Dressing the Little Dears

Dressing the Little Dears

Saturday 15 March 2014

This study day will look at early children's clothes through the eyes of a reconstructor, a museum curator, a collector, and a social anthropologist and see how childhood has been viewed through clothes.

Dr. Jane Malcolm-Davies and Ninya Mikhaila of the Tudor Tailor team will tell us about their research and discoveries into the clothes worn by Tudor children. The long-held assumption that children were dressed as miniature adults in the 16C is challenged by the findings of a detailed analysis of 1,155 images of children in artistic representations of the period.
Noreen Marshall, recently retired curator of the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, will talk about the changes there have been to baby clothes over the years, from swaddling and long robes to clothes rationing and synthetic fabrics. What garments made up a baby’s layette? Have baby clothes always posed problems, and how closely do memories and perceptions of them match up to reality?
Alasdair Peebles will then take us on a delightful journey through two hundred years of the boys’ suit and show us the jewels of his collection. This will range from a formal silk dress suit of the 1760s through the ‘skeleton suit’ of the 1770s and military detailing of the Napoleonic War period to the sombre and severely plain woollen suit of the early 20C.
Dr Kaori O’Connor will tell the story of why the dressing gown became an iconic garment in an era of unprecedented social change, how the Pasold ladybirds came into being, and how Eric Pasold used the ladybirds and the dressing gown to build the most successful children’s wear business of the time.

The report on this event is included in the Spring 2014 issue of WECS Wardrobe.

Magazine Cover