Girls hosiery conventions have changed over time and varied among countries. There are also important age conventions. Generally boys and girls in the 19th century wore essentially the same, often identical hosiery. We note changes in the 20th century, especially after World War I. At first the primary difference was color. Over time the type of hosiery also changed. There were important differences from country to ciountry. A major difference was color. White stockings and knee socks became more common for girls than boys, but there were variations from country to country and the the time line varied. White hosiery was most common for girls in America and Britain, but we see German and French children wearing white socks, including knee socks. American girls in the 1940s became known as Bobby Soxers because of their destinctive white socks. Major differences developed in the 20th century concerning both knee socks and tights. Knee sock conventions were once similar, but gradually gender differences devrloped. There have been differences in tights since they first appeared after World war II, but this varied from country to country.
We have developed some hosiery pages with gender information. An example here is the German sisters page.
White hosiery was most common for girls in America and Britain, but we see German and French children wearing white socks, including knee socks. American girls in the 1940s became known as Bobby Soxers because of their destinctive white socks. A British reader writes, "In the 1970s the wearing of knee high white socks by girls up to their early teens was considered de rigueur, but by the 1980s ankle socks had become the standard style for younger girls, with tights becoming increasingly common for girls of all ages. Whilst a decade earlier socks had mostly been white and tights tan in colour, hosiery was available in wide range of vibrant colours and patterns, and this trend continues to this day." Major differences developed in the 20th century concerning knee socks. Knee sock conventions were once similar, but gradually gender differences devrloped.
Boys and girls wore the same long stockings in the 19th century.
There have been differences in tights since they first appeared after World war II, but this varied from country to country.
One of the most memorable aspects of 1980s fashion was leg warmers; these were effectively heavy socks that had the foot part removed and worn on the lower leg. There came known in movies such as 'Fame' and 'Flashdance' and fitness gurus such as Jane Fonda wore them. They were very popular with teenage girls both in the United States and Britain. Leg warmers came in a variety of colours and could be worn with trousers (especially denim jeans), leggings and skirted garments, such as the rah-rah skirt which was also popular at the time with teenagers. The rah-rah skirt was a type of mini skirt, originally for cheer leaders; it usually had three tiers with an elasticised waistband.
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