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fancy dress photo 1952.58/4
fancy dress 1952.58/4
fancy dress detail 1952.58/4
fancy dress hat 1952.58/4

This outfit was worn by Patrick Tait, aged four and a half, at a fancy dress party in Bangalore, India, in September 1913, and a photograph of him in the outfit is below. The tunic, shorts, cloak and crown-shaped hat are made inexpensively from black, red and yellow cotton satin, decorated with glued-on 'club' shapes, cut from black cotton. The outfit would have been comfortable to wear, unlike other contemporary suggestions for children's fancy dress, such as 'Humpty Dumpty' or 'Gainsborough's Blue Boy', and instantly recognisable from packs of playing cards.

Patrick's parents, like many Britons, lived and worked in India in the early twentieth century, when it was part of the British Empire. Most British families felt isolated and homesick in India, and parties and social events, run on as British lines as possible, were very important to them. Fancy dress parties for both children and adults were extremely popular in Britain from the 1880s to the 1930s, and the fashion was eagerly adopted by the British overseas.

Full item descriptions:

"fancy dress suit" [1952.58]

Related Themes:

Fancy Dress
Children's Dress