The Edwardian period of 1901 to 1910 was a period of transition after the long reign of Queen Victoria. Children's clothing became less restrictive than before and more suitable for active play, while keeping children modestly covered at all times.
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Girls wore knee-length dresses in pale colours with frilled or cape collars. White or cream was a frequent choice. Dresses had sashes tied at the waist in pastel shades of pink, yellow or aquamarine. Lighter cotton fabrics such as gingham were gaining popularity, as were delicate fabrics such as silk voiles. Decorative embroidery was featured at the hems and collars. Long stockings or socks were worn with lace-up leather boots. Hair was tied away from the face with ribbons and topped with large straw boater hats.
Young boys wore bloomers under one piece jump suits or sailor suits. Older boys wore knee trousers and tunics or short pantsuits. Romantic mothers dressed their boys in fancy velvet suits trimmed with lace and ruffles in the style of Little Lord Fauntleroy, following the publication of the book of that name written by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Knee socks and high-top leather shoes or boots were worn, along with straw boaters or more elaborate decorated hats.
Edwardian school clothes were very similar to Victorian styles. Girls protected their dresses with white aprons and boys dressed in short trousers and jackets with flat caps or straw hats. Uniforms were becoming more commonplace with many schools keen to establish an identity through dress, school mottos and school songs. Sports competitions began to take place between schools, which encouraged the development of team colours and clothing.
Edwardian babies were often still dressed in clothes from the Victorian era, as these were made from such durable fabrics that they could withstand seemingly endless years of bleaching and scrubbing. However, lighter fabrics were being introduced in soft, pastel colours, trimmed and decorated with lace, embroidery and ribbons. Dresses were standard for both boys and girls. Bibs, bonnets and bootees were hand crocheted in white cotton or wool.
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