Russian Tights: Boys Ages


Figure 1.--This Vladisvostok boy in the 1980s is reading his 4th grader reader at hoime. This means that he was about 11 years old. He wears ribbed tights with a long-sleeced shirt and short pants.

A Russian contributor to HBC reports that almost all Russian boys in the 1960s and 70s wore tights till 6-7 years as a part of their daily clothes. Boys of 7-8 years old were common sight. Many Russian homes are not well heated and the tights feel good on cold winter days. When they go outside they wear pants with tights underneath. In the winter nowadays they wear long pants. In the spring when the weather begins to warm, some younger boys may wear tights with short pants. Boys begin wearing tights from 2-3 years. After age 7-8 years most boys stops wearing tights, but a considerable number continue to wear tights till 9-10-11 years--usually because their mothers insist.

Chronology

The ages of boys wearing tights has varied somewhat. Unlike some other garments, tights were worn for a relatively short period, mostly during the 1970s. This was about 10 years after tights first began to be worn by German boys in late 1950s. Before the 1970s boys commonly wore long stockings rather than tights. One Russian reader tells us that tights were still worn in the 1980s, but generally only by very young boys. Anither reader tells us that boys still wear tights even today, but mostly at home or at school with long pants.

At Home

A Russian contributor to HBC reports that almost all Russian boys in the 1960s and 70s wore tights till 6-7 years as a part of their daily clothes. Many Russian homes are not well heated and the tights feel good on cold winter days. Tights were less common for older boys, but we do see older boys wearing them at home than wore them for daily wear away from home. All of this becomes a little more difficult to follow in the late-1980s and 90s when short pants declined in popularity except for casual summer wear,

Outsidewear

Boys when the went outside wore pants with tights underneath. In the winter nowadays they wear long pants. In the spring when the weather begins to warm, some younger boys may wear tights with short pants. Boys begin wearing tights from 2-3 years. After age 7-8 years most boys stops wearing tights, but a considerable number continue to wear tights till 9-10-11 years--usually because their mothers insist.

Older Boys

A Russian observer reports that boys, through the 1970s, didn't usually pay alot of attention to how they were dressed. This was especially true for boys under about 8-9 years of age. One Russian reader rport tht these younger boy were quite happy going to school or playing in short pants and tights (or before the 1960s long stockings). Most did not think about it at all. Beginning about age 9 but especilly by age 10 and 11 years, boys began to objct to earing tight, especially with hrt pants so it was obvious they were wearing tights. Many Russian boys in the 1960s and 70s wore tights to out age 10. It was not all that uncommon for boys up o1 to wear tight even with short pant, fter tht there were far fewer boys who wore tights. One Rusian reader, however, reports a friend of his wore tights at age 14. He loked younger than 14 and did not seem to concerned about still having to wear tights.

Image

A Russian reader reports that a boy wearing tights with short pants had rather the image in the minds of many adults of a good little boy. Thu boys were commonly dressed up like this for special occassiins such as say birthday parties. This was rather like the "model children" described in the French section, although French children are not known to have won tights. Of course the children also picked up on this hich is on reason why boys may have begun to object to wearing tights--especilly with short pant. Our Russian reader advises that likewise some adlts may have looked on younger boy wearing long pants as a "potentially bad boy".

Camp Account

A Russian reader tells us about his expeience in a Young Pioneer camp during the mid-1980s when he was 10-years old. "When I was at summer camp in 1986, our adult councelor made us boys wear tights with our short pants camp uniform. She was afraid we would get a chill when there was a snap of cool weather. The teacher of the next older group did't insist that her boys wear tights like us. So they laughed and teased us a lot."

Personal Accounts

A Russian reader writes, "I was born in 1976. When I was 6-7 years old I never thought about wearing or not wearing tights. I wore what my mother put out for me. This began to change as I got older. When I was 11-12, almost all boys still wore tights during the winter, but with long pants so no one could tell that you were wearing them. At that age it was considered childish or sissy to wear them with short pants. I remember once when I was in a 4th form/grade (11 years old) I went over to a friend's house. He was wearing light blue tights and short pants. He insisted that I not tell any of our other friends that he was dressed like that. My nephiew is now 14 yers old. He commonly wore black tights during the Winter untill he was 13. At home he would even wear them without pants as they felt nice and warm. During the winter, especially when it is very cold, most boys till 13-14 wearing tights under long pants. They never, however, wear them with short pants."

Another Russian reader writes, "The last time I wore tights I was 13 years old. It was a very cold day (near -30 C) on the street. It wasn't my idea. My mother insisted that I wear tights with trainers and long pants. Trainers are long baggy sweat pants made for sports. In winter most older boys wear under long pants rather thain tights. They make for good isolation."







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Created: December 23, 2001
Last updated: 7:20 AM 2/18/2010