German Knee Pants: Chronology

Figure 1.-- -- Here we see A 1925 German tintype of two boys, presumably brothers. One boy wears a sweater, knee pants, and knee socks. His brother wears a white shirt and knee pants. Notice the knee pants extend below the knee. We do not see any belt loops. We are not sure if he wears knee socks or long stockings.

German boys began wearing kneepants after the mid-19th century, although HBC has little information on this period. At first they were only worn by younger boys. Knee pants began to become common in the 1880s, especially for younger boys. A good exampe is unidentified German brothers. By the late 19th century, kneepants were very common among German boys, although we do not see older boys wearing them as was common in America. We note many schoolboys wearing kneepants at the turn of the 20th century. This appears to have varried from family to family. German boys continued to commonly wear knee pants through the 1910s, although short pants and knickers were becoming increasingly popular in the 1910s. Knickers did not like in America largely replsace knee pants in Germany. We still see knee pants in Germany during the 1920s and even the 1930s. The knee pants we see in the 1930se mostly formal suit pants. The chronology of knee psants is a little hard to assess, especially in the 1920s and 30s when short pants became poplar. This is because there was little difference between knee pants ad long short pants. Cetainly pants that touched the knee or extended below the knee were knee pants rather than short pants even if they did not have the leg hem buttons.


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Created: 1:48 AM 11/19/2009
Last updated: 1:49 AM 11/19/2009