The knickerbocker suit

If you were trying to visualise the youths at whom the content of The Boys Journal was aimed in 1863, an advertisement at the back of this issue might be of use to you. For the price of one guinea (one pound and one shilling, or 21 shillings) they could have had a knickerbocker suit.

A particular feature is described as a selling point. ‘The novelty consists of a device in trimming, in the graceful form of the Fern, covering the knee, at once forming a pretty and useful ornament – to that part which has hitherto been found to wear so soon in a play dress.’

Now, how many of our lads would be tempted into buying this garment knowing that the Cornhill Magazine of October 1860 had considered ‘Knickerbockers, surely the prettiest Boy’s Dress that has appeared these hundred years’?

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