Italian School Uniform Garments: Sailor Suits


Figure 1.--Here we see a portrait of an Italian school class. It is undated, but looks to have been taken in the 1910s. It looks to be a secondary school. About half the boys wear sailor suits.

We see many Italian boys wearing sailor suits to school in the late 19th and early 20th century. The sailor suit seems especially popular in the 1910s. Younger children wore smocks, but we see many children in secondary schools, neginng abpit age 11 wearing sailor suit. We note many different styles. We do not notice a dominanant traditional style based on the Italian naval uniform. The popularity in secondary schools shows that the sailor suit as in other countries was especially popular with middle-class families. Working-class children generally did not go to secondary schools. These wee not school uniforms, but outfits parents chose for schoolwear. Sailor suits of course were not the only outfirs selected, but they clearly were a popular choice. Yhey seemed to have slowly declined in popularity after the early 1920s. We do not yet, however, have detailed chronological information. We still see sailor suits during World War II (1939-45). As far as we can tell, the sailor suit disappeared as a school style after the War. We also notice girls wearing sailor outfits, but not as commonly as for the boys.









HBC





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Created: September 1, 2001
Last updated: 6:03 PM 4/17/2008