Schoolwear at Individual German Schools: Chronological List--1910s

Figure 1.--These German boys are in the beginning years of their secondary school. Note the wide variations in sailor suit styles. Boys also wore other suits and some a kind of cadet uniform. Note that the boys in suits wear bow ties rather than neckties.
German boys wore a range of outfits to school. We note both collar-buttoning suits and lapel suits as well as sailor suits. The collar buttoning suits by the end of the decade were going out of style. Some boys wore sweaters, but suits were very common. Most were kneepants suits. Some boys wore knickers, but knee pants were much more common. Younger boys wore both socks and long stockings. Seasonality was a factor here. Older boys mostly wore long stocckings. Black stockings were very common. At about age 15 some boys begin wearing long pants. This varied and was not governed by school rules, but was rather a parental decession. Schools were mostly single gender schools, although we note coed oprimary schools, Girls wore dresses, often with pinafores.

Unknown Secondary School (about 1910)

We do not know the name of this school. Here we see boys wearing an unusual combination of school clothes. Most boys wear various types of sailor suits. There are, however, also boys in "civilan" suits as well as one boy in a cadet uniform. We are not sure what kind of school this is, but the boys look to be in the first or seconday year of a secondary school.

Unidentified School (1912-13)

One rare exception to the lack of kepis in the 20th century was this unidentified German school. We would date the school to the 1920s. A HBC readers thinks it could have been the late-1910s or early 20s. Notice that some of the boys wear starched detachable collars with their suits. Others wear sailor suits with dickies. The boys seem to be about 11 or 12 and are probably from a gymnasium. Notice the school caps, kepis with the flat circular tops. All the boys wear long black stockings with rather longish short trousers or knee pants. The picture seems to have been taken outside the school (notice the heavy doors in the rear). We don't know the name of the school or the precise location. The cap is so destinctive we may eventually be able to identify the school.

Unknown School (about 1915)

This class of younger children looks to have been photographed about 1915. They wear mostly smocks and sailor suits, often with large bows.

Unknown School (about 1915)

This class of primary-age children were photographed in 1913. They wear mostly sailor suits and plain jackets, mostly without bows. Many of the girls wear pinafores.

Unidentified German Secondary School (1915)

This class of German younger secondary school boys (aged about 13 years) is formally dressed for a school portrait. We think, however, this is how they normally dressed. Conventions at secondary schools tended to be formal. We are not sure just what kibnd of secondary school this was. Most of the boys wear dark suits with formal white shirts and ties although a few do not. Some of the boys wear sailor suits. This was a popular style for younger boys, but we also see younger teen-agers commonly wearing them in the 1910s. One boy in the front row (fourth from the left) also seems to be wearing a type of sailor suit but without the stripes on the collar of his blouse. Note the vest of the boy in the first row (second from the right); he is obviously wearing a three-piece suit like that of his father except for the more juvenile knee trousers. One boy at the extreme right (first row) wears knickers that buckle below his knee. But knee pants seem to be the general rule in this school. All the boys wear long black stockings held up by hose supporters. You can see the garter clasps at the hem of the trousers on two of the boys in the front row (fourth from the left; second from the right). Many German boys held up their long stockings with a Leibchen and garter straps, although some older boys wore garter belts (similar to modern garter belts for hockey players). All the boys wear the standard hightop leather shoes that were standard wear for teenagers during the 1910s in Germany.

Unknown Military School (about 1915)

We note a photograph of a group of German boys. Infortunately we have no provinance about the image. It is undated and there is no location indicated. We are guessing that it was just before, but more likely during the War. We are not positive that it is a school group, but that seems the most likely explanation. It looks like it could be a military school, but the boys are very young. The uniforms are quite elaborate. The the cost of such uniforms again suggest a school.

St. Stephen's Gymnasium (1915)

Here is an interesting photo dated 1915 taken of the graduating class of St. Stephan's Gymnasium (secondary school) in Augsburg, Germany. The boys would be about 17 or 18 years old. They are obviously dressed formally for the class photograph in dark suits with white shirts (mostly with detachable starched collars), neckties, and black lace-up high-top shoes. Some of the boys already are wearing long trousers, but the majority seem to wear knee-pants suits with long black stockings. Notice the ornamental buttons at the knee of the boy who is reclining. The boys also wear caps, mostly flat caps.

Unknown School (late 1910s)

This looks to HBC to be a German class photographed in the late 1910s. The early 1920s is a possibility, but the late 1910s looks more likely. The boys wear a wide range of outfits from suits to sweaters and scarves. All of the boys, however, wear knepants and dark long stockings.


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Created: 4:23 PM 5/30/2007
Last updated: 2:18 AM 1/19/2009