel blue wool tweed, one navy wool flannel, and one navy cotton corduroy—provide a wonderful glimpse of the way boys dressed in the early 20th century.
The three pairs of pants (all from the same local estate) have buttonholes around their cotton-faced waistlines, which would have been attached to blouses, underwaists, or matching jackets. They have small welt openings (range is 1.5” to 2.5”) near the crotch and close at each side of the waist with a single hook and eye.
Features distinguishing the three (besides color and fabric) are side onseam pockets in the navy pair, a raised bib-like section in the steel blue pair, and shell buttons accenting the knees of the corduroy pair.
Pants like this were sold both individually and as part of a suit, with period ads stressing their rugged construction, with sturdy fabrics and reinforced seams (and often swatches of fabric provided for mending). It is possible the three pairs offered here were homesewn, as they were worn by the children of a Boston tailor. The corduroy pair may have been part of an “Oliver Twist suit”, often a “wash suit” in fabrics like velveteen, corduroy, or cotton twill. The navy wool pair may have been part of a middy suit, as the pants to these were often solid navy. Photo #9 shows ad and catalog illustrations of boys suits from the 1920s.
Measurements are as follows:
Navy wool pair: Waist 26”, inseam 9”, outseam 16”. Navy corduroy pair: Waist 24”, inseam 6”, outseam 13.5”. Steel blue wool pair: Waist 25”, inseam 6.75”, outseam 13.75”.
Condition is very good, with four tiny (1/16” or smaller) moth holes, shown in photos #3 and #8. Two of these are in the navy wool pair (one 2” down from the left front waistband and one 5.5” down on the left side seam) and two are in the steel blue pair (one ½” down from the right front waist and one 3” up from the hem of the left leg, near the pleat). I have freeze-fumigated against further damage.
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