Stocking Supporters: Country Trends--Germany

Figure 1.--Here we have an advertisement from an unnamed German clothing catalog dated 1940. It is referred to as a "Kinder Korselett" or child's corslet rather than a Leibchen. It coresponds, however, closely to Leibchen. The model here and the styling of the garment is clearly for a girl. Although the dimunative of corset is used, we see none of the stays that would relate this to a corset.

Long stockings were commony worn in Germany. Even after World War I when long stockings became less commn in many other countries, they remained widely worn in Germany, especially during the Winter. We have, however, very limited informaion on stocking supporters. One German reader tells us that the kind of elaborate stocking supporters common in America were not widely worn in Germany. More common were make informal, shift devices such as elastic bands or pins. Many children wore Leibchen, a kind of bodice suit. We have no 19th century accounts, but we do have some information on the 20th century.


A German reader writes, "You can got some impression of how stockings were fastened in the earlier period (lsate 19th century and ealy 20th century) from paintings of children by the Swedish painter Carl Larsson. While Swedish, the undegarments and hosiery would be the same as in Germany at the time. Larsson's paintings sometimes show underwear and hose supporters. I could not find any pictures of garter belts with hose supporters for boys, but we do have verbal reports of such garments from time to time because mothers sometimes gave their daughters’ garments also to their sons. We do not know just how garters and hose supporters for boys developed, but we assume the fashion developed from the garments that adult women wore."

Supporter Types

German children used both dedicated garments to hold up long stockings as well as more informl approaches. The Leibchen was a an important German garment used to hold up stockings. The koselet seems to have been essentially a Leibchen. The Leibchen was similar to an American inderwaist or a British Liberty bodice. The Leibchen was commonly used in connection with garter straps to hold up long stockings. Informal approaches such as basic safty pins were a common method of holding up stockings. These informal approaches seem to have been more common than in America.


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Created: 4:00 AM 5/23/2005
Last updated: 7:29 PM 12/20/2010