From the swaddling bands of the seventeenth century to the designer’s fashions of today, here is a vivid history of children’s clothes over the last 200 years.
Clare Rose places children’s clothes in the widest context, relating them to adult fashion, theories of education such as those of Rousseau, society’s perception of the child, and manufacturing methods. She also examines what kinds of clothes were worn, when and by whom, what they cost, and what their wearers thought of them. Even ‘cruel’ forms of dress, it seems, such as constricting corsets and swaddling bands, expressed parents’ concern for their children. .
Children’s clothes is an accomplished reference book, widely illustrated in colour and black and white. Students of both fashion and history, teachers, collectors and anyone interested in childhood and its history will enjoy this delightful and useful book.
Clare Rose was for four years Keeper of Costumes at York Castle Museum, and tours extensively as an art lecturer. Her main interest are the history and social history of costume and textiles.
“The history of children’s clothes has sometimes been dismissed as a matter of ‘babygowns and old lace’, of interest only to the specialist. This could hardly be further from the truth. Like the other major branches of costume history, the study of children’s clothes acts as a window through which we can gain insights into the history of culture and ides, and into economic history”