Here three German boys are shown with their mother in about 1952. The oldest boy is about 12, the middle boy about 9, and the youngest boy about 6. Note that they all wear
suspender shorts of a kind. The oldest boy is about 12, the middle boy about 9, and the youngest boy about 6. Note that they all wear suspender shorts of a kind. The two younger boys have suspenders made of the same material as their shorts--one with the suspenders crossed over his chest and the other with a sort of halter with cross-piece similar to the style of lederhosen halters. The oldest boy does wear lederhosen with the traditional
halter with a white sleeveless sweater and a plaid long-sleeved shirt. They all wear long stockings.
We do not know the name of thid family. We are not sure about the ages of the boys. A HBC reader suggests that the boys are about 12, 9, and 6 years old. HBC might guess about a year younger for each boy. Another reader writes, "No way is the boy in the lederhosen 12. When I was 12 I was surprised to discover that I was almost as tall as my mother, but the boy in the lederhosen is nowhere near as tall as his mother. If we assume that the woman is 5 foot 4 (162.6 cm), then the heights of the boys are about 133.3 cm, 121.2 cm, and
99.1 cm. If we go by the height rule I mentioned a few days ago (104 cm at 4 years, growth of 6 cm per year) then the boys are 8.9, 6.9, and 3.2 years old. If we assume that the mother is 5 foot 7, then the boys' heights would translate to 9.9, 7.8, and 4.0 years old. The boys' features match up with those ages. The oldest boy looks about 10, the middle boy looks 7 or 8, and the little guy looks to be 3 or 4. The family looks like it is a middle-class family, but hopefully our German readers will have some thoughts to social-class dress conventions in Germany.
While this family snapshot is not identified, we are almost certain the family is German. It is likely that the family is from Bavaria or some other part of southern Germany. Lederhosen were not, however, only worn in Bavaria, so we can not be sure of this.
The snapshot is undated. We would guess the late 1940s or early 50s. A HBC reader suggests about 1952. One reader suggests the early or mid-1950s. While the boys clothes are difficult to identify in any precise way, the dress to us looks more like the early than mid-50s.
The boys here all wear some kind of suspender shorts. There are many other interesting aspects of the clothes that they are weaing.
All thre boys wear suspender shorts of a kind. The two younger boys have suspenders made of the same cloth material as their shorts--one with the suspenders crossed over his chest
and the other with a sort of halter with cross-piece similar to the style of lederhosen halters. The oldest boy does wear lederhosen with the traditional halter with a white sleeveless sweater and a plaid long-sleeved shirt. Note that the two younger oys wear suspendrr shorts in preciselythe same style, but different colors. They are flyless shorts with two front slant pockets. The younger boy's shorts seem to have been made in a large style so that he could wear them for several years.
The two younger boys wear identical sweaters. The older boy looks to be a sleveless sweater.Note that all three boys wear their suspenders over their sweaters with the sweater tucked into their pants. This was not an uncommon way to dress, but as the 1950s progressed you see more boys wearing their sweater over their suspender straps. Of course when this was done, the sweater could not then be tucked into the boys' pants.
Note that the younger boys has his suspender straps crossed. This was not the most common way of wearing suspender shorts. As this boys suspender straps buttoned at the front, theu could be worn crossed or sraign down. While the least common way of wearing them, it actually was themost practical. When suspender straps were crossed like this, they would not fall off a boys' shoulders as they might when worn uncrossed or straight down. A reader notes another reason for the crossed straps, "I think HBC is correct that the two youngest boys wear identical suspender shorts and that the ones the younger boy wears are quite large. I also think that that's the reason that his suspenders cross in front. Since his suspenders are of a non-stretchy material, and they don't have an adjustment
mechanism like the buckles on the lederhosen suspenders, they have been crossed in front as well as in back as a way of keeping his shorts from sagging too much. As he grows they can be uncrossed in front, thus allowing for the increased distance between his waist and shoulders.
All three boys wear long stockings. The two older boys wear dark brown stockings while
the younger boy wears tan stockings. These were the standard colors in addition to gray. Black was only worn for formal occasions in the 1950s and except for very young boys, only girls normally wore white long stockings.
They all wear leather low-cut shoes.
The German Hosiery Museum tells us that this was typical schoolboy dress in the 1950s in Bavaria and was also not uncommon as far north as Hamburg.