Knicker Styles: Plus Fours


Figure 1.--

Baggy knickers became very popular in the 1920s and were considered to be smart casual wear for adults. They were worn in much the same way shorts are now worn by adults. They were called plus fours because they were made with added material. These were popularized by Edward VIII when he was the Prince of Wales. Some younger boys wearing this style seem to get lost in the seemingly all enveloping knickers.

Chronology

Baggy knickers became very popular in the 1920s and were considered to be smart casual wear for adults. "Plus fours" were introduced in 1924. Plus fours were worn in much the same way shorts are now worn by adults. These were popularized by Edward VIII when he was the Prince of Wales. Plus fours remained popular through the 1920s. The Great Stock Market Crash of 1929 had a pervasive impact on fashions--including plus fours. The extra material in plus fours made them more expensive--an increasingly significant disr\ensentive as the Depression worsened. The accompanying Argyl stocks also declined in popularity as less expensive solid color socks became more common. The appearance of "walk" shorts in 1933 helped to make plus fours look increasingly old fashioned and uncomfortable on a warm day.

Styles

They were called plus fours because they were made with added material. The name refers to the extra material used. Plus fours were made wider and blouced 4 inches below regular knickers. A less popular form was the "plus twos" which did not have the fullness of "plus fours"--only falling 2 inches below the knees. There were also "plus sixes", but it was the "plus fours" that caught the public's eyes. The flamboyance of the baggy "plus fours" was atuned to the teport of the times. World War I (1914-18) was over and the survivors wanted to enjoy life. Many experimented with new styles. Plus fours were commonly worn with argle socks, silk ties and shirts, the Gatsby look, flappers, Panama caps, and bath tub gin. Plus fours were worn as casual stacks with sweaters as well as complete suits.

Boys Clothing

They were initiated as a sporty style for men. But boys and girls also wore them. Some younger boys wearing this style seem to get lost in the seemingly all enveloping knickers.







Christopher Wagner




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Created: September 13, 2000
Last edited: September 13, 2000