The German Economic Miracle in the West was fully underway in the 1950s. Conditions were tight, but improving in the early 50s. Parents at last had some disposable income in the 1950s. Most spent frugally, but at last they were able tgo afford the basics. There was a trenendous renewal of economic conditions during the 1950s. Germany by the late 50s had returned to prosperous economic condditions, at least in the west. Families were earning good incoms and expenditures for food and clothing increased substantially. Mothers could once again begin to exercize their interest in fashion. Boys went barefoot less commonly. Sandals were popular in the summer. Various caps were worn. Schirmmütze were very popular in the 1940s and early 50s, but rarely seen by the late 1950s. Short pants still dominated in the early 1950s. Lederhosen were widely worn, but an Americam import--jeans were becoming increasingly popular. Boys still commonly wore kneesocks. Some boys still wore long stockings in the 1950s, especially in rural areas, but they were becoming less common. In the east, the economy was slower to recover and clothing budgets as well as seldection was more limited.
German cities and the country's industrial plant was destroyed in World War II. Most of the damage was die by the Allied strastegic bombing campaign, largely at the end of the War (1944-45). Many German cities were quite literaly piles of rubbel by the time the War ended. Many thought that it would take a generation for Germny to recover. The German Economic Miracle in the West began with the Marshall Plan (1948). Both American aid and the beginning steps in European integration were important factors. The major factor was that while the physical plant of German industry had been destroyed, the technological capability and skills of German workers and technicians were still in tact. The German Economic Miracle was fully underway by the 1950s. Conditions were tight, but improving rapidkly in the early 50s. One outcome of the destruction of old plants was that by the end of the decade, Germny had the most modern industrial plant in Europe. And workers were receiving higher wages than ever before. Parents at last had some disposable income in the 1950s. Most spent frugally, but at last they were able to afford the basics. There was a trenendous renewal of economic conditions during the 1950s. Germany by the late 50s had returned to prosperous economic condditions, at least in the west. Families were earning good incomes and expenditures for food and clothing increased substantially. Mothers could once again begin to exercize their interest in fashion. Despite the fact that the German industrial plant was destroyed, the recovery in German took place faster than in Britain.
Immediately after the War economic conditions were similar in bost the Allied (American, English, and French) and Soviet occupation zones. Differences began to appear even in the late 1940s. In the east, the economy was slower to recover and clothing budgets as well as seldection was more limited. These differences by the mid-1950s were quite noticeable.
We have begun to collect some infomaton about the garments German boys wore in the 1950s. The trend for casual clothing continued in the 50s. Amd as a result we no longer see nearly as many German boys weating suits. Suits became less common as more casual styles became popular for both school and home. Suits were worn to church or for special occassins like First Communion and Confoirmtion. Caps seem less popular, even the venerable Schirmmütze. Thge decline in headwear is especially apparent by the end of the decade, except during the winter. Many boys wore suit coats as jackets in the early 1950s, but by the mid-1950s a variety of casual jackets began to be increasingly popular. Sweaters were one of the most popular fall and winter garments. Many were knitted by grandmotherscand mothers, but by the late 50s many were also being purchased ready made. We note that some boys were still wearing their sweatrs tucked into their pants, especially in the early-50s. Short pants still dominated boys' wear, especially in the early 1950s. Most boys wore shorts, although we increasingly see long pants during the cold winter months. Many boys wore suspender shorts. Not all boys wore Lederhosen, but suspender or H-bar shorts were very common. We note one unidentified familiy with all the boys wearing suspender shorts in the early 50s. Lederhosen were widely worn, but still partly regional. An Americam import--jeans began to become popular by the end of the decade. Boys went barefoot much less commonly as economic conditions improved. We still see many younger boys wearing high-top shoes in he 1940s, but the high tops disappear in the 50s. Most boys wore leather oxfords. We do not see many boys wearing sneakers. We no longer see boys wearing strap shoes. Sandals were popular in the summer. Open-tor sandals were the mpst common, but some boys wore closed-toe sandals as well, especially in the 1940s and 50s. Children often took their shoes off in the home. Tidy German mothers insisted on slippers. Boys still commonly wore knee socks, but ankle socks became increasingly popular during the decade. Some boys still wore long stockings in the early-1950s, especially in rural areas. They were worn with both long and short oants. By the late 1950s they were less commonly worn, especially with short pants. Tights for boys appeared in the late 1950s.
Clothing advertisements and catalogs durung the 1950s are a good indicator of popular styles during the decade. The German economic miracle occurred in the 1950s. Germany in 1950 was still emerging from the devestaton of World War II. Germany by 1959 was one of the most prosperous countries in the world. Increasingly stylished clothing was available in Germny. Catalogs and magazine advertisements by 1959 were offering a wide range of clothing to an increasingly properous German consumer. Some store were still offering knicker suits for boys in the early 1950s, but most boys wore short pants or long pants in the winter.
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