If the term smocks is commonly associated to little girl dresses, its exact definition and origin is less known….
Hard to believe today but until quite recently smocks were actually part of men’s wardrobes.
Smocks can be defined the embroidery of geometrical or figuratives shapes on top of tightly pleated panels of fabric. The original aim was not decorative but functional. Smocks were used to reduce fabric while keeping a certain flexibility and ease of movement. Smocked shirts were long worn by woodcutters before integrating childrens’ wardrobes.