My mother enclosed this picture in her Christmas card, and I'm so happy to see it. That's my Mom and Dad at their wedding with his Mom & Dad and brothers. Mom was 25 and Dad was 30. They look so young, carefree. Thanks, Mom!!!
He's probably dressed like that because of a fashion trend based on a the main character in Little Lord Fauntleroy, a book written by Frances Hodgson Burnett in 1886. Mrs. Burnett also wrote The Secret Garden and The Little Princess, which seems to have originally been titled Sara Crewe.
I wrote a paper about him back in high school after reading about him in one of my dad's old books.
Little Lord Fauntleroy's story doesn't translate for a modern reader the same way some of her other's have. It's the story of a child who travels to England with his widowed mother because he's now a lord. His grandfather disowned Little Lord F's father when he ran off with his mother.
Now that he's dead, the old man realizes he's has no heir and sends for the boy and his mother. Then the darling child procedes to charm every person of every class, including his own surly grandfather; who learns to love and forgive because of this sweet and wonderful boy. Meanwhile the kid dresses like that throughout the entire book, which looks pretty odd in the pictures of him with the tenants or the shoeshine boy.
Well, you'll have to read the book itself if you find one, and see the wikipedia entry for a more thorough history. The one copy I've come across has lost much of it's spine; all of the pages have stained or ragged edges and most are no longer attached. If you've purchased my 30 page mixed paper lot on eBay recently you may have a page.