Oh Boy! Boy’s Dress 1760-1930

This display is an exploration into the overlooked world of historical boy’s dress through a collector’s eye.

Book Tickets

This display will run alongside The Fabric of Democracy exhibition.

The Fashion and Textile Museum is excited to present Oh Boy! – an exploration into historical boy’s dress. Curated by leading fashion historian Amy de la Haye, alongside renowned expert collector Alasdair Peebles, experience an unrivalled collection of an often-undervalued area of fashion history, spread over two acts.

29 September – 16 December 2023
Act One: Breeched: No More Dresses explores the ceremony of entry to the masculine world, taking place after six years of age, through abandoning dresses in favour of breeches, focusing on 1760 through to 1810. Featuring a dimity gown and coat; a robust three-piece fustian breeches suit and a block-printed skeleton suit, alongside other fascinating pieces.

21 December 2023 – 3 March 2024
Act Two: Ship Shape delves into the vogue for nautical wear dating from 1860 to 1930. Starting with a miniature suit that an Admiral had made for his young son and including linen and wool serge suits, loosely inspired by naval dress, accompanied by accessories.

The space will be imaginatively adorned, showcasing Alasdair’s skills as a decorative period interior painter and will narratively explore the topic of collecting.

About the curators

Amy de la Haye is Professor of Dress History & Curatorship, and joint director of the Centre for Fashion Curation at London College of Fashion (LCF). Recent and current projects include Gluck: Art & Identity at Brighton Museum (2017), Ravishing: The Rose in Fashion at MFIT (New York, 2021), Wild & Cultivated: Fashioning the Rose at London’s Garden Museum (2022), Making Mischief: Folk Costume in Britain at Compton Verney (2023) and Making More Mischief… at LCF Stratford (2024). She has published extensively and writes for SHOWstudio. Formerly she served as Curator of 20th Century Dress at the Victoria and Albert Museum with exhibitions including the radical Streetstyle: from sidewalk to catwalk (1994).

Alasdair Peebles works as a freelance decorative painter, specialising in hand-painted wallpapers and the restoration of painted finishes in Historic houses. For the last thirty years, he has built a private collection focused exclusively on boy’s and youth’s clothes from 1750-1950. He is currently co-authoring a book on men’s and boys’ dress for Bloomsbury. He has lectured widely, regularly lends clothing to museums for exhibitions and works with costume designers on period film projects including Little Women and Mary Poppins.


In place of a permanent display, the Fashion and Textile Museum hosts a diverse programme of temporary exhibitions, displaying a broad range of innovative fashion and textiles from designers and makers around the world.

On arrival: Please ensure you arrive within the first 20 minutes of your chosen entry time, for example if your ticket is for 11am please arrive between 11.00 and 11.20am. Please do not arrive early as you will be refused entry. There is no waiting area in the museum. Upon entry, please present your ticket(s) on your device or a note of your booking reference number.

Eating and drinking: No food or drink is permitted in the Museum, other than bottled water. The Fashion and Textile Museum is located in the heart of Bermondsey Street, surrounded by award-winning restaurants, cafes and pubs. So, if you would like to enjoy a meal or a drink before or after your visit, there is plenty to choose from.For more information, check out our plan your visit page or our FAQs.

Coming soon

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