History of Children’s Clothing

A Fashionable History: How Children's Clothing has Evolved Over the Years 

Children's clothing has had many ups and downs over the years, but there's no denying that it's more fun, colorful, and exciting than ever. 

From the first time you put on your baby's newborn outfit to when your teen daughter decides to get her first tattoo, children's fashion keeps you on your toes and makes every child-rearing stage an exciting adventure. 

This article covers the evolution of children's fashion over time, with an overview of how we came to where we are today and what might be in store in the future.

Early Children's Clothing

Before the twentieth century, children wore the same styles and cuts regardless of gender. Women and men wore gowns, tunics, and robes from the sixteenth to twentieth centuries. Women, newborns, and toddlers began wearing gowns once men evolved into two-piece clothes, shirts, and breeches. As children grew older, their attire changed from gowns to adult garments.

Children's clothing in the 19th century was more like adult clothing. Children wore skirted outfits to represent adult women during neoclassical fashion periods. 

During this period, one of the most notable trends in baby clothes was bloomers which allowed for free movement. Parents favored dress trousers with bib tops for their toddlers, but the pants were often pulled over their shirts because they couldn't keep them up. 

Dress skirts and blouses for women were adapted for little boys so they could wear women's formal clothing while still being able to identify themselves as boys when wearing pants or suspenders underneath. 

Toddler girls wore dresses with bodices and full-length skirts. These dresses were often adorned with lace, ribbons, and bows to make them seem fancier than everyday dresses.

What Did Children Wear in the 1700s?

In the early years, toddler boys and girls wore low-necked gowns with leading strings at the shoulders that served as a sort of leash to prevent them from wandering off or tripping.


They were only dressed in this manner until they turned six years old, at which point they had to wear gender-appropriate clothing. 

Children older than toddlers continued to wear clothing that was, in many ways, simply smaller versions of adult clothing. Despite the widespread belief that children wore miniature versions of adult clothing, this is not true. The backs of girls' gowns were fastened at the back, and the tassels were much simpler than those of women. Unlike women's gowns, girls' gowns had no split down the front, like women's. Girls also had no jackets or bedgowns.

The shirts, breeches, waistcoats, and coats worn by boys were similar to those worn by men, except that the coats were fitted and trimmed differently, and boys often went bareheaded. Boys' shirts and coats were designed differently than men's during some eras of the 18th century.

19th Century Children's Fashion

In the 19th century, clothing for young boys and girls consisted of all-in-one garments. Children's clothing in the 19th century ranged from heavy, dark, and voluminous garments for girls to longer, looser clothes for boys. Little girls wore skirts with large hoop adornments and dresses that covered more of their bodies. Boys dressed similarly but with shorter hemlines.

The early twentieth century saw children wearing matching coats and boots to match their parents' stylish outfits. Mothers made special clothes for their children just as they did for themselves. Silk replaced heavy woolen materials by this point. 

For girls, skirts became fuller and more voluminous, while boys' shorts became popular for play. Parents also began allowing their children to explore different styles, making choices that reflected personal taste over social norms. Overall, the 19th Century saw a dramatic change in how children's clothing reflected the trends of adult fashion designers at the time.

Edwardian Era

The Edwardian era is generally from 1901-1910. It was common for crawling babies to wear one-piece rompers during the Edwardian period. Other than that, children's clothing styles were simplified versions of adult clothes. Dresses for young girls were knee-length, often starched and embellished with lace, paired with black stockings and boots. Hair ribbons were tied in their hair, and hats were sometimes worn with fancier outfits. Pinafore dresses and blouses were appropriate for playtime.

It was common for boys to wear long-sleeved shirts with knee-length shorts and tall, dark socks, sometimes with jackets.

Girls wore dresses until 12 when they were expected to start wearing more practical clothes like blouses or shirts. On the flip side, Boys typically started wearing adult clothes when they turned ten. The hemlines of trousers or dresses gradually lowered as children grew older.

Fashion for Boys and Girls Today

In the contemporary era, children's clothing continues to evolve and change with fashion trends. There are now more stores available for children's clothing than ever before. There are some stores that specialize exclusively in children's clothing. 

Recently, the fashion industry has undergone dramatic changes, and brands that formerly specialized in women's fashion have expanded to include men's and children's clothing as well. Some brands have introduced exclusive clothing for children. Several shops offer formal and informal outfits for kids, and it's fun to discover popular kid trends in 2022.

Today's children's fashion is stunningly creative and charming. It should not be surprising that there are a variety of items now available that can help your child become a true stylista, such as Baffle's Notorious BIG Sister Toddler Shirt, which can be worn with tutus, shorts, or pants, and slip-on sneakers.

Typically, summer is characterized by bright, vibrant colors, while fall colors are often mellow, like pastels. Any of the mentioned colors can be used in boys' clothing or girls' clothing without restriction.

Contemporary children's clothing in 2022 catches the eye with its unusual combinations and concepts. Urban, casual, military, and athletic styles are all in style in 2022. The distinct textures and colors of biker jackets, winter jackets, and coats make up the harmony of these garments. A wide range of applications, lettering, and vivid colors can be applied to any clothing style, whether it's Easter clothes, 4th of July, or any other holiday collection like our Pride Rainbow Heart Raglan Onesie.

Child's Wear: What Does It Mean Today?

Children's wear today is all about making kids feel confident and happy about their looks! It is important for children's clothing to be cute, comfortable, and appropriate for kids of all sizes and shapes. 

It's often made with fabrics like cotton, denim, or corduroy. Children quickly grow out of their clothing, so it is usually less expensive than adult clothing. 

History Is Always Fascinating when it comes to Children's Fashion!

The history of children's clothing is a fascinating one. From rompers to sailor suits, it seems like every decade, a new style catches on with kids and parents alike. 

No matter what fashion trends come and go, it's safe to say there will always be an appetite for clothes designed with children in mind. The You Think You're Tough? My Uncle's A Marine Toddler Shirt is one of those timeless items that will always be in style!

Our goal at Baffle Gear is to offer kids from newborns through 12 years old with stylish, yet practical gear. With our kid-focused lines, including Designer Kids by Bafflegear and Bafflegear Baby + Child, we've got you covered, whether you're looking for something special for your little one or your whole family. Browse our kids clothing to find the perfect outfit.

Liquid error (layout/theme line 204): product form must be given a product