Russian Boys' Clothes: Victor's Personal Experiences--Tights (Kkolgotki)


Figure 1.--

In 1968 tights ( kolgotki ) began to appear in the Soviet Union. They rapidly replaced long stockings. Long stockings had been commonly worn for many years, but this transition occurred very rapidly. Tights were positively perceived by boys and their parents. Victor notes that HBC has a section on tights n Russia. He believes that the HBC section very accurately describes fashion trends concerning tights. He disagrees, however, that Russian boys no longer wear tights. We have attempted to translate the Russian-language text here. Readers who want to see the original Russian text can clock on the Russian-flag icon here. If readers can suggest any improvement to the translation, this would be very helpful.

Russian Tights

HBC reports, "Russian boys like German boys wore long stockings well after they went out Of style in many other European countries. Boys wearing tights were as much more common in the old Soviet Union. The fashion desires of modern Russian boys now have more of an impact on what is sold. Tights esentially replaced long stockings which continued to be worn in russia through the 1960s. Tights for children first appeared in Germany during the late 1950s and early 60s. This appaers to be the case in the GFR (West Germany). Thus was the result in part of the dvelopment of new synthetic fibers. Tights did not immediately appear in Russia, but by the late 1960s had begun to be seen. A Russian Reader Reports That In the Soviet Union only long stockings Were Worn DW Before 1969. Both tights andlong stockings were worn from 1970-72, but mostly tights after of 1972. After about 1981, boys no longer wore tights. Our Reader reports that as far as he knows the same chronology applies to DDR Tights. It is possible that the German influence May have brought tights to Russia. East Germany Then Occupied By The Soviet Union And Was A major trading partner. Our information on the chronology and origins of DDR tights, however, is still limited. A Russian Reader Reports That by 1971-72 it was quite common to see boys dressing up in shortpants suits with tights instead of long stockings. Some boys up to about age 11 wore sailor suits. A Russian rader reports that this was especially common for special occassions like birthdays And Christmas. [ HBC did not know that Russian families in the Soviet Union during the 1970s ommonly celbrated Chrstmas. ] This continued to be common until about of 1978. For some reason this fashion suddenly vanished in 1979-81. A Russian reader reports that fashion vanished ENTIRELY In 1979-81. After 1981 you NEVER could find a boy dressed in short pants and tights, even in the provinces outside Moscow and the other major cities. So "less common" is incorrect. It disappered absolutely.

Victor's Experience (1960s)

I commonly wore long stockings as a boy, both with short and long pants. The appearance of tights in Russia occurred when I was at age that some boys began to wear them less commonly. When I began wearing tights instead of the stockings they mosdtly brown or white. There were some worn only for the holidays with short pants. These were family celebrations at home (New Years, birthday, and other holidays). For many boys white tights were holiday clothing up to approximately age 10 years. I wore tights up to grade 8 or age 14. I sometimes wore than during the Summer with short pants, but more commonly in cold weather during the Fall and Winter with long pants.

Victor's Acssssment

The HBC assessment is almost entirely correct. The majority of Russian boys in the late 1960s, 70s, and 80s wore tights. Many boys wore tights to school. I do not agree with the reader who claims that after 1981 Russian boys stopped wearing tights. It is true that wearing tights with short pants outside the home declined in popularity. It was no longer common, but it did not completely disappear. Boys up to age 6-7 years wore tights very commonly. They were worn on the street, in kindergarten, and at home. Boys commonly wore shorts to about age 10, but they were less common for older boys up to about 12-13 or less commonly 14. Tights were not just worn by boys. Some adults also wore them. Very many boys wore tights to school under long pants. Often they avoided wearing tights on the days in which gym or sports were scheduled so not to undergo teasing from other boys. Many boys considered types more suitable for little boys or girls.

Social Status

One factor that needs to be mentioned in social status. The popularity of wearing tights with short pants was most common among educated, professional families (doctors, teacher, engineers, ect.). This was the case in the 1970s-80s and continues tgo be the case in contemprary Russia. The income of these familes in the Soviet Union was not large in contrast to the incomes of professional families in the West. In the Soviet Union the income for professions was often not large, sometimes even less than average. Nevertheless, these parents wanted to dress their boys well so they would intelligent and well brought up. In these families, [? balakhonistaya] clothing was not popular. [? with which in the surplus are covered the markets and stores, in essence the production of China,Poland, and Turkey.] It is possible to say that in the intelligent families its style of clothing for the boys was manufactured and tights there occupy its place. According to my observations in such families boys might wear tights with short pants up to about 11-12 years of age. It is now less common than it once was.

2000s Trends

Boys wearing tights in modern Russia is in no way a rare phenomenon. Many boys wear tights to school. Boys commonly wear tight and home and outside. They are also very commonly worn by younger boys at school. Victor and other Russian Readers have provided us some information on contemporary trends.








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Created: 8:24 PM 4/19/2005
Last updated: 2:04 AM 4/20/2005