Australian Boys' Clothes: The 1960s

Figure 2.--I was about 1 and and a half years old here and wearing bib-front short overalls with white anklesocks. The photo was taken in March 1957.

I was born in Maffra (South eastern Victoria) in 1955 and spent my first five years there. My dad worked for the Victorian Railways (and hated it) and my mum was a house wife and stayed home to look after us lot. I had an older sister (b.1954) and a brother, 8 years younger.

Younger Boy (Age 1-5)

Play clothes

I wore bib-front outfits a lot as a younger boy. I had them in both long and short pants. I do not recall what socks and shoes I wore then, but photograps show sandals and ankle socks. We weren't very well off as family in those days as dad was an immigrant and the Railways paid them poorly. Most of our clothes were handed down from other members of the family. We wore what we had.

Dress clothes

As a younger boy I mostly wore a plain grey short pants suit. I did have a pair of rather gaudy long checked pants, which wear donated by a fun loving relative who probably sought revenge for some unknown reason. I sometimes wore these for less dressy occasions during the cooler months.

Figure 2.--I was 2 and a half years old here (February 1958) and accompanied my mum and older sister for a shopping trip down town Bendigo in central Victoria. No, I'm not wearing a dress, thats me on the left with a copy of the Bendigo Advertiser.

Older Boy (Age 6-12)

Regular clothes

I normally wore short pants as a boy. By the 1960s the shorts were cut rather short, like continental European boys used to wear, rather than the longer style British boys wore. (My school shorts, however, tended to be longer.)


I wore school sandals quite a lot as a boy, especially in the summer or when ever it was warm. I usually wore them with short grey socks, but sometimes wore them without any socks at all. In the cooler weather I wore Oxford-stype leather shoes with kneesocks.

Dress Clothes

Figure 3.--This photo was taken in August 1964 when we moved into our new house in Tullamarine. We never really dressed up for any occasion, the clothes me and my cousin are wearing was pretty normal for that day and age. I'm second from the right, and Wayne is the other boy in the photo.


Jeans reached Australia in the 1960s. They weren't, of course, considered appropriate for school or any occassion. My granny bought me a pair of jeans when I was 8 years old in 1964, AMCOS as I remember. We used to wear them, but only "around the house". Mum didn't think them suitable to be worn any where but for mucking about at home.

Teen Years

Dress Clothes

I used to wear pretty much what I wanted, except for the "formal" events. My parents insisted I wear my short pants suit for those until I was 16. There were discusioms with my parents on this, but they were insistent about the shorts. I wasn't really bothered about wearing it, because it was not often, and when it was worn, other members of the family also had them. It is ironic that my grandmother who gave me my first jeans also bought my last short pants suit for me. I was 13 at the time. It had navy blue jackets and shorts and I wore black knee socks with it.

I did not wear it often, probably about 10 times in 3 years. I wore it about ten times to formal family activities such as weddings and the compulsory funerals. Weddings used to annoy me as most of the relatives were boring and I did not want to dress up and go along, but funerals had that 'reverence' about them and everyone "had" to go and get dressed up, including us lot in shorts. (Most of the boys on my mothers side wore shorts) It did not seem to worry me either (like the school shorts), but I grew out of the suit around 16 and did not get another suit after that.

After Evolution took over and my suit no longer fitted me I wore long trousers and a shirt. Jackets were expensive and too formal, and I suppose mum (mom to you Americans) put practicality and economics before formality.

Figure 4.--I am pictured here at 9 in my school uniform. Photo taken September 1964. The older boys at school could wear long pants if they wanted. Note the colored bands on my kneesocks.

School Uniform

A lot of Australian schools required school uniforms. Many still do, but the standards have fallen in the 1980s and especilly the 1990s.

Elementary school

I went to a Catholic elementary schools. My first school was Corpus Christie school in Glenroy, a Melbourne suburb. My uniform there was grey shorts, and grey kneesocks with yellow and red stripes. I had my picture taken on a swing with my mum in 1961 (figure ?) I attended that school from 1961 to 1964.

My second elementary school was St. Christophers in Airport West, another suburb of Melbourne, Victoria. My photograph at St. Christophers was taken in 1964 when we started school there (figure 3). The uniform was a shirt, jumper (sweater), shorts, ties and socks--all grey. Our jumpers and kneesocks had colored trim , dark red and blue in the school colors.

Secondary school

I wore short pants as a secondary schoolboy during the late 1960s and early 1970s. My school was a catholic school. The secondary uniform was just like the primary uniform, only with a blazer and you were allowed to wear long pants. Shorts were optional at the school, but my parents prerred that I wear shorts. Several other boys even at 16, like me, also wore the shorts. Caps were required for the three lower years 7, 8 and 9, that would be the boys from about 12-14 years. I was there from 1968 through 1972.

State schools (government ones) in Australia didn't give a lot of attention to uniforms. Most had only basic uniforms without a lot of formality. The boys at the local state school almost all wore longs and didn't wear caps. We got teeased about our short pants and caps quite a bit. There were quite a fews tussles with that lot.

Figure 5.--T.


I was in scouts in 1967 to 1970. We had a khaki shirt, with all our acheivement badges, khaki shorts, 'lemon squeezer hat', scarf/kneckercheif, woggle, long socks worn with garter tabs. The uniform was changed in 1972 which allowed scouts to wear long pants on a group basis.

Tony, April 1998

Figure 6.--.

Christopher Wagner

Navigate the Historic Boys' Clothing Web Site:
[Introduction] [Chronologies] [Countries] [Style Index] [Biographies] [Bibliographies] [Contributions] [Frequently Asked Questions]
[Boys' Clothing Home]

Navigate the Historic Boys' Clothing Web chronological pages:
[The 1930s] [The 1940s] [The 1950s] [The 1960s]
[The 1970s] [The 1980s] [The 1990s]

Navigate the Historic Boys' Clothing Web style pages:
[Main Australian page]
[School uniform] [Australian school uniform]
[Knee socks] [Short pants suits] [Scouts] [Cubs]
[Caps] [Socks] [Jeans]

Created: March 15, 1998
Last updated: June 18, 1999