Throughout the 20th century, Western culture underwent a period of exponential change. Due to rapid technological and social growth, as well as a series of significant historical events, people's tastes developed and altered at an unprecedented rate. Each decade brought new styles, new ideas, and created new perceptions about the relationship between parent and child. The roles and expectations for children transformed greatly through the 20th century, and this is clearly demonstrated through the ways in which their parents dressed them.
What children looked like every decade of the 20th century was marked by slow changes in both intent and style. At the beginning of the century, boys and girls were dressed similarly to adults; they were an extension of their parents and were expected to take on the problems of their time, specifically class perception and military conflict. As the century progressed, however, children were allowed identities of their own and given clothes durable and light enough to endure the outdoor play associated with childhood.