Montgomery Ward: Stockings and Leggings, 1922

Figure 1.--.

Montgromery Ward devoted an entire page to long stockings. Quite a variety are offered, including douuble legs and knees. Notably, one pair of knnesocks, styled sport socks, are squeezed into a small corner of the page. Most were for both boys and girls. A style called "Tom Boys" are made for "lively boys" and "active girls". A few were specically made for boys and others for girls. Most were dark colors, brown, dark brown and black. Many were only made in black. They were all soli colors, none of the patterns that became available gor kneesocks.There were some white stockings. Styles range from 5 1/2 to 10. This mean shoe size, based on foot size and not the age of the boy. These stockings were not just cold-weather weight as some specify "summer weight". Notably, the less bulky stocking types were considered the most suitable for dress wear.

Types of Long Stockings

Wards provides us extensive details on the different types of long stockings that they offered.

Strong Elastic? School Hose

many of the long stockings do not specify boys or girls. These stockings in 1922, however, were clearly not seen as primarily for girls. The only full illustration on the page shows a boy in the morning still in his ressing gown putting on his long stockings. Obviously from the copy they were seen as schoolwear. The scan, however, is not clear enough to read the ad copy.

Heavy weight

Again I can't read the a copy here, but this style was only available in black.

Extra heavy weight

The ad copy reas, "This is an extra heavy Stocking of combe cotton, medium ?? ribbed, knit of select quality material which will stand the roughest wear. The legs are of three-threa construction; feet and ankles two thread. Heels an toes well reinforced. Sizes: 6 to 10. State size wanted." They were available in black and dark brown and cost 40 cents per pair. Postage was 2 cents extra per pair.

Fine Combed Cotton

Children's summer weight cotton Stockings with flat knit feet, reinforced heels and toes. Knit very fine and elastic ribbed, easily stretched in taking off and putting on. Orice low. Sizes: 5 1/2 to 9 1/2." They were available in dark brown, black, and white. They were price at 22 cents. Postage was 1 cent vextra per pair.

Fine mercerized

One of our best Stockings for children. Unusually fine ribbed, very elastic; medium weight, knit from best quality mercerized liale? of great luster. Well reinforced at all wearing points. Very urable. Excellent value. Sizes: 5 1/2 to 9 1/2." They were available in black, brown, and white. They cost 37 cents per page and 1 cent extra for postage.

Double Leg

This style according to Wards was for lively boys. The a copy rea, "Stockings made to stand up stand up under the wear and tear to which the average growing boy subjects his hose, heavy weight, extremely elstic, drawing on and off easily. Heavy and wiry enough to stand all kinds of wear. The leg is knit doubled from the shoe top up. Strongly reinforced heels and toes." This style was only available in black in sizes 6 to 10. Three pairs for $1.00. Sizes 10 1/2 to 11 were 3 pairs for $1.25. Postahe was 3 cents for 3 pair.

Dounle knee

This style according to Wards was for active knees. The ad copy read, "Splendid wearing Stockings built specially strong for girls who are very hard on their hose. Made of select strong cotton, fine ribbed, extremely elastic, and easy to draw off and on. Somewhat heavier than the usual stockings for girls, yet fine enough for dress wear. Reinforced over knees. The feet are seemless, and the toes an heels are specially reinforce. Sizes 6 to 10." This styule was only available in black only and cost $1.00 for three pair. Postage was 3 cents for the three pair.

Double knee

A stocking for children. Will give a great deal of wear for the money. Medium weight, fine ribbed, with strongly reinforced, double knee and heavy heels and toes. Quality of cotton used in these stockings is very good, and the careful workmanship an finish make them an extra good value. Order several pair. Sizes: 5 1/2 to 9 1/2." They were only available in black, 18 cents per page. Postage is 2 cents extra.

English ribbed

English Derby ribbed Stockings of fine quality mercerized cotton. Very elastic in the legs. The heels an toes are stringly reinforced. These stockings are heavy enough for outdor wear and fine and lustrous enough for dress wear. Sizes 6 to 11." Avaiable in black and brown, 2 pairs for $1.00. Postage, 3 cents for 2 pairs.


The size of the stocking corresponded to the foot size in inches. so a size twelve was for a boy with a size 12 foot (a pretty big boy). The cotton stockings were for children up to size 9 1/2 inch foot. I think these sizes covered most children from the very young through adolescence. Though I think at some point boys stopped wearing stockings and switched to socks. Older boys of course did not need long stockings of course because like me they were were more likely to wear long pants and long stockings were not needed.


Quite a bit of valuable information can be gleaned from this catalog page on stockings. One HBC reaer reports, "I noted that the cotton stockings that would have a sheen to them and therefore dressier came in white."

Christopher Wagner

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Created: January 6, 2001
Last updated: April 15, 2001