Australian Boys' Clothes: 1980s-90s

A HBC Australian contributoe provides the following fetails on the clothes that he wore as a boy in the 1980s and 90s.

Casual and school clothing


When I was very small, I wore a smple T-shirt and coton or nylon sport shorts, and went barefoot (live on the beach) as most kids did. and only wore T-shirt and shorts on the weekend. During winter, I wore jeans (usually close fitting) and sneakers. I slept in flannel pjs during the winter which I hated because they were itchy, and a cotton shorts and shirt pj set in the summer. When I was about 10, bike shorts for boys were trendy, and so I wore bike shorts a lot. They were usually black with a bright colour on the side, and I had a black 'muscle' shirt (a sleevless T-shirt) and beach sandals, though my favorite pair of bike shorts were all blue and came down to the tops of my knees (most shorts ended midway on my thigh). Bike shorts stayed in fashion for only a few years, but they continue now for boys as sportswear and shorts for the beach and swimming. After bike shorts, most boys wore huge baggie shorts, which were the favorite of skateboarders. I didn't wear baggies much during my teen years (a bit shy about my underwear showing at the top).


I commonly wore okanuis (Hawain print board shorts) and jeans in winter. My younger brothers wear baggies, with a sweat shirt or sloppy joe, though they sometimes wears okanuis as well.

School Uniform

School uniform was what all kids wore: grey button-up shirt with a left hand chest pocket, and grey shorts, which had a back pocket, and a small pocket on the front which had a zipper on it. Grey long socks (worn down around the ankles unless the teacher made you pull them up) and black shoes. I wore my school uniform during the week.

My little brother's school uniform is no different to when I was their age.

School Plays

I never wore tights, except for school plays where I had to be a tree or an elf.


In Australia, sun protection has become very important. There isn't much ozone left over our country, so it is easy to get sunburned. A few years ago, the cancer council started making sun protecion clothing for everyone especially kids, as kids skin gets burnd faster than adults skin. The sun protection clothing looks like wetsuits and rash shirts used by surfers, but is all made out of lycra because lycra protects the skin from ultraviolet light better than anything else. Most kids on the beach these days wear sun protection clothing, which includes a hat, sunnies, sunsuit (short sleeve like a springsuit or longsleeve like a steamer) or rashie with swimmers or boardies or bike shorts, and even special beach shoes. It is rare these days to see a kid wearing just swimmers (like speedos) or just boardies on the beach. When I was small, I would wear just speedos. But not anymore. Most teens think that sun protection clothing is ok, but most will wear a rashie and boardies rather than a sunsuit. Most kids will wear there sun protection clothing even when they are not swimming outdoors, like in an indoor swimming centre. Some kids also wear their sunsuits as casual clothing in the summertime (like at the shopping mall), sometimes with a shirt over the top, and a pair of sneakers or beach sandals on their feet.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: November 18, 2000
Last updated: November 20, 2000