I come from a very large family with five brothers and two sisters. As I
was the youngest my parents were approaching their fifties when I was
attending primary school. My mum was old fashion and very keen for me to
wear a grey school uniform with shorts and
long grey knee high socks, even
though the Primary school I attended did not have a dress code. I didn't
like it. I didn't mind wearing shorts. The other boys wore the latest
style "stubbies" which were shorter and also more casual. I hated just
being dressed more formal than the other boys.
I always wore grey knee socks to school. I never wore short socks
with my grey shorts to school. I liked football socks best, but could only
wear them after school.
In Australia the government run schools are known as public schools and
those run by religious and other groups are called private schools. Public
school uniforms were phased out during the 1970's. I went to a public
primary school from 1973 to 1980 and I did not attend one day without
wearing school greys with black leather lace up shoes. My mum obviously was
not keen for my to keep up with those "crazy" fashions of the 1970's.
I remember only one other boy dress in school grey, but his mother allowed
him the privilege of wearing long trousers. I had to stay in baggy grey
shorts, which came down two my knees, all year round. By the time I was in
grade 4 I was nearly 10 years old and took more notice of fashion. I had
several fights with my mum over wearing short pants to school in winter,
but her argument was All the boys I went to school with in England had
shorts all year round and it was a lot colder there than here. (We
were living in South Australia at the time). I remember receiving quite a
spanking at the age of 12 for really kicking up a fuss. I had received
a couple of smacks on the leg, from Mum for arguing on several occasions,
but this time my Father became involved. As it was easier for him to side
with Mum, he intervened. I never argued again but I
still hated going to school dress in grey shorts and long grey socks when
the other boys where wearing their jeans and "T"-shirts.
The other boys teased me about by long grey shorts a good bit. Mainly
it was the fact that I was dress in school grey shorts and had them on all
year that usually drew attention to me. The fact that they were long in
length just added to what they teased me about. Are those long shorts
or short longs, I would constantly be asked.
During the 1970's other boys mainly would wear jeans to school, some did
where shorts in the summer. The main type of shorts were called "stubbies",
these shorts were very short and came in blue, black, grey, green, brown
and white. With stubbies long football socks were popular, in the colour of
their favourite football team. "T"-Shirts were also popular. These fashions
were for at school and after school. After school my mother let me
wear jeans, stubbies/"T"-shirt or a track suit, like my mates.
I can't recall what the boys who were in the scouts were wearing
at that time.
I wore black leather lace up shoes to school, always! After school and
on the weekends I wore sneakers or jim (gym?) shoes. Jim shoes were like
sneakers but covered the ankles. I never wore those English-style
sandals, but other boys would sometimes wear
them, mostly younger boys up to 5-7 years. They were not popular with us
The was an age gap between me and my older brothers, and I don't recall
what they had for primary school. But in high school the were allowed to
wear what the wanted, meaning jeans,
"T"-shirts, amd jim shoes. I thought was most
unfair. When I got to high school, however, I was able to wear what I
wanted as well.
I also had a grey short pants suit. The fashion, however, was fading.
Whenever I had to wear it, I would always jump in the family
car as quick as possible so my neighbourhood friends would not see me.
The suit was a light grey with long style shorts and matching long grey socks
that I wore only with the suit. It was the only time I would wear a tie.
When I grew out of the suit (about age 9) it was never replaced, thank
Keep in mind that this was what the
boys I grew up with were wearing. Other private schools boys still had
school uniforms which were mainly grey and very similar to the
I wore the grey short pants to school all the way through primary
school. That means until I started High school at age 12/13 years.
Omce I started high school jeans, "T"-shirts and jumpers (sweaters),
and sneakers. No uniform was required at the public
High School I attended. For some reasons wearing
shorts, even on hot days at High School was not the done thing. However
these days its common. Outside of school I would wear shorts in the
summer always, as would most boys. In Australia shorts have been the
fashion in summer for most boys and men for as long as I can remember.
In Australia these days only the private schools have the traditional
school uniform. Those more elite schools still have the boys in jackets and
ties. Some schools still require the boys, mainly the younger boys, to wear
grey shorts and long socks. Some smaller private schools require the boys
to wear short ankle socks and with their grey shorts in the summer months.
My son is in grade one this year. The uniform for boys in grades 1 to 7 is
a light blue short sleeve shirt, navy shorts and long grey socks during
summer. In the winter they change to long grey trousers and dark blue
v-neck jumpers with ties. The school is a small private school.
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