The Regency Redingote

Anyone who has any familiarity at all with the history of children’s clothes is aware that both boys and girls were dressed alike during the first few years of their lives for several centuries. Then, typically between four to seven years of age, boys were “breeched,” that is, put into breeches, trousers or pantaloons, while girls continued to wear dresses. But this change of wardrobe was not done at a moment’s notice or on a whim. From at least the mid-seventeenth century, most mothers planned this very significant event in the life of their boy children with great care. Some even delayed this event for as long as they could, since to some of them it meant essentially the loss of that boy child.

The ceremony by which young boys took their first significant step into manhood …

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