School Uniform: The Blazer--Colors and Patterns

Figure 1.--This unidentified boy wearing a stripoed school blazer probably attended a prep school. The photograph is undated, but looks like the 1960s, We think he is an English boy, although dark knee socks were not very common in England.

The school blazer is an English originating as games clothing in the mid-19 century. The different colors and patterns all originated in England. After World War II when England began building a modern state secondary system in which everyone had the opportunity to attend secondary school many new schools were established. Most had uniforms consisting of black blazers and grey pants for the boys and skirts for the girls. Before this there was great profusion of colored blazers worn in England. Many schools, especially prep schools were closed in the 1970s mean that the numbr of colorful blazers declined. At about the same time, some primary schools decided on uniforms, but often blazers are not part of the uniform. Each school had a destinstive color. Private prep schools especially chose colorful blazers, often witn matching caps. Some prep schools chose suits rather thn blazers, but the blazers wetre more common. Of course there was not enough colors for every school in England. But locally each school tnded to have a destintive color. The most common color was vlue in various shades, but just about ever color was worn at some school. Yellow was not very common. The only color we have not noted was orange. In addition to colors, there were also stripes. As far as we know that was the only pattern. The striping was done in differet widths. The boy on the previos page wears a blazer with very narrow stripes. The boy here wears a blazer with wider stripes(figure 1). Commonly this mean two colors, but we have seen three colors. This raused the cost of the blazer so especially in recent years they have become less common. There was also some detailing, primarily piping at some schools. We see these colors and patterns in many other countries, primarily British Empire countries, but other countries as well.


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Created: 1:57 AM 7/2/2019
Last updated: 1:57 AM 7/2/2019