U.S. Long Stocking Lengths: Long Lengths

Figure 1.--Here is a color photo from 1939 from a family album. It is rare color photograoh showing the girl wearing chocolalte-colored long stockings. The color photograph shows the actual shade. She seems to be about 8 years old. She is wearing long brown cotton stockings with supporters. The photo illustrates nicely the longer length of long stockings in the late 1930s and early 1940s when children wore quite short dresses and short pants. Notice also the print dress and the cardigan sweater.

We begin after World War I to see boys wearing very long-length long stockings. We note a First Communion suit worn by a Brooklyn boy (dated during the same period--i.e., the 1920s) showing extremely long white stockings worn with quite short short pants. But the advertisements for long stockings during the 1920s and early 1930s often don't say anything about extra length although the pictures shown in the catalog make the stockings look somewhat longer. When shorter skirts and pants started to be popular in the late 1920s and 1930s, the stockings seem to have become longer but still probably not extremely long. The first ad for "extra long" stockings I have found is Ward's 1933 add for "Extra Long Playhards". We note Ward's Playhard long stockings--made extra long so garters won't show under shorter trousers and skirts, 1933) Of course "Extra Long" is a relative term. The stockings seem to have gotten even longer in America in the period from about 1936 to 1945. The Ward's 1936 garter waists show how the stockings worn were much longer and the supporters therefore shorter. The Sears ads for long stockings in 1940-41 and 1943-44 show boys wearing stockings that cover almost the entire thigh and being worn with quite short shorts. We notice Sears offering >very long stocking which they refer to as "full-length" stockings--long enough to be worn with shorter short pants (1940-41). Another Sears catalog showed very long stockings worn with short pants (1943). A HBC reader writes, "It is these extra long stockings that I remember wearing myself during that period." We have testimony from several American readers who complain that the boys' stockings were shorter than the girls' stockings and that therefore the garters tended to be exposed. But the catalogs of the period show no difference at all between stockings for boys and girls--at least in terms of length. If there was a difference, it was a difference of color and weight rather than of length.


Related HBC Hosiery Pages:
[Return to the main Main U.S. long stocking country length variations page]
[Return to the main Main U.S. long stocking page]
[Return to the main Main long stocking page]
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Created: 8:27 PM 10/30/2005
Last updated: 8:27 PM 10/30/2005