Long White Stockings: Country Trends

Figure 1.--The popular tunic suits at the turn of the century were often worn with long stockings. The dressier white tunic suits might be worn with long white stockings. This photograph was probably taken about 1905.

The popularity of long white stockings varied from country to country and over time. We note considerable similarities among some countries, but duifferences among others. Also conventions such as gender association varied. We only have limited information on these variations at this time. They seem to have been most popular as formal hosiery in the early 20th century.


Long white stockings were briefly worn by American boys from about the turn of the century until the 1920s when stockings were mostly replaced by kneesocks. White stockings were worn in the late 19ty century, but not commonly boys. After World War I, the wearing of whitelong stockings declined sharply in the 1920s--even for formal dress outfits. Dark or stripped stockings were much more common. White stockings were often worn with a dressy outfit. Long stockings continued to be worn into the 1940s, but American boys did not commonly wear white ones.



We note Canadian children in the 1860s wearing white long stockings. A good example is an unidentified New Bruswick boy. This seems similar to trends in America and Britain.


We have only little information on England at this time. I do note that younger boys before breeching were wearing long white stockings by the mid-19th century. A good example is Cyril Bickersteth in 1865. After breeching long white stockings were not commonly worn by boys by the late 19th century. The photograph record suggests that three-quarter length socks were more common by the turn of the 20th century.


I believe they were worn in France. but have little information at this time. It appears from the photographs I have seen that short socks and three-quarter socks were more popular in France than long white stockings.


I do not believe that white stockings were commonly worn by German boys. but have little information at this time. We see German boys commonly wearing long stockings, but not white long stockings. German girls did commonly wear white long stockings, but the boys much less so. We see relatively few such images. We have, however, found some. Most of them seem to be in the inter-war era (1920s and 30s). One example is two German brothers, the sons of a pastor, in the 1920s. We note a younger brother in 1925. We note a brother and sister in identical sailor suits with long white stockings about 1930. We also note a German boy in a sailor suit (coordinated with his sisters's) wearing long white stockings in the early 1930s. We see two brothers wearing white stockings with strap shoes in 1933.


I believe they were commonly worn in Italy. but have little information at this time.


We note some Japanese boys wearing white tights in the late 20th century. We hve not yet found photographs of Japnese boys wearing white long stockings.


We do not think long white stockings were very popular in Mexico, but we have little information. We note two Latino boys (perhaps Mexican) wearing white long stockings for their first communion in about 1920.


We do not see very many Russian boys wearig white long stockings. Long stockings were common, but as far as we can tell white ones were not very common for boys. We do see girls wearing them. Even so we have noted a few photographs of Russian boys wearing long stockings. A good example is unidentified Russian brothers about 1905.


Related Pages:
[Return to the Main long white stockings page]
[Return to the Main hosiery page]
[Knee socks] [Tights] [Long stockings]
[Striped socks]

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Created: January 27, 2004
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