Children's Leggings: Types

Figure 1.--This unidentified girl may be American or perhps French. For some reson she does not seem very happy. She wears an overcoat and the standard types of leggings. They look to be leather.

We notice children wearing both gaiters and leggings. We have found only a few images of children wearing shoe protection gaithers. One example is Benjamin Morris Whitlock in the late-1860s. Many mpre images show children wearing leggings. There are two basic types of leggings. The most common type of leggings were the ones worn over the pants or in the case of girls under the skirt. These are the sdtandard leggings that one generally thinks of when referring to leggings. These were the type commonly made of leather, canvas, suiting, or other heavy material. There was also a type of leggings made out of a lighter weight material such as wool. They might be worn under the pants and look almost like long stockings, except that they come down over the shoe. We have fewer examples of this time. It seens to have been largely a central European style. We note examples from Austria and Hungary. The boys involved also mat have worn long stockings as well. A reader writes, "It seems that in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, children wore leggings (not leathered ones but some kind of cloth) to complete the sailor-suit. If you look at both photos, you will conclude that it was fashionaable to wear leggings instead of simply long stockings. Are those worn under the leggings is a difficult question. In mild weather countries like Austria of Hungary, I could guess that boys wore only stockings or socks." Anotherr reader writes, "These boys probably wore long stockings as well or possibly long underwear. But what seems unusual here are leggings that come up underneath the short trousers so that they function like long stockings. Often, I think, leggings were worn outdoors and removed for indoor wear. That obviously is not the case here."


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Created: 2:16 AM 8/8/2010
Last updated: 7:10 PM 12/15/2010