Button-on Shorts: Country Trends

Figure 1.--HBC believes that button-shorts were widely worn in Europe as well as America. This Dutch boy in the 1940s wears a short pants short set with button-on styling. HBC is not sure if this is a one-piece outfit. Note the embroidery trim.

One elelement of pants or trouser construction is how they are to be held up. This is a spcial problem for younger children because they do not have well-defined waists. here are several methods to hold up pants most of which can ne worn by bith men and boys. There are also methods specifically for boys. One of these is button-on clothing. This involves clothing sets, matching or coordinated blouses/shirts and shorts. Shorts or blouses are done with buttons to the waist. The short pants are done with button holes at the waist. These garments have to be sold as sets because so the buttons on the shirt will aligned to be at the right place to fit into the button holes in the pants. We see these sets being worn in several countries, but thgey seem especially common in America. HBC is most familiar with American boys wearing button-on shorts. This does not mean, however that the style was most prevalent in the United States. Like other styles like suspender pants, HBC's greater access to American sources may give a misleading view. We do infact believe that button-on styles were wiely worn in many European countries, but at this time have few details on which countries and the styles and chronologies involved in these countries.


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Created: February 19, 2001
Last updated: 12:05 AM 1/30/2014