German boys have wore a range of hosiery to school and this changed over time. We note a variety of hosiery worn by German school children. German children commonly wore both short socks and kneesocks as well as long stockings. We do not yet have much information on the 19th century. We note mostly three-quarter socks and long stockings in the early 20th century. Knee socks gradually became very common, Younger boys wearing shorts in the winter might wear them with long over-the-knee stockings. There were also some gender differences. After World War II short socks became common during the warmer months and gradually became more important. We see fewer children wearing long stockings in the 1950s and more children wearing long pants. In the 1960s long stockings were replaced with tights. Also we do not see knee socks very commonly by the 1960s, they seem to have been gradually replaced with ankle socks. Seasonality was another factor. Tights began to be worn in the 1960s, but we do not notice them at school, although because boys began wearing long pants, this is a little difficult to follow.
German boys have wore a range of hosiery to school. German children commonly wore both short socks in various lengths grom ankle socks to kneesocks as well as long stockings. Long stockings were very common for children of all ages. Both boys and girls wore long stfockings, although with the older children long stockings were mostly worn by the girls. We know that they were commonly worn by boys who wore shortened-length pants. Modesty may have been more important than warmth. As the shotened-length pants became more important in the 20th century, long stockings became increasingly seasonal. This of course meant that they were very commonly worn to school. We see many class portraits in which all or nearly all of the children are wearing long stockings. German children also commonly wore knee socks, again both boys and girls. After World War I we begin ti see beige and tan shades becoming more important. Knee socks seem to be mostly a 20th century hosiery type, although knee pants and skirts tended to be so long in the 19th century that it is difficult to tell. Socks were mostly three-quater length in the 19th century, but did not become worn to be commonly worn to school until the turn=of-the 20th century. Ankle socks began to become more common in the 1930s. Solid colored socks were popular. White three-quarter socks might have colored bands at the top. Patterened knee socks became popular in the 1940s. Knee socks were very common until the 1960s. This was about the time that long pants began to be worn. Tights began to be worn in the 1960s, but we do not notice them at school, although because boys began wearing long pants, this is a little difficult to follow. We do not think that they were nearly a common as long stockings were.
The hosiery worn by German boys to school has changed over time. We do not yet know anything about the 18th century. We belive that children commonly went barefoot, except for the well-to-do and during thewinter months.
We note a variety of hosiery worn by German school children. We do not yet have much information on the early-19th century. UYntil the 1860s we hav few photographic images and even then because boys still wore mostly long pants, we can not tell much about hosiery. Gradually has knee pants bcome more important we learn more bout hoiery.
We believe that long over-the-knee stockings were very common. And boys and girls seem to have worn similar hosiery. We know much more about the 20th century because of the very extensive photographic record. No country in Europe has left such a complete photographic record. We note mostly three-quarter socks and long stockings in the early-20th century. Knee socks gradually became very common. We believe knee socks evolved from children rolling don their long stockings on warm days. Long stockings were still virtually universal during the winter. We continue to see long stockings. Younger boys wearing shorts which were very common in the winter might wear them with long stockings. We see fewer children wearing long stockings in the 1950s and more children wearing long pants. In the 1960s long stockings were replaced with tights which avoid the need for hose supporters. Also we do not see knee socks very commonly by the 1960s, they seem to have been gradually replaced with ankle socks. Seasonality was formerly an impotant factor, but as boys began wearing long pants all year rund, this bcamne a non-factor for hosiery. Ankle socks became standard.
There were also some gender differences, but until after World War II, the gender differences were mostly limited to color.
Hosiery color varied over time. We know little about the early-19th century. We know much more once photography becomes available. Unfortunltely the black and white photography of the 19th and early-20th century makes it difficult to determine colors other than light and dark. We see white stockings in the mid-19th centuries. Then we see some striped long stockings, although our 19th century archive is limited. Finally we see dark stockings becoming more impotant. This continued into the early-20th century. After World War I hosiery became more varied. We se grey and tan (flesh tones appearing). And we see many children wearing knee socks. White became popular for girls. We see boys dressing up with white knee socks, but not wearing them to school. White long stockings were less common, especially for school. Girls did, howevr wear white socks and stockings to school. We no longer commonly see black long tockings at school. They wre down seen as more of a dress-up color for formal occassions. After World War II, patterned knee socks became popular for a while. And we begin to get some color images. We mostly see grey and brown long stockings. But by the 1960s we mostly see flat colors, mostly grey and tan for the boys. By this time, however, boys were increasingly wearing long pants and we can no longer make out much about their hosiery. We do continue to see girl's hosiery. In the late-1950s tights appear. we begin to see colorful tights as well as a much greater variety of colored knee socks.
After World War II short socks became common during the warmer months and gradually became more important.
A HBC reader recently heard from a German friend in Estonia (Otto) who went to school in Switzerland during World War II and lived there up until the 1950s. Otto remembers an incident from his school days when he was 12 years old that throws some interesting light on boys attitudes to long stockings. Otto's account, which our reader has translated (with the aid of a dictionary) from German into English, might be interesting to HBC readers.
HBC also has a general hosiery page. The hosiery trends will be generally similar. We believe boys wore the same hosiery to school as for everyday wear. The basic difference is probably that some German mothers wanted children to change out of their good clothes when they came home from school. We suspect that long stockings were probably the hosiery type most affected. Mothers would not have wanted boys to wear stockings wih holes or that were heavily mended to school.
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