German Schoolwear:  Shirts and Sweaters

Figure 1.--German schoolwear became increasingly common after Wotld War I (1914-18). Here an unidentified Essen primary-school boy wears what looks like a knit shirt in the late-1920s or early-30s. Notice the school satchel, long stockings, and high-top shoes.

We commonly notice German children dressing up for school in the 19th century. We see many children wearing suits to school. Of course they would have worn some kind of shirt garment underneath. Just what kind of shirt they were wearing is difficult to determine from the photographic record. We suspect that dress was more casual in rural village schools. After World War I school wear became increasingly casual. We see more and more children wearing shirts and sweaters rather than suits. Here social class was a factor. Middle and upper-clss Germans continued to dress more formally than working-class Germans. The general trend was, however, toward more casual schoolwear. This essentially reflect overall dress srandards and not school rules. Casual shirts and sweaters had become nmore common by the 1940s as German boys began to dress more casually for school. These casual garments became standard in the 1950s. The sweater became a standard garment in both cool and cold weather.


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Created: 9:21 PM 3/11/2009
Last updated: 10:00 PM 3/13/2009