Should we still require our sons to wear short leather shorts the year round?
We are from Bavaria in the south of Germany near the Alps. In the past it was very normal that boys wore the traditional short leather shorts with woollen knee socks. We followed this tradition not to let the boys wear any longs, as it is also still the practice at the Christian Scouts where the boys are active.
We are the opinion that it is healthy and toughening and the perfect clothing attire for a boy, as it instills a sense for more obedience and is good for character building, as the boys learn to stand uncomfortable situations. The boys are also aware that they are children and not grown-ups.
The other thing is, that the boys sometimes get teased in school or on the way to school because of their bare legs and knees, which is sometimes embarrassing for them. Some people mention that it looks pitiful to see them outside in the cold with bare legs and bluish knees and that we are pitiless dressing our sons this way also in winter conditions. We do not have the feeling that our boys are suffering, as they are used to it.
Should we ignore the peoples comments?
The Bible teaches about modesty in clothing; it does not advocate any particular style of clothing. Such would vary by region and culture. So long the clothing is modest, that is all that is essential. See Modest Apparel for details.
To advocate a particular style of dress just because it is traditional is attempting to bind rules where none are given. To claim that there is a religious need for a locale's traditional clothing is also wrong. As Jesus warned, "And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of me" (Matthew 15:9).
As Paul warned, to men there are things which might look beneficial but really serve no moral purpose. "Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations -- "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle," which all concern things which perish with the using -- according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh" (Colossians 2:20-23).