View Full Version : Vintage Youth Fashion

11-23-2009, 10:38 AM
I'm working on a project that involves figuring out what girls around the age of twelve wore in the 1920's-40's.
I'm researching, but I was wondering if anyone had any helpful links, images, articles?

It would be quite helpful!

11-23-2009, 11:00 AM
You might want to check vintage pattern sellers who have children's categories. Usually size 12-14 was about age 12. Best of luck on your research!
Woodland Farms (http://www.woodlandfarmsantiques.com/WFAbeta2/UploadPages/PatternsJUN_09/PatternsChil/index.htm)
Vintage Martini (http://www.vintagemartini.com/kidspatternlinks.html)

Also if you go to a library and look in the reference section some might have bound copies of magazines that may have children in them. I know Ladies Home Journal in the 1940s ran articles on the "Average American Family" with lots of pictures. Also perhaps Child Life magazines.

Lady Day
11-23-2009, 11:02 AM
Also try the vintage pattern wiki.
You can search for 'children' and get a lot of good stuff.


11-23-2009, 12:38 PM
Have you seen Kit Kittredge: An American Girl? I thought they did an excellent job with the ladies dresses, so I'm sure the kids outfits were well -researched.

Here's a few pictures:

11-23-2009, 12:49 PM
Thanks guys!! All of your posts have been quite helpful so far!

Amy Jeanne
11-23-2009, 12:55 PM
Very little girls wore the short dresses with no defined waist and poofy sleeves. When they got a little older they wore a defined waist with short skirts just above the knee. "Tweens" began dressing like little adults:


I actually bought this pattern because I liked the orange dress so much and want to resize it one day lol

I have no idea about boys!

Fleur De Guerre
11-23-2009, 04:32 PM
Ahhh there is a picture of my granny as a little girl of about 10-11 in the 1920s at home, I can take a photo of it to show you, but not until Friday!

11-23-2009, 06:14 PM
Your thread made me dig out a large trove of old family pics, which I posted onthe Every Day Women of the Golden Age thread. But here are the ones of my mom from that era. She was born in 1920, so you can gauge by that.
Here she's maybe 12:
THis is dated 1934 (age 14):
What the well dressed girl fisher person would have worn in 1930:
Again, age about 10:
I'm pretty sure I have more.

11-23-2009, 06:29 PM
Here she is, my guess is 1929, age 9:
In a bathing suit, age 11, 1931:
Finally, I think there were a lot of really ugly women's coats in those days. Here's my mom. with her dad, looking none too pleased, I'd guess around 1932, age 12:
From looking at a lot of these and other pics, I'd venture girls wore straight sided shifts up to age about 11, and moved to dresses with waists, as they developed waists. This might also have been how popular taste evolved too. If you want to see a lot of good vintage pics, check out www.shorpy.com. An amazing website.

11-23-2009, 07:46 PM
Here are some 8th graders from the 1930's from my familiy photos:

Whittier California School 8th Grade class of 1933

Whittier California School 8th Grade class of 1937

Whittier California School 8th Grade class of 1939

11-24-2009, 10:07 AM
Thanks! All of the family photos are giving me some great ideas! My grandmother has some great ones, but she's all the way in New Jersey and I've not yet had the chance to make copies for myself.

12-04-2009, 04:11 PM
There are lots of great "retro 30s" style little print fabrics you can find in the fabric and quilting stores that are great for girls' clothes for this period. I have not seen the Kit movie yet- though the posted pics here from it the girl's clothes look GREAT! , I love the girls' 40s clothes they did for the Molly movie.

With the current start of the economy and our family's lack of stable resources right now, the Kit movie seems like a good one to watch...