HBC has noted several images of Canadian boys wearing long stockings. The chronological trends are less clear to HBC than American trends, because HBC has less information on Canada. We suspect that Canada's colder climate may have caused long stockings to persist a bit longer in Canada than America. Canadian boys commonly wore long stockings with kneepants. This appears to have been quite similar to American patterns in the late 19th century. Warmth may have well been the main reason--especially given the harsh Canadian winters. HBC has noted that some Canadian boys continued wearing long stockings in the 20th century when many American boys began wearing short socks and kneesocks. While many American boys wore three-quarter length socks in the early 20th century--especially during the summer. This appears less common in Canada where long stockings continued to be orevalent. Differences developed betwwen French Canadiana and English Canadian boys after World War I, although we do not yet know the precise chronology and extent of these differences and why they developed. The differences may not have been pronounced in the 1920s and 30s, but they appear to have become significant by the 1940s.
Canadian boys commonly wore long stockings with kneepants. This appears to have been quite similar to American patterns in the late 19th century. Warmth may have well been the main reason--especially given the harsh Canadian winters. HBC has, however, little information on Canadian boys fashions in the late 19th century. We see one Canadian boy wearing long black stockings in 1885. Another example is a Canadian boy in 1897.
HBC has noted Canadian boys continued wearing long stockings in the early 20th century. Here the pattern seems more similar to America than Britain. We note quite old boys wearing long stockings during this period. A good example is a 16-year old French Canadian boy in 1901. We note many British boys wearing kneesocks. This also occurred un Canada, but nog nearly to the extent we have observed in Britain. The same phenomenon can be boted in America. While many younger American boys wore three-quarter length socks in the early 20th century--especially during the summer. This appears less common in Canada where long stockings continued to be prevalent. Our information on this period is still quite limited as we still have very few Canadian images.
Differences developed betwwen French Canadiana and English Canadian boys after World War I, although we do not yet know the precise chronology and extent of these differences and why they developed.
We note children wearing white and black long stockings for First Communion in 1922.
The differences may not have been pronounced in the 1920s and 30s, but they appear to have become significant by the 1940s. An English Canadian reader writes, "I do not know a great deal about long stockings in Canada. I believe they were common until World War II, but disappeared after that." They appear to have persisted in the French Canadian community even after World War II. French Canadian boys wore dark long stockings with short pants during the 1920s-30s. HBC has noted French Canadians boys wearing short pants suits with these dark long stockings as late as the early 1950s. This formal outfit was normally worn for First Communion.
We notice all the children in a country school wearing long stockings in 1939.
A Canadian reader reports that the ads in the Canadian mail order catelogues during the 1940s and 50s are very similar to the ones that HBC features from America, including illistrations of boys and girls wearing stockings and admonitions to mothers to "avoid fights; dress the boys and girls alike".... He tells HBC. "Boys were wearing long stockings when I started school (1945) and there are (or used to be) birthday pics at probably four of us in shorts and white stockings." Another reader tells us that some primary schools, like the French Catholic primary school he and his brother attended in the 1940s required the children to wear long stockings. Long stockings were much less common in the 1950s, but were still worn by some children, especially French Canadian children. A French Canadian reader writes, "By the the 50s, it was mostly very young children wearing long stockings. Some mlothers insisted, but were wearing them with breaches (knickers). By 1955 boys by the time they were 98-10 years old were wearing long pants like American kids. By the 1960s, Canadian boys are no longer wearing long stockings. One reader, however, tells us that girls were still wearing long stockings into the 1960s. This ended about 1967 when the mini-skirt appeared. An exception here appear to have been some Catholic orphanages in Quebec where boys were still wearing short pants and long stockings in the 1960s.
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