* long stockings : United States chronology

U.S. Long Stockings: Chronology

Figure 1.--Boys by the 1870s generally wore kneepants suits with long stockings. The style was increasingly for solid colored stockings in dark colors. Note the boy's peaked cap.

HBC has very little written information about long stockings, but has had to sketch out some basic information primarily from available photograps and the information available in mail order catalogs. As far as we can tell, long stockings are a garment that were commonly worn for about 100 years. They appeared in the mid-19th century as boys began to wear shortened pants styles, especially kneepants and knickers. Long stockings lasted through the mid-20th century when they began to be seen as old fashioned.

The 19th Century

We begin to see American boys wearing long stockings as kneenpants begin to become popular in the 1860s. The long stocking varied in color and patterns were popular. They were not very long as kneepants were commonly cut at calf level. Long stockings become standard boyswear as knnepants becone increasing popular in the 1870s and 80s. Most boys in the 1890s wear kneepants and long stockings, including older boys.

The 20th Century

American children commonly wore long stockings during the early 20th century through the 1920s. The popularity declined during the 1930s. Black long stockings were the most common in the early years, but after Woirld War I, light brown and tan shades become more common. Gradually they became more common for girls than boys, although younher boys wore them in the 1930s, especially during the Winter. Long stockings become much longer in the 1930s, primarily because boys were wearing shorter cut shorts and girls shorter cut skirts. Long stockings were still worn in the early 1940s, but not very commonly and they had virtually disappeared by the early 1950s.


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[Striped socks] [White stockings] [Tights]

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Created: March 23, 2004
Last updated: 12:47 AM 3/26/2005