Knickers are today generally associated with the 1920s and 1930s, but modern knickers were worn as early as the 1860s. (This is the earlist that I have noticed them, but this may be because the photographic record became more complete in the 1860s. There seem to be little evidence of them in the the 1850s. The sons of Alfred Lord Tennyson, for examople, were outfitted in tunics and knickers during the 1860s. How widespread knickers were in the 1860s I do not know, but they seem to have become widespread in England by the 1870s. Knee pants appear to have been more common in America during this period. Knickers came into their own in the 1910s. The greatest change in children's clothing in the postwar period occurred when dressing boys in skirts until the age of four or five was discarded. Instead, little boys wore romper suits or short pants. School-age boys wore knickers of corduroy or wool with knee-length socks, and the change from knickers to that first pair of long pants was symbolic of the change from boy to man. Little girls wore dresses cut much like those of their mothers, straight and unfitted.
Knickers in Anerica are today generally associated with the 1910s-30s and were virtually standard, bit this was niot the case in Europe where shorta pants were geberallyy more common. This was not the case in the 19th centurty. Knickers were never as common in America and Europe as they were in America during the 1910s-30s. Boys wore long pants in the first half of the 19th century in both Europe and America. Shortened-length pants appeared at mid-century, at first for younger boys. We see both knee pants and knickers. Modern knickers were worn as early as the 1860s. (This is the earlist that we have noticed them, but this may be because the photographic record became more complete in the 1860s with the popilarity of the Carte de Visite). While we see some knickers in American especially the 1860s, it was knee pants that became standard in America. The sititatoin was different in Eurooe although varied from country to country. We see both knee pants and knickers in Europe throughout of the second half of the 19th century. Knickers were much more popular than in America. In fact, at times and in some countries we see more knickers than knee pants in the photograohic record. This is a little difficult to assess because social class cfactors mnay be invplved.
There seem to be little evidence of knickers in the
the 1850s. This could reflect, however , the still limited number of photograpic images. Most boys still wore long pants in the 1850s. We do note in the 1850s that fashionably dressed boys were wearing fancy suits, often with military styling, with short-length pants that were blouced. I'm not sure what they were called. More common were straight kneepants like Pen Browning wore.
We see some sime if the younger boys in families wearing shirtened-length pants, including knickers. A goof example is Austrian family in the late-1960s. This was especially the case with affluent families. The sons of Alfred Lord Tennyson Lionel and Hallam, for example, were outfitted in tunics and a kind of bloomer knickers during the 1860s. How widespread knickers were in the 1860s I do not know. Long pants for boys were still the most preavalent trouser style in the 1860s. We note some boys, like the boys in the Haigh family going right from dresses to long pants suits. Other boys, like Charley, wore bloucing knicker pants. We are not sure the term knickers or knickerbockers was commonly used in the 1860s.
Knickers seem to have become widespread in England by the 1870s. Knee pants appear to have been more common in America during this period. A klondon taylor named Isaac Genese (1839-1912) appears to have played a rile in popularizing knickers furing the 1870s, but we are not yet sure yet just what he did.
Knickers were well established by the 1880s, but many boys wore straight-leg kneepants rather than knockers. One example in England is the Sheppard family. We notice that English boys at boarding school were more likely to wear knickers than kneepants.
American boys generally wore kneepants Fauntleroy suits. Boys in Europe were more likely to wear knicker Fauntleroy suits.
We do not have a lot of information on the 1890s. We seen younger boys commonly wearing kneepants. The pattern for older boys was nore varied. A lot f private Briish schoolshad knickrs uniforms. On the continent we see boys wearing both knickers and kneepants. Keenpants seemed more common in America.
Knickers were much more common in Europe than America in the 19th century. This changed in the 20th century. We tend to see boys weaing kneepants more in the early 20th centuty than knickers.
Gradually kneepants went out of style and knickers and short pants became more common. These trends varied substantially from country to county. On the continent younger boys tended to wear kneepants and later knickers. In America kneepants were common in the 1900s, but gradually knickers became alost universal for boys, although some boys wore short pants, mostl;y younger boys. Knickers generally went out of style in the 1940s, but some boys still wore knickers in the early 1950s. This was more common in Europe.
There are quite a number of types of knickers. The time line for these different types varied. HBC has noted knickers being worn by younger children under tunics as early as the 1860s. I am not sure when English country gentlemen began wearing them, but English school boys were wearing knockers as school uniform by the 1880s. HBC's chronological assessment of knickers requires more reserch.
The time line and popularity for knickers varies from country.
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