H-bar pants seem very similar to suspender pants. They seem to have been especially common in Germany, but we have seen them in other countries as well. Most common are H-bar shorts, but we have also seen other types of H-bar pants. H-bar shorts are very silimar to suspender shorts, except there is a cross piece connecting the suspendr straps in front. They look like ledershosen and perhaps for that reason were most common in countries where lederhosen were worn. Like suspender shorts, the straps were made in the same material as the pants. Suspender shorts were commonly eworn in America, for example, but we have rarely noted H-bar shorts. We do not notice this style very commonly, but we have noticed a few photograohs of boys wearing H-bar kneepants. We have only noted this style in Europe. We have not yet noted any example in America, ecept for a few very rare instance. This may be beczause the style is associated with folk styling, we are not yet sure. Perhaps the most famous type of H-bar suspender pants are leather lederhosen, but they are not always worn with the H-bar haltars.
I am not sure when H-bar pants first appeared. They certainly were being worn by the 1920s after World War I. We do not yet have any images before the War in our archives, but we suspect that they exost. The H-bar style appears to have declined in popularity during the 1960s and became very rare in the 1970s. The last we note the style is Czech 1st graders wearing H-bar long pants in 1975. After that the place of h-bar suspenders was taken by bib-overalls. We also notice Czech boys wearing long-alls, one piece garments similar to American short-alls, but done with long pants. There are ever now and then reappearances of H-bar pants, such as the London boy seen here in 2002 (figure 1). Such instance involve fashionable clothes bought in expensive botiques rather than mass market clothing. For the most part, however, H-bar pants are rarely seen anymore.
The style appears to have been most common in central Europe. We have noted many German and Austrian boys wearing H-bar pants. We have noted H-bar pants in these countries because we have a largerarchive of images from Germany especially. Readers from Germany have been regular contributors to HBC. We have received very little from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. A HBC reader reports, however, that H-bar pants were even more common in Czechoslovakia and Hungary. We have only noted this style in Europe. We have not yet noted any example in America, ecept for a few very rare instance. This may be beczause the style is associated with folk styling, we are not yet sure. A reader writes, "I think that the reason that H-bar suspenders didn't take hold in the America is that their ecological niche was already filled by bibs. The purpose of both is to keep the suspenders from falling off." Bib-front pants of course had the added advantage of protecting the shirt.
All types of suspender shorts were mostly worm by younger boys because they did not yet have developed waists helpful when using belts. H-bar pants seem to have been worn generally by even younger boys than wore suspender pants. They were most popular for younger boys since they're less careful about keeping their suspenders from falling off. The H-bar cross piece of course serves to keep the suspenders in place. The age range of the boys wearing them, however varied over time. We still have a fairly limited archive of images with boys wearing H-bar pants. We suspect that in the 1920s-40s boys up to about 10 or 11 years of age wore them, but even then they were most commoln among younger school children. Wecnote that after World War II that older Czech boys who wore suspenders didn't have the H-bar. It looks like H-bar suspender pants were worn by boys up to 2nd grade in the 60s, but only up to 1st grade in the 70s.
There was a comparable style of H-bar skirts gor girls. They chronology and conventions associated with H-bar pants seem similar to H-bar skirts.
H-bar shorts seem the most common type of H-bar pants , but we have noted several different kinds of H-bar pants. The popularity varied by country and chronologically. The most common type appears to be H-bar shorts. We note H-bar shorts, kneepants, and longs, but we have never seen H-bar knickers. H-bar shorts are very similar to suspender shorts, except there is a cross piece connecting the suspender straps in front. They look like ledershosen and perhaps for that reason were most common in countries where lederhosen were worn. We do not notice this style very commonly, but we have noticed a few photograohs of boys wearing H-bar kneepants. We have only noted this style in Europe. We have never yet noted any example in America. We have never noted H-bar knickers. This is in part because in Europe knickers became a garment associated with older boys. As almost all images of H-bar pants we have noted come from Europe, we have not noted any images of H-bar knickers. We have noted very few examples of boys wearing H-bar long pants. This is in sharp contrast to suspender and bib-front long long pants and shorts. Thge only images we have noted to date come from Czechoslovakia and we suspect they were also worn in Hungary and perhaps other East-Bloc countries.
Perhaps the most famous type of H-bar suspender pants are leather lederhosen, but they are not always worn with the H-bar haltars. They were widely worn in southern Germany (Bavaria), Ausria, and Switzerland. Lederhosen were made in both short pants and knickers. Lederhosen were worn with attached haltar made in matching leather. Before World War II they were akmost always worn with the haltar. After the War, olders boys boys began wearing lederhosen without the haltars. Sometimes boys used the hltars with non-lederhose pants, mostly shortpants.