Boys since the 19th century have worn various types of uniforms. The idea of wearing uniforms have varied greatly in popularity in different historical periods. Uniformks were very popular with boys at the turn of the 20th century. The idea bof wearing a uniform has become much less popular with most boys by the end of the century. Here we have information on the various types of uinorms that boys have worn and trends in different countries.
Boys have worn various types of uniforms. School abd youth group uniforms have been the most common. We have noted, however, several other types of uniforms, including band and institutionl (other than schools), military, and sports uniforms. Boys have also worn various uniform costumes.
Band often were organized with destinctive uniforms. Modern bands are mostly associated with schools. This was not so common at the turn of the 20th century. This is rather a mixed category. Some are essentially youth groups. In fact various youth group units organized bands. Sometimes, however, adults were involved. There are also some specialized styles such as pipe bands.
Institutions caring for children have often required destinctive dress. In some case this has meant uniforms. In others instances institutiins have been less demanding dress codes. Interestingly uniforms were first adopted by charity institutions in part to identify the children receiving charity. The first English school uniforms, for example, were for the famed hospital schools which at first were for charity children. Only later did exclusive private schools adopt
uniforms, with some resisance from the boys. This was part of a program to bring a modicum of dicipline to unruly students, in this case students from affluent families. Paradoxically the uniforms eventually served to identify the status of students from prestigious schools.
Military uniforms have had an important impact on boys clothes. Often there were differences between what the parents, especially the mother, wanted their sons to wear and what the boys themselves wanted to wear. The use of military styles for boys appears to have bridged that gap, at least until the mid-20th century when sailor suits became associated with very young children or even girls--making them unacceptable to most boys. Some sstyles like sailor suits were actual military styles. Other non-military styles had elements like double breasted styling or epeletes that were inspired by military uniforms.
Some of the most popular clothing worn by boys are sports uniforms. Organized sport for boys is a relatively recent phenomenon. Many modern sports have a history dating back to the 18th century or ealier. Organized professional teams attracting spectators and with uniformed players, however, did not appear until the 19th century. This was in part a result of the economic expansion of industrial Europe which generated increasing income and more leisure time. School teams began to be organized by British private schools after the mid-19th century. But organized youth sports for the most part are a 20th century development.
Modern youth groups first appeared in the late-19th century as social leaders attempted to channel the energies of young people in the new developing industrial
economies of Europe and America. Never before had young people had so much money. Families had moved from ancestrial homes to the growing impersonal
cities. Crime was increasing. Centuries old social restraints were crumbling. Government an community leaders pondered what to do. The answer was the formation
of youth groups to chanel the boundless energies of the young people in the new industrial societies of Western Europe. In this new movement, England led the way.
Military uniforms were also extremely popular during World War II. I have a book called Everyday Fashions in the 1940s has
pages taken from Sears and other clothing catalogs. One
page is just reproductions of military uniforms (all
services) for your little boy to wear (presumably in support
of his dad or uncles who were in the service).
We notice some boys wearing uniforms in the 19th century. Uniforms became muh more common in the 20th century, espcially school and youth group uniforms. Many boys also wore spors unifoms as scholastic and other youth sports became increasingly popular. Nationlistic frvor seems to have inceased the popularity of uniforms. The totalitarian states that came to power in the early 20th century also promoted the popularity of uniforms. Except for sports unifirms, poularity declined after World War II. Youth groups now givevmuch less atention to uniforms. American schools which mostly did niot have uniforms began to rethink this. First the prochial schools began to implenrnt uniforms (950s) and then many public chool system, especially chools in urban areas (1970s).
We notice boys in many different countries earing uniforms. Boys over time have worn a variety of uniforms. These have included institutional, military, school, youth group, and other uniforms. This has varied from country to country, bith over time and along with the popularity of uniforms. We are developing uniform pages for each country. At this time we are working in America, England, Germany, Italy, and Japan. Uniforms were more popular in sime counries than others. The military was sometimes, but not always rhge deciding factor, The British seemed to have admired uniforms. We nnote the popularity varying over time with many countries affected by the same trends. Political shifts have affected these trends such as the rise oand fall of Cimminism and Fascism in diffeent countries. Economomic factors also affected various countries. Poor countfies were less able to finance unifirms for children. We hope to develop pther country pages as HBC develops. We have a good deal of information on uniforms worn in different countries, but we have often not created country pages to tie the various pages together on a national basis.
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