Swedish Boys' Clothes: Garments



Figure 1.-- Here we see a Stockholm street scene during 1959. Note the boy here preparing to stand on his head is wearing knickers. Swedish boys still wore knickers in the 1950s. They look like long pant, but are in fact ankle-length knickers.

Our information on Swedish boys garments is very limited. We note many boys wearing military-style caps to school. Sailor caps were also worn. Many Swedish boys wore sailor suits as in the rest of Scandinavia, but perhaps not as common as in Denmark. The time line seems generally comparable throughout Scandanavia. At the turn of the 20th century, knee pants were common. We see boys in the 20th century wearing knickers and long pants. Short pants were worn during the short Summer season, but were not as common as in some other European countries. We rarely see Swedish boys wearing H-bar pants. Swedish boys beginning in the late 1930s begin wearing plaid shirts, which we suspect may be due to the influence of American cowboy movies. Boys beginning about 1945-50 began wearing T-shirts and jeans. That would seem to be another American influence. I'm less sure about how the American fashion impact arroved in Sweden other than the movies. Knickers were commonly worn in Sweden, even into the 1950s. Then in the 1950s you see boys in blue jeans. For some reason they liked to roll up the cuffs until their jeans were knicker length, maybe because that's a good length for trousers when one does a lot of cross-country skiing. Long stockings were common in the early 20th century.

Headwear

We do not yet have much information on Swedish hewawear, but our Swedish archive is griwung and we are gradually adding more garment information. We do have some limired information. We note both boys and girls wearing stocking caps during the winter. This was very common. The stocking cap were a casual, play style and also worn to school. Sweden is a Sandinavian country with hard winter. Thus a warm stocking cap was very common winter war. There may be stylistic and color differences. Some had tassles or poms and the patterns could be very colorful. After World War II we begin to see the peaked winter caps with fold up ear muffs that American boys wore. We note many boys wearing military-style caps to school, similar to the school caps German boys wore. These school caps disappeared after World War II (1939-45). Sailor headwear was also worn, both caps and hats, during the late-19th century and early-20th century. Both boys and girls wore them. Styles were similar to those worn in Germany. Most headdwear styles were gender specific. The sailor styles were an exception.

Skirted

Swedish boys like boys in other European countries wore a variety of skirted garments when younger. We have, however, very little information on skirted garments in Sweden. As far as we know at this time, the styles are very similar to styles in other European countries, but this will have to be determined when we develop a larger archive of Swedish images. The images we have collected show very similar styles to those we have noted in other countries. We note Swedish boys wearing dresses and tunics, byt have not noted kilts. We are unsure about smocks and pinafores at this time. We do not knowif there were any specific Swedish garments or styles.

Casual Clothes

We do not yet have much information on Swedish casual clothing. We note pre-school Swedish boys wearing rompers. Some were done with Swedish ethnic detailing. Boys migh wear short pants duringv the summer. The country's norther location, however, limitrf this.

Suits

As far as we can tell, Swedish boys wore suits that fllowed trends in other European countries. Unfortunately we cannot yet make a real assessment at this time is limited because our Swedish archive is still quite limited. We seemany boys wearing Norgolk suits in the early 20th century as was the case in many European countries. Here Scandanavian countrues (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) all had very similar suit and othe fashion trends. Here German fashions were especially influential. Many Swedish boys wore sailor suits as in the rest of Scandinavia, but perhaps not as common as in Denmark. The time line for sailor suits and other suit styles seems generally comparable throughout Scandanavia.

Pants

We note Swedish boys wearing different type of pants. At the turn of the 20th century, knee pants were common. As late as the 1920s, boys were wearing short pants that were not much different than knee pants. We see boys in the 20th century wearing mostly knickers and long pants. Short pants were worn during the short Summer season, but were not as common as in some other European countries, basiclly because of the climaste. We rarely see Swedish boys wearing H-bar pants. Swedish boys beginning in the late 1930s begin wearing plaid shirts, which we suspect may be due to the influence of American cowboy movies. Boys beginning about 1945-50 began wearing T-shirts and jeans. That would seem to be another American influence. We are not sure about how the American fashion impact arrived in Sweden other than the movies. Knickers were commonly worn in Sweden, even into the 1950s after they had disappeared in America. The same was true of several European countries. Then in the 1950s you see boys wearing American-styled blue jeans. This was a trend throughout Europe. For some reason, many Swedish boys rolled up the jean cuffs until their jeans were knicker length, maybe because that's a good length for trousers when one does a lot of cross-country skiing. We also see Swedish children wearing rompers.

Shirts

We note Swedish boys wearing "T"-shirts in the 1950s.

Hosiery

Long stockings were commonly worn by Swedish children in the late-19th and early-20th century. A good example is a Stockholm boy wearing a white sailor tunic in the early-20th century. This was the case in North America and much of Europe. This began to change in many countries, especially after World War I. Long stockings persisted in Canada, Scandanavia and Eastern Euroope longer than in the West. This was primarily a seasonal as opposed to a fashion matter. Gradually knee socks and eventually ankle socks became more common. We still see long stockings being worn in the 1940s, but thgey were no longer universal. The trannsition seems to have occurred faster with boys than girls. We note Fiunnish children being cared for in Sweden during World War II. In Finland both boys and girls still commonly wore long stockings. In Sweden many of the boys were dressed in knee socks, but the girls continued wearing long stockings. A good example is a group home near Stockholm foor Finnish war evacues (1943). While the children arre Finnish, in Sweden they wore Swedish clothes. We see more and more Swedish boys wearing knee socks. Boys by the 1950s seem to be mostly wearing ankle socks.

Footwear

We have not yet begun to address Swedish boys' footwear in any detail. Our Swedish archive is still very limited. As far as we can tell, Swedish children for the most part wore the same footwear as other children in northern Europe. We have some 19th century paintigs show many rural children going barefoot. A good example is Johan August Malmström in 1885. As in other counties, there was no light footwear in the 19th century. Boys in rural areas mostly wet barfoot orwore havt boot-like leather shoes. Urban boys from well-to-do families might wear strap shoes, but there were no sandals. This changed with the tun-of-the 20th century. We note one image of a Swedish boy wearing double-bar sandals, probably in the 1910s. We note one little Swedish boy wearing putees, a footwar garment generally worn in well-to-do families to protect expemsive shoes.

Underwear

We know very little about Swedish underwear at this time. We suspect that trends in Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia were very similar to those in Germany. Younger children at the turn of the 20th century would have worn very similar styles.







HBC






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Related Style Pages in the Boys' Historical Web Site
[Long pants suits] [Knicker suits] [Short pants suits] [Socks] [Eton suits] [Jacket and trousers] [Blazer]
[School sandals] [School smocks] [Sailor suits] [Pinafores] [Long stockings]



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Created: 1:18 AM 2/23/2005
Last updated: 12:51 PM 8/9/2018