Figure 1.--These boys at this French school, except for one boy in the front row all apper to be wearing short pants. Note that they are wearing shorts even though it is a cold winter day.
Boys still wore smocks to school in the early 1950s, but they began to decline in popularity by the late 1950s. Knickers were no longer worn. Berets also disappeared in the 1950s. Short pants were still widely
worn, but by the end of the decade they were less common for older boys. Suspender shorts were popular and a new short cut style became fashionable.
School wear varied from school to school. Catholic schools were the most likely to have uniform regulations. Dress at state schools was up to the parents, thus there might be considerable differences from school to school. By the 1950s I do not think that state schools required boys to wear smocks, but some ay have. For the most part it was up to the parents.
I have no information on the specific school pictured here. The HBC contributor indicated that this was a 1950s school scene. I'd be more likely to date it to the 1940s, but the early 1950s is possible. I do not know what kind of school, but the contributor indicate it was an "ecole", presumably a state primary school.
Figure 2.--These boys two boys stand out from the others. One wears long pants. The other appears to be wearing a smock.
An analysis of the school reveals the following insights into boys wear. As uniforms were not required at most French schools, the styles worn as at this school are a good indicator of standard boys wear in the late 1940s or early 1950s.
Only one boy at this school are appears to be wearing a smock, even the younger boys for the most part are not wearing smocks. Apparently the wearing of smocks to school by the early 1950s varied substantially from school to school and perhaps regionally. I have no information, however, I have no details on local and regional differences. They may well of persisted a rural than city schools. While few boys wear them at this school, HBC knows that smocks were still worn in France in the early 1950s as they were still being advertized in newspapers.
Figure 3.--Few boys at this school appear to have heavy winter coats. Most wear heavy boot-like shoes, except for a boy wearing sandals.
The boys appear to be wearing quite a range of jackests and coats. Some boys are wearing heavy coats including one boy wearing a lon coat. Others wear what appear to be suit jackets. Others wear short jackets of a wide variety of types. One boy appears to be rather cold as he is just wearing a sweater.
Many boys are wearing scarves with their coats and jackets.
As the boys are wearing coats all uttoned up, it is unclear how many are wearing sweaters. It is likely that mosy are also wearing sweaters.
As the boys are all bunled up for a cold winter day, no information on their shirts is available.
Almot all of the boys appear to be wearing short panrs. Only one boy is wearing longs. Of course it is not clear what the boys in the rear row are wearing. Some of them look to be oldervthan the boys at the front, so it is possible that some could be wearing longs. The picture is not clear enough to deliniate the type of shorts worn. They do appear to be the longer shorts worn in the 1930s and 40s rather than the shorter style which became popular in the 1950s.
Figure 4.--Some of the boys in the photograph look to be quite cold. Even so, almost all the boys are wearing short pants.
The boys appear to be wearing mostly kneesocks, although it is not always apperent. This generally confirms other reports that kneesocks were commonly worn in the winter, but ankle socks more common in the summer term.
Most of the boys appear to be wearing heavy boot-like shoes. One boy wears sandals. Sandals were still widely worn by French boys in the 1950s, they had not yet been replaced by sneakers.
Movies and television programs provide a good indicator of what French boys wore during the 1950s. Many productions were low-bduget productions, at least compared to Hollywood movies. Thus often for movies shot in the conteporary era, children might war their nirmal clothes--rather than expensive costumes.
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