Figure 1.--This drawing shows a boy wearing short pants with tights. Note that it is clearly not a cold winter day as the children are outside in their shirt sleeves. The illustration came from a 1963 DDR school book for beginning readers "Lesen und Lehrnen". Tights are depicted here as suitable for play after school.
Tights in the DDR as in the DFR were most common in the cold winter months. Both tights and long stockings were in part seasonal wear, but they were not excluively worn in cold weather. One reader reports that tights were not just cold weather attire, but worn by boys and girls with dressy outfits. One reader comments, "Drawings in DDR publications including primary reading books show that short pants worn with long stockigs or tights demonstrated the social status of the child and were not just for cold weather wear." The conventions for wearing tights are somewhat complicated and at this time only limited information is available. We can, hoever, make some prliminary assessments, but hopefully our German readers will provide additional details.
HBC believes that the conventioins for wearing tights were very similar to the former conventions for wearing long over-the-knee stockings. Here we need some insights that hopefully German readers will provide us.
Tights in the DDR as in the DFR were most common in the cold winter months. Both tights and long stockings were in part seasonal wear, but they were not excluively worn in cold weather. This appears to be the case for both playwear and dresswear. A Russian reader cautioins, however, about considering tights as exclusivly cold weather wear. He reports that as in the Soviet Union, boys in the DDR did not just wear tights in the cold winter months. This was especially common for boys up toi about 7-8 years of age.
HBC at this time has only limited information on schoolwear. We do not know to what extent school unifoms were worn. Some images at school may reflect Young Pioneer uniforms rather than actual school uniforms.
Available images suggest that tights were seen as suitable for playwear. We assume that they were perhaps more common for play in the cooler months, but available images suggest that they were not worn exclusively for play in winter eather.
Figure 2.--This drawing shows a boy wearing short pants with tights. He is drawn in a scene at home. The illustration came from a 1963 DDR school book for beginning readers "Lessen und Lehrnen".
We have only limited information at this time on tights as homewear. Avaialble images show boys wearing tights at home. They are quite various. The boys are shown doing their home work, playing, listening to televison and many other activities. At home boys wore tights with both long and short pants. Some younger boys as in the GFR might have even worn tights without pants.
One reader reports that tights were not just cold weather attire, but worn by boys and girls with dressy outfits. Such occasions might include important family gatherings, weddings, award ceremonies, concerts, and other events. We ar not sure as to which colors might be worn for dressy outfits.
Social class factors are more difficult to assess. One reader comments, "Drawings in DDR publications including primary reading books show that short pants worn with long stockigs or tights demonstrated the social status of the child and were not just for cold weather wear." Social class of course was something a Socilaist state was committed to ending. Individuals who in the pre-1945 era had high social standing such as aristocrats or wealthy families were actuallyh descriminated against by the Government. They might have trouble gaining admission to prestigious schools. How they were dressed as children, however, may have been different than the average citizen. Another group such as the children of party memembers who would have prestigious positions and the best jobs would have the money to buty better clothes azs well as access to better stores. So their children were dressed better than the average child.
East German boys also wore tights with their Young Pioneer uniforms. We have few details at this time. Presumably it was mostly the younger Pioneers. Seasonal factors probably played a role here. Some older boys may have worn tights on special occasions. We do not know if there were official regulations about this concerning the color of tights. As so much of the Young Pioneer program was conducted through the schools, yhe uniform turnout is to some extent related to schoolwear.
Navigate the Historic Boys' Clothing style pages:
[Return to the Main DDR tights page]
[Main tights page] [Main hoisery page]
[America] [Croatia] [Finland] [Japan] [Russia] [Switzerland]
Navigate the Historic Boys' Clothing Web Site:
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Bibliographies] [Chronologies] [Countries] [Style Index]
[Contributions] [Frequently Asked Questions] [Links] [German Glossary] [Satellite sites]
[Boys' Clothing Home]