Italian School Smocks: Bow Colors

Figure 1.--The boys at this Italian school in 1970 all wear smocks. Clearly they were requited. Blue bows were also clearly required. There are, however, differences in bow shades and knot style. The boys wear both royal blue and pastel blue bows. We are not sure if the boys involved noticed the difference.

We are less sure about the color. Available images are mostly black and white photographs. We believe some of the bows were red. Available color images do commonly show boys at many schools wearing red bows as well as various shades of blue. We have noticed others colors as well. More diverse than actual colors, howevers, were shades of the same color. Presumably the school specified a color, but eother left the choice of shade to the mother or did not rigidly ernforced a shade. While most bows were solid colors, we have also noted a few schools with striped bows. As the striped bows were destinctive, there was more iniformity at these schools than the schools that just designated a color. We are unsure how the color of these bows may have varied chronologically. We do not know if Government regulations ever provided specific details about bow color. At many schools, all the children, both boys and girls have the same colored bows. we have noted some schools wear boys and girls wear different colored bows. One observation, from I believe the 1940s describes school smocks and bows as, "checked smocks with big blue bows for boys and pink bows for girls". We note a school in 1988 where the girls wear pink bow ties and the boys red and blue bow ties. We do not know if the different colors of bows worn were of any interest to the boys.


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Created: March 2, 2002
Last updated: August 20, 2003