We have much more iunformation on the 20th century. German boys wore long stockings throughout the first half of the 20th century. Stockings in the early 20th cebntury were made just above knee length because boys mostly wore knee-length kneepants. This began to change as short pants became more popular, especially after World War II in the 1920s. The length of the stockings in the 1930s became more complicated as boys began wearing shorter cut short pants. HBC is not sure why shorter shorts began to be worn at this time. One HBC reader believes was due to an increasing spirit of athletici, which called for shorter pants, especially in warmer summer season. This required mothers who continued to insist on long stockings to either to buy or make longer stockings for spring or autumn or for the evening hours. Thus long stockings which were initially made ar lengths just above the knee gradually were made longer. At first the short pants were a bit shorter but not very short, so the stockings needed to be about medium length. Then by the mid and late 1930s, the shorts got shorter still, so the stockings needed to be extra-long. Some boys found that that the hem of the stockings never reached the lower hem of very short shorts. Most objected to this, espcially as their stocking supporters including the white button or the metal clasps would show. All this was by some children consdidered as extremely girlish or childish and were teased by other boy. There were other boys (and their mothers) to whom this did not matter. Gradually the stockings were being made longer and longer, extending well above the knee. Eventually they covered the entire upper leg. We see fewer boys wearing long stockings in the 1950s, but the lengths of the stockings by that time were quite long because of the shorter cut shorts boys were wearing.
German children very commonly wore long stockings in the 1910s. Boys very commonly wore knee pants. Thus the long stockings did not have to be very long, little more than above the knee. We do not have any vintage garments so it a little difficult to know precisely what the length was. We can make some assessmentbased on the photographic record. We note a German boy wearing a sailor suit about 1910. He wears quite long long stockings.
We see boys at at primary school in the 1910s in Germany wearing long stockings well over the knee, but it is difficult to tell what length they were. At least one boy looks to be wearing stockings that extend well beyond the top of his knee.
Boys and girls until after World War I (1914-18) tended to wear knee-length pants and skirts. Long stockings thus did not have to be very long, only a little above the knee. After the War in the 1920s we begin to see shorter-cut garments, especially for younger children. It took hosiery manufacturers a little time to adjust. This German boy wears black long stockings with longish short pants about 1920. The stocking length seems to be about mid-thigh length. Older children still tended to wear knee-length pants and skirts. Thus the length of long stockings could vary considerably during the decade. We begin the see the stockings made longer lengrhs in the 1920s. A good example is an unidentified brother and sister.
The brother and sister are for some reason wearing matching skirts and thigh-length long stockings which must be much longer in order to come up under the short skirts.
This shift did not only occur in Germany. We see this and other changes in lock stockings occuring in other countries as well during the 1920s.
We see a schoolboy during the pre-World War II NAZI era wearing short pants and long black stockings. They look to be fairly long, mid-thigh at least. This German boy wear black long stockings with his communion suit in 1932 Germany. The suit has short pants, but rather long short pants. We note a Jewish schoolboy in an isolated section of Berlin during 1933-34. He is wearing short pants and long brown stockings (stockings here at least mid-thigh length). The stockings are probably about mid-thigh length. We also note a Jewish boy being fitted for a new pair of shoes wearing long-length stockings. We note Hans in 1939 wearing very long stockings which seem to cover much of his leg.
We see German boys wearing long stockings throughout the 1940s, both during and after the War. We notice a German boy making friends with an American G.I. in Berlin during the Berlin Air Lift in 1948. He wears the traditionally thigh-covering long stockings with suspender shorts. We note another German boy on a car during 1948. The boy wears very long stockings that cover almost the boy's entire leg.
Long stockings declined in popularity during the 1950s, but the stockings we see tend to be long-length stockings in the 50s. We see a boy in an East Berlin shoe store in 1955. He is wearing quite long stockings.
Here are three boys wearing long stockings in 1950s Germany. Note that by this time, the stockings have become very long to fit under short shorts--in this case lederhosen. We note a school in East Germany in 1951 where one boy where shorter-length shorts with extra-long stockings. This was, I believe, the typical length in Germany (both East and West) during the 1950s. A German boy wears long black stockings with lederhosen. Even though the stockings are very long, they are not quite long enough to come up complete under his very short lederhosen. You can see the garter attachment in this case. Long stockings by this time, however, had become much less common.
Few West German boys wore long stockings in the 60s, but they were worn in East Germany. We do note a German boy in 1962. He is fastening the garter on his stockings, illustrating the common length of stockings in Germany at the time. Notice that he wears rather short shorts, necessitating the longer-length stockings. Another German boy in 1962 wears very long woolen stockings covering the entire upper thigh. Since he lives in a remote area of the country, the stockings may have been knit at home. But this length was common even in stockings purchased commercially.
Related Pages HBC Hosiery Pages:
[Return to the main Main German long stocking length chronology page]
[Return to the main Main German long stocking page]
[Return to the main Main long stocking page]
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