Knickers during World War II (United States, 1942)

Figure 1.--Here we see New York City primary school children in 1942. This is an illustration of anti-Japanese sentiment following the attack on Pearl Harbor. American war propaganda directed at Japan was often overtly racist. This was not the case of propaganda aimed at the Germans. Note the sign promoting a scarap drive to the left.

The photograph here illustrates the anti-Japanese sentiment in 1942, just after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The boys are New York primary school children. They wear knicker suits but with ankle socks and bare calves rather than with the more traditional knee socks. Boys wearing knickers, especially knicker suits, almosy always wore kneesocks or long stockings. This was the case even in the mid-1930s. Suddently in the late 1930s this changed. By the early 40s we see quite a number of boys wearing their knickers with ankle socks. We are not sure just why this change occuured. Many boys disliked knee socks that kept slipping down and sometimes substituted ankle socks although the effect was obviously more informal. One boy here wears a military uniform, perhaps belonging to his farher. Obviously supporting American soldiers, but it is clear that, like his mates, he has knickers on underneath. Note the bare legs and ankle socks. Knickers were still worn in the early 1940s, although long trousers had become even more common. Interestingly by the end of the War in 1945, knickers had beome quite rare.


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Created: 7:47 PM 11/15/2006
Last updated: 7:47 PM 11/15/2006