Russian Tights: Dressing Up

Figure 1.--These three Russian boys are dressed alike for some sort of formal public event. They wear white satin shirts (which have a curious style resembling American Western cowboy shirts), black short trousers, and white tights. Notice the patch pockets on the shirt fronts with button closures. The boys look to be about 5-6 years old--kindergarteners or first graders. Perhaps they are attending some school event. The photo is undated but I suspect in the 1990s or even the 2000s. Tights replaced long stockings for Russian boys in the 1970s and 1980s, although we occasionally see very small kids in long stockings (which are cheaper and less difficult to replace if damaged). Tights provide warmth of course, but many Russian mothers appear to like the dressy look of boys in short trousers and tights, especially white tights.

While tights in general were primarily worn by Russian boys for warmth, some Russian boys appeared to have worn tights for dress wear. A Russian contributor to HBC reports, "When I was the boy 12-13 years during the early 1980s I attended Pioneer Camp during the summer. The Pioneer leaders/teachers at the camp would occasionally have us wear dressy white cotton tights with the shorts pants of our uniform. Many parents dressed their children in white tights with short pants for 'celebratory' [dressy] clothes. We boys didn't like this." HBC notes that Pioneers also wore white knee socks when dressing up. Knne socks seem to be more common for the Pioneers. While girls commonly wore white tights, boys would more commonly wear black tights for dresy events such as parties and family events. This is comparable to conventions for long stockings in early years. We still see Russiab boys being dressed up in white tights, but now mostly younger boys.


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Created: 8:53 PM 8/30/2010
Last updated: 8:53 PM 8/30/2010