Soviet School Uniform (1980s)

Figure 1.--This is the standard Soviet boys' school uniform worn during the 1980s.

The Soviet Union had a standard unifirm for school children. Uniforms were also worn in Tsarist Russia. Children in rural primary schools often did not wear uniforms, especially in the early Soviet years. After World War II they became much more standard. The uniform here was the standard uniform worn by Soviet school boys during the 1980s. The same uniform was worn throughout the Soviet Union.

Soviet School System

The Soviet Union divided school children in three basic school groups. Younger schoolboys (1 - 3 class/year) were referred to as oktyabryata. Schoolboys (4 - 8 class/year) were admitted into the Young Pioneers with a solemn ceremony in the 4th year class. Thus a red neckerchief was added to the uniform. The middle school group was 4-8 class year. The senior schoolboys were the 8 - 10 year/class). Selected students from this group were accepted into the All-Union Lenin Communistic Union of Youth (VLKSM).

Soviet School Uniform

e still have only limited information on Soviet school uniforms. We note school children wearing school uniforms in the earliest years of the Soviet Union. These uniforms seem especially prevalent in the cities. Children in the country side because of the widespread poverty may not have worn the inifotm as commonly. Presumably as conditiins improved after World War II (1939-45), wearing the perscribed school uniform became common place throughout the country.

Soviet Young Pioneers

The Soviet Young Pioneers was a mass youth organization of the Communist Party. No other youth movement was permitted. Uniforms were not commonly worn until after World War II. After the War a standard uniform was commonly worn. Here we are not entirely sure what the difference was between the Pioneer uniform and the school uniform. Pioneers wore a red neckerchief with their school uniform and their appears to be a Pioneer badge on the school shirt. There was also a Pioneer badge worn on the jacket.


Soviet school uniforms changed over time. This was the style worn in the 1980s. After the Soviet Union was disolved at the end of 1991, uniforms were dropped at state schools. Some private schools adopted uniforms.


The everyday school uniform seen here was worn by a Soviet student in the 1980s. The uniform consists of a white long-sleeve shirt, a blue jacket, blue long trousers, a red pioneer neckerchief, and a Pioneer badge with Lenin’s portrait. As a whole, all these items were obligatory items required by the Soviet school system. The shirt is 100 percent cotton. The jacket is 30 percent wool. The neckerchief was 100 percent silk. Sizes of uniform: length of the jacket – 23.5 inches; dimensions jacket from right to left shoulder – 15 inches; length of the arms –24 inches. Length of the trousers – 37 inches; width of the waist – 26 inches. I'm not precisely sure what age boy would have worn this uniform. It would have to be at least a 4th year student because he was a Young Pioneer. The boy here als had a badge with a book and sun symbol on the left sleeve. I'm not sure what that represented.


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Created: 2:40 AM 5/29/2005
Last updated: 2:40 AM 5/29/2005