Our information on 1937 is still limited, but we have begun to develop some information. Boys still wore Knickers, but they were no longer universal. Boys were increasingly wearing long pants, even primry school boys. We see more long pants suits. We also note long overcoats as well as shorter-cut jackets for winter. Children, mostly younger children were still wearing long stockings. Sears offered several styles of waists for use as stocking supporters in its Fall-Winter 1937-38 catalog. An ad for EZ-Underwear provides an assessment for the full range of children's underwear offered by the company, one of the major manufacturers. The ad appeared in Good Housekeeping Magazine, 1937--presumably to appeal to mothers who were buying back-to-school clothes for their youngsters.
Flat caps were still common, but not as dominant as in the 1920s. Notice the caps here on the Wards suit and coats page (figure 1). They were not very common. A good example of how catalogs can be misleading about accompanying clothes (items pictured but not actually being offered for sale). Stocking caps were popular for winter wear.
We notice Wards offering a range of heavy, long overcoats in 1937. One is done with sailor detailing. The variety offered suggests they were a popular item. We had thought that shorter jackets were more common. he fact that Wards offered several different styles suggests that it was still fairly common to wear long overcoats.
A Ward's page offered five different styles of heavy, long overcoats. There were both belted and non-belted styles there was also one done with sailor detailing. There were for younger boys of primary age. The coats are done in a size smaller than the suits shown on the same page. They seen to be coats that would have been worn to school.
We also notice advertisements for boys jackets meanig cold or cool weather gear. These are shorter cut garments including both light and heavy garments. We note that Wards offered a lumberjack-style jacket with a bold print. It was part of a 3-piece outfit (jacket, long pants, and self-belt). These sets were popular for back-to-school outfits.
Suits were still important, but boys no longer wore them as commonly as in the 1920s. Boys wore both single and double-breasted suits. We note both long and knickers pants as well as short pants for the younger boys.
This Wards page offers boys' suits. Most of the suits have long trousers, but one model has knickers. For the overcoats, notice the hats. (Wards Fall and winter, 1937, p. 196).
The sizes indicate these suits are for younger boys from about 5 to 10 years. One interesting feature here is the prominence of "longies" even for very young boys. Of the suits advertised, only one has
knickers. And there are no short trousers suits on this page. Considering the prominence of long stockings and garter waists featured elsewhere in the catalog, the dominance of "longies" is somewhat
puzzling. But I think the same catalog has short pants outfits on a different page, so perhaps this is explainable. It is also interesting to note that some mothers at the height of the Great Depression wanted to buy outfits for boys that included everything--not only trousers and jacket but also shirts ("blouses"), neckties, and belts.
Shirts with wide unbuttoned collars were popular in 1937. They could be worn cassually or with a suit.
Knickers were still worn, but by younger boys and were declining in popularity. Long pants were becoming increasingly common. The major catalogs in 1937 were giving increasing attention to long pants. Younger boys still wore short pants, especially in the summer. This was in part affected by regional and social-class trends. Note that the models here showing overcoats are shown wearing knickers (figure 1). This despite most of the suits shown on the same page are long pants suits. This is another example of the clothing shown with items is quite often not very accurate.
Catalog offerings provide a great deal of useful information about hosiery in 1937. Kneesocks had not yet replaced long stockings for knickers by 1936. Most older boys were, however, wearing Kneesocks with their knickers. Particularly popular were kneesocks done in Argyle and other patterns. Long stockings were still widely worn, especially by younger boys. They were also worn for dress up occassions. An increasing number of boys were wearing ankle socks, commonly with long pants Some boys wearing short pants might still wear long stockings during the cooler month. Assessing popularity is complicated. The extensive catalog offerings suggests to us that long stockings were still commonly worn, probably a little more commonly by girls than boys. The photographic record suggests to us that lonf stockings were declining in popularity. Sears offered several styles of waists for use as stocking supporters in its Fall-Winter 1937-38 catalog.
We do not have much information on underwear in 1937 yet. We do have a few items. The VestPants combinations I do not think were very common. Gartr waists had been commonly worn by American children. As long stockings declined in popularity during the 1930s, garter waists were becoming less common. An ad for EZ-Underwear provides an assessment for the full range of children's underwear offered by the company, one of the major manufacturers. The ad appeared in Good Housekeeping Magazine, 1937--presumably to appeal to mothers who were buying back-to-school clothes for their youngsters. The 1930s was the last decade that long johns were widely worn throughout America. We notice a Saturday Evening Post cover (February 1937).
Boys and girls in the 1930s still commonly wore leather shoes to go to school in and even for play. Sneakers were available but were mostly worn for play during the summer. Leather shoes were much more common.
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