Children's Leggings: Gender

Figure 1.--Most Israelis have parents or grand parents born in Europe. This portait was taken in the 1890s. We are not yet sure in what country it was taken, but it appears to have been Russia. The child wears a hair now with bangs and a rather short hair cut. He appears to be wearing kneepants and long stockings. This almost certainly is a boy. We doubt if a girl would have worn kneepnts. In addition, tricycles were more common for boys than girls.

HBC has not yet noted any gender differences with leggings. Both girls and boys wore them. We see quite a number of children in the late 19th and early 20th century wearing them. Indeed we have seen children, both boys and girls wearing them into the 1940s. Interestingly, girls wore them at a time where girls did not wear trousers. The major factor concerning leggings appears to have been age and not gender. Almost always, children not wearing dresses or skirts in the 19th cebntury are boys. The one exception here may be leggings. We are not sure just what garments were worn with leggings. Boys seemed to have commonly wore suits like Faintleroy suits. We are not positive if girls always wore dresses with leggings, but we think that they may have. We are finding this a difficult topic to assess as often children wearing leggings are pictured in coats and coats for little boys and girls were often quite similar. A good 20th century example is Molly and Betty Blewitt in England about 1920. A HBC reader comments, "I don't think a girl would be wearing just leggings and a sweater. Leggings surely but with a skirt. I am not saying that this is not a girl. Maybe she is a tomboy. Maybe her Father wanted a boy and dressed her accordingly. Mother may have added the bow so she would appear as a girl."


Navigate related Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site ciold weather pages pages:
[Return to the Main leggings page]
[Return to the Main cold weather page]
[Coats] [Knits] [Sweaters] [Winter underwear] [Other cold-weather wear]

Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]

Created: February 24, 2002
Last updated: 1:54 AM 8/8/2010