Our three young kids have taught us many things. One of them is that kids and sailors have a lot in common: they’re mischievous and free-spirited; they are happy climbing aloft and are undeterred by rough weather; they are often more comfortable dirty than clean, more at ease pitching and rolling than standing still on steady ground; and they are notoriously sloppy painters. And so it seems to follow that kids and sailors should dress alike. Queen Victoria thought so when she put her son Albert, Prince of Wales, into a child-sized Royal Navy sailor’s uniform in 1846, and we think so too.
Our own kids have dressed as sailors since the time we put our toddler-aged daughter in coveralls (or a “boiler suit,” as it’s known in the Merchant Marine) as she helped string Christmas lights in the damp Northwest air. When it’s time to dress up, our boys prefer the open-necked sailor middy to a buttoned up shirt and tie every time.
Despite the obvious good match between kids and sailor clothes, it’s been surprisingly hard to find them in kids’ sizes, and even more difficult to find them made in a seaworthy manner. We are therefore pleased to be the first U.S. stockist for the superb children’s boiler suit made by the British company, Castle Clothing. Our kids have been in them for years, and we are happy to make them available to yours. And when our oldest son outgrew his vintage sailor suit, the Chandler Small label was born, offering an American-style children’s sailor suit that is authentically made in the U.S.A.
The centuries-old distinctive dress of sailors has informed our design. We studied the sailor uniforms of navies the world over, as well as vintage examples of children’s sailors suits. We carefully sourced our materials to include sturdy twill fabric, authentic braid trim, and real fouled anchor uniform buttons. We are proud to say that our all-American sailor suits are designed and sewn here in Oregon.
This is our blog site where we’ll share details and stories about the history, design, and production of our distinctive line of kids’ sailor suits and coveralls.