"an absolutely motionless boy in a sailor suit; he bore a striking resemblance to the Tsarevich"

The fashion for dressing children in sailor suits was started in England in the 1860s, and became a craze once Queen Victoria's sons, and even her daughters, started wearing them. By the 1870s and until the 1940s, sailor suits were very popular in Europe and the United States for boys mainly of six to eight years, but even up to the age of 12. They were worn with a wide-brimmed straw sailor's hat and they came in a variety of styles. Tsarevich Alexei was often pictured wearing his sailor suit.

Nabokov also wore one as a young boy, as he describes on page 24, "With a sharp and merry whistle that was part of my first sailor suit"...