U.S. Long Stockings: Weights

Figure 1.--This cabinet portrait shows a veey smartly dressed boy with a sporty plsaid cap thsat looks a little out of place. Notice the large floppy bow. It is little difficult to determine what he ising, but I seem to see a sailor back flap worn with a wide white collar. He wears light-weight stockings, probably fir foirnality. We are not sure if they are silk or lisle. Note the low-cut shoes eith minimal heels. The studio was C.H. Wellsin Denver, Colorado. The portrait is undated, but looks to have been take about 1890.

Long stockings were made in various weights. We motice very heavy, thick stockings as well as very light weight lisle or more expensive silk stockings. And of course there were stockings made in wights between these two expremes. This was affected by who was to wear them and for what purpose. The primary purposes for long stockings was for warmth during the winter, modesty, and formal dress. The heavy stockings were quite thick and are very destinctive in photographs. They sometimes look as though the child might be stuffed. This look can be accentuated as children commonly wore union suits or other long underwear during the winter. Children might wear different weights of long stockings when wearing long stockings for modesty. This was most common in the 19th century, but we notice girls' schools requiring long stockings into the 1930s. Long stockings were also worn for formality. This was the standard during the 19th century. Younger children might be allowed to wear socks, but they also wore stockings, especially in America. Knee socks or other hosiery actually showing the leg became widespread, but for special occassins they also wore long sockings as showing the knee or leg was considered in appropriate for formal occassions. Generally speaking, for formal occassions, light weight tightly fitting stockings were considered te most suitable. Children would wear silk or less expensive lisle stockings. as part of children's wear. This included seasons other than cold wear. Here we see leighter weight stockings.


Related Pages:
[Return to the Main U.S. long stockings page]
[Knee socks] [White knee socks] [Long stockings]
[Striped socks] [White stockings] [Tights]

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Created: 3:12 AM 9/1/2009
Last updated: 3:12 AM 9/1/2009