Canadian Boys' Clothes: Knicker Suit Pants--Chronology

Figure 1.--This unidentified Canadian boy in a CDV portrait wears a velvet cut-away jacket and knickers with white stockings. Notice the placement of the buttons and the elaborate ribbon piping. Also notice the longish down to the ears hair style. The studio was the American Gallery in St. Johns, New Brunswick. The portrait is undated, but looks like the 1860s.

We see Canadian boys wearing knicker suits in the late-19th century. This was a popular style in England. Canadian boys at the turn of the century seem to be commonly wearing knicker suits A very large porortion of the photographs we have archived during the early-20th century of boys in suits show boys wearing knee pants and knickers with long stockings. We note boys wearing both above and below the knees knickers. Even older teenagers wore knickers. This seems similar to trends in America. Before World War I (1914-18) boys commonly wore knicker suits to high school. As far as we can tell, knickers in Canada were primarily worn with long stockings, but our archive is still very limited. This became less common after the War. After the War boys began wearing knee socks although long stockings continued to be worn with knicker suits for years. Knickers were quite common through the 1920s-30s. As in America, short pants were not as common as in Europe. Here climate may have been a factor. The style persisted into the mid-1950s a little longer than in America.


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Created: 8:55 PM 9/9/2010
Last updated: 8:55 PM 9/9/2010