Why do I keep finding BOYS IN DRESSES?

My theory, and I stand behind it, is that all these vernacular photos I keep finding of boys in dresses is really just a result of little girls getting head lice. Poor things have had their heads shaved and we now see photos of them as it's slowly growing back. Their "crowning glory" filled with buggies. Sad, very sad...and itchy, very itchy.

Click image to see it larger.

This little girl, or boy in a dress, is also barely hair there. Sounds like a name for a children's book. Anyway, this is from the envelope of 29 negatives.

My other two posts of little boys/girls in dresses:


  1. You're making me laugh about bugs and what not. That's a girl though. I'm just sure it is. Well, not sure, but I looked like that once and I don't know why. Maybe my hair just had a slow start.

  2. I'm thinking it's a girl too, but we'll never know. There might have been some strange things going on back then other than like in the previous century when little boys were sometimes dressed as girls including ringlets.

    I too was bald for at least my first year and then it came in in white blond ringlets. No comb could get through it. Ohhh, to have that hair now.

  3. Adolf really looks like a boy... could the climate be the reason for a cotton dress?

    The twins.. I agree.. probably lice and then taking the opportunity of a traveling photographer.. just bad timing.

    This photo... one of my sisters was near bald until she was three.

    However, I have two pictures of my dad at somewhere around two. In both he is wearing a dress. Back then it had more to do with laundry than gender.. or so my granny (born 1880) said.

  4. Eloh,

    I agree "it" really does look like a boy. That's what's got me so confused. I think with long hair it would still look like a boy. And whomever drew on the mustache also did a wee bit of doctoring to the eyebrows. Same day I bought this I bought another incredible shot of what has to be a boy in a fairy costume with a long wig. I'm saving it for now. I'm always stunned by some of the things I find in the bottom of boxes which have me guessing which way they swing. Feel sorry that these folks are going to now go through time labeled: sex - unknown.

  5. Actually it is not so uncommon in pictures from around the mid 1800’s up to even 1930, to find young children both boys and girls in dresses for play clothes and even sometimes in formal (good) clothes. I think they might have called them smocks. I would guess it was a transition from the baby night gown which was more or less just a convenient garment. I have found some too.

  6. Ahhh...transition is an interesting word to use for these images. You know it's just my strange 20th plus century mind always twisting in the wind. Plus American culture is so restrictive. Nothing outside the box allowed.