Long Stocking Supporters: Image Analysis 1

Figure 1.--Boys wore stocking supporters with the many styles of clothes with which long stockings were worn. This Americam portrait looks to have been taken around 1910. Note the differences in the outfits of the two boys.

HBC has no information on this porrait except that it is America We believe that it was taken about 1910, proably sometime from 1905-1915. Mother has attempted to dress the boys in coordinated outfits. The older boy appears to be 4 and the younger maybe 2? Both outfits appear to be back buttoning. Noticed that the older boy is wearing a bloomer and tunic suit with a bow while the younger boy is wearing a one piece romper/creeper without a bow. Both boys presumably wear stocking supporters to keep their stockings up.


We know that this is an Americam image.


The creeper outfits claerly suggests that this portrait was taken after tghe turn of tghe century. The lack of a ruffled collar sduggests that it was probably not early in the 1900s. The realtively small bow again argues that it was not early in the 1900s. Wearing long white stockings with realtively informal clothes suggests to HBC that the portrait was taken before 1920, probably before World War I (1914-18). The shoes also look to be pre World War I styles.

The Boys

Surely these two boys are brothers that their mother likes to dress a like. Notice that she also like to style their hair simarly--both boys have bangs.

Yonger brother

The younger looks to be about 2 years old. He wears a kind of creeper outfit. I see no front buttons so there must be back buttons. Notice he does not wear a bow. I do not know if bows were not considered apprpriate for younger boyd or if it was just to hard to keep one on him. Like his older brother, this boy wouls have nededed a stocking supporter to keep up his stockings.

Older brother

The older brother looks to be about 4 years old. He wears a neatly tied bow perhaps red. He wears a tunic which hangs over tghe waist of his bloomer like knickers. The waist also has no front buttons, presunably it is back buttoning. I'm not sure how the knickers pants were hels up. He may wear a waist to which the knickers button. The waist would also have an attachment for his stocking supporters.

Stocking Supporters

The boys and girls wearing long stockings in the second half of the 19th Century held them up with various styles of stocking supporters. I believe that boys did not wear these supporters commonly in the first half of the 19th Century because kneepants were not nearly as common. Boys wearing long trousers did not commonly wear stocking supporters. It was not until the 1870s when kneepants became more commonly worn that stocking supporters became widely worn. Both boys and girls wore them. They were several different styles, including over the shoulder and waist styles. They were not very comfortable especially for boys involved in strenous outdoor activities. Notably Lord Baden Powell when he designed the first Boy Scout uniform chose kneesocks so cumbersome stocking supporters would not be necessary.


Some mothers just used saftey pinsm but detais on the waists offered by one company show what these boys probably wore to which their stocking supporters could be attached. Stuarts offered childrens waists in different styles for boys and girls. Bloomers were available for little girls. The term "waists" had several meanings. By 1915, the term was being increasingly uses as an undergarment for children. It provided bitton supports for other garments like long stockings. The waists were were made for children up to 8 years of age. They appear to have been durable garments made out of jean and trill. They were made for both boys and girls. Some appear to be made specifically for one gender, but others do not specipy the gender. The following types of waists were offerd.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: July 17, 2001
Last updated: July 17, 2001