Sailor hats were originally worn exclusively by boys. Girls began
wearing sailot hats during the early Victorian era. By the 1880s they were
commonly worn by both boys and girls.
The initial sailor hat worn by boys were wide-brimmed
with ribbons dangling down the back and often
with elastic under the chin. The hats were baced on straw hats, with smaller
brims once worn by sailors, The size of the brims varried greatly.
some of the smaller boys in sailor suits or Fautleroy suits might
very large hats with the long dangling ribbons. One fashion columist
in Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine wrote in 1861, A sailor hat
in brown straw, trimmed with black ribbon with bow ends is suitable for
little boys 6 to 7 years of age. Older boys would have
hats with smaller brims.
Boys also wore hats worn by sailors in their country's navies. As these uniforms changed so
did the boys' styles. British and American bots wore a kind of
flat topped sailor hat. German and Russian boys wore hats with
a softer top. French boys had a little red pom on the top of their
caps. These styles were also adopted by the Sea Scouts, a unit
of the Boy Scouts in the various countries.
Older boys by the later part of the 19th Century and early
20th Century were also wearing
small-brim straw hats with knee pants tweed suits. Sailor suits
continued to be worn by boys in the 1920s and 30s, but the
passed out of favor, especially after the 1920s. Sailor hats are still
sometimes seen as part of Sea Scout uniforms. They are still
sometimes worn by
small boys serving as
ring bearers at formal weddings. Sailor suits, including the caps,
were adopted as the uniform
boys choirs, especially in Germany. They are still used by
the Vienna Chour Boys.
with children, the straw hat became a favorite with
adults after the turn of the Century. Many fashion trends were
first tried on children before adults wore them.