American Knee Socks: Age

Figure 1.--This family snap shot shows two unidentified brothers outside their suburban home, we think in the 1930s. Theu look to be about 6-15 years old. Ghe younger brother wears a short-sleeved white shirt, self-belted short pants, knee socks, and leather shoes. The knee socks seem to match the shorts, probably eother brown or navy blue. The older brother wears a single-breasted long panhts suit. Notice that the photograph was taken in the Spring, the leaves are not yet out.

American boys wore knee socks over a relatively short period of time, nostly during the 1920s-60s. If you include tube sicks that might be extended into the 1960s. Here we are taling about regular knee socks. If you include the more specialised kinds such as Scout socks and tbe socks, the period is a little longer and includes teen agers. The age of boys wearing knee socks varied during this period. We note boys from about 2-3 years of age up to about 11-12 years of age wearing knee socks. We do not normally see teenage American biys weaaring knee socks, although there were a few exceptions. An exception of limited duration was a few university-age boys wearing argle knee socks with Bermuda shorts during the 1950s. For the most part teen-agers even younger teenagers did not wear knee socks, in contrast to the conventions for long stockings. This was by the time knee socks became popular, we no longr see older boys wearing knee pants and knickers. They were worn with both short pants anhd knickers. Some what older boys wore specialized forms of knee socks such as Scout socks or with various ethnic costuimes (primarily German, Irish, and Scottish). And if you include tube socksm, a kind of knee-length athletic sock, wev note boys wearing them into the older teens.


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Created: 10:53 PM 7/12/2013
Last updated: 10:53 PM 7/12/2013