Tights were weorn by younger boys in several European countries. Most of the countries were northern ones, but the high elevations in Switzerland means that the weather there canb also be quite cold. HBC has only limited information on long stockings in Switzereland. Readers have provided varying accounts, and HBC is unable to assess rge situation in Switzerland at thim time.
I'm not sure precisely what age boys wear tights. It looks to be boys up to 7 or 8 years of age. Slightly older boys might have worn them in the 1950s. A Swiss contributor reports, "When I was a small boy, tights was so common that we boys didn't think twice about wearing them."
Swiss boys clearly wore both long stockings during the cold winter months in the 1930s. Long stockings were generally not very popular with boys, but many mothers insisted. This was common in several European countries. A HBC Swiss contributor reports that they also wore tights during the winter in the 1930s. He does not, however provide any documentary evidence. A German contributor reports that tights at the time were not even manufactured. I think the contradition here may be a matter of terminology. Swiss and German boys did wear a kind of footless tights at the time, usually knitted at home. Modern tights for children first appeared in the 1950s. Before that time, I assumed that boys wore long stockings rather than tights. Before the War, younger boys often wore long stockings during the colder months. Tights continued to be commonly worn by Swiss boys. A Swiss reader tells us, "Commercially they were not available until the 1950s. But then became widely available and I recall, at the boarding-school, the majority of boys wore them. A factor here was that our school was not very well heated." German readers report that tights did not appear until the late 1950s. Swiss readrs report them being available earlier than this. I wonder if it was Swiss companies that first began mass producing children's tights. We do not yet have any details on this. A Swiss contributor has provided some basic information about tights in Switzerland during the 1960s and 90s. But some other European readers would like confirmation of the Swiss contributor's information. Swiss boys through the 1960s still commonly wore short pants. An exception was often made during the winter when it was very cold, but some boys even wore shorts in the cold weather. Boys in the in Spring, Summer and Autumn wore short socks, but in the Winter or in quite cold weather, many younger boys wore tights. During the weekdays for play and school, boys might wear different colored tights. For Sunday, however, many boys would often wear white tights from "Helanca"! Swiss schools did not require uniforms, Younger boys and girls often came to school in shorts with tights during the colder weather. In really cold weather the boys night wear long pants and tights. Swiss boys still wear tights. Short pants are not as commonly worn with tights as theyonce were, but boys do still wear them. During the colder wintermonths boys donwear them with long pants. Tights are not marketed separately for boys, but rather sold as "children's tights" for boys and girls. They are sold as "Kinderstrumpfhosen".
There are two types of tights worn in Switzerland, those knitted at home and other bought in the stores.
"Selbsgestrickten" tights are knitted at home. The home-made was knitted like a sweater and generally bulkier than the store bought ones. A Swiss reader tells us that through the 1940s, tights were hand-knitted as well as stockings.
Tights are much more complicated and time-consuming to knit then stockings. Therefore tights were only made for babies. As soon as the child got a bit bigger, the mother switched to stockings. This was both a time- and wool-saving
issue. Thus most children wore stocjkings rather than tights. A Swiss reader writes, "I could appreciate this situation in our family, where we were five children. My mother had most likely, not enough time to knit tights, but could provide us with stockings in winter and knee-socks in summer."
Tights got popular for children once they were mass-produced and appeared in most clothing stores. This occurred in the 1950s, although I am unsure about the precise time line. The store bought tights were usually ribbed.
The first Tights were handknitted out of wool. This did not make them popular with children as wool garments can be itchy and not pleasant to wear. Strumpfhosen today are mostly cotton or synthetic fibers. One Swiss contrubutor reports, for example, that Ergolan tights can be very soft an comfortable.
There do not appear to have been any differences among Swiss language's groups (German, French, and Italian) in the poularity of tights. A Swiss contributor reports that neiter has he reported other clothing differences among these groups.
Until about 1960 Swiss boys usually wore tights in dark colors. Boys might wear white tights for special occasions. Starting about 1970 tights began appearing in a wide variety of colors. All children began wearing these colored tights, both boys and girls. Naturally there is today a difference in the colors that are worn by boys and girls. Boys prefer blue, black and grey. Girls like red, white and all other colours.
Virtually all Swiss boys once wore tights. I'm not sure what they thought about them, but they werre almost universally worn. This was undrstandable in the cold Swiss weather, especially before homes and schools were as well heated as is the case today. I'm not sure, however, if boys used to have to be reminded to put their tights on or preferred to wear socks. One Swiss contributor reports that boys "... did not have to be particularly reminded of put on theur tights. In the spring and summer one carried socks and in the autumn and winter tights."
I'm also not sure just what modern Swiss boys think about tights. As mostly younger boys wear them, it would seem that they are not very popular. Also younger boys often don't like clothes thatarechard to put on ot take off. Than again they probably felt nice and warm on a cold snowy day.
Interestingly strumpfhose are still very commonly worn by younger boys and some men as well.
both with boys as well as with men. They appear to be less popular with the more fashion conscious teenagers.
A Swiss contributor reports, "Younger boys up to 7-8 years of age do not care that much about fashion, but older boys begin to feel that tey are to big for strumpfhosen. They appreciate only later the advantages of the strumpfhose again." However, while styles change, the climate is more stable. Because the temperatures in Switzerland can be quite cold, many parents consider strumpfhosen ideal! While strumpfhose wwere in former times more popular than today, they are still widely worn. In fact some whole families wear strumpfhosen, including all the kids, mom, and dad.
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