** Italian school smocks chronology 2000s grembiule della scuola

Italian School Smock Chronology: The 1960s

Figure 1.--The photo shows the 4th grade class at a primary school in 1965. That would mnan thr boys are about 10 years old. The school was located in Noha, a village in the Apulia region of southern Italy. The photograph was taken in 1965. It is an all boys class. At the time it was still very common to have all-boys and all-girls classes even in primary schools. Only a few pupils wear smocks. Although each school had its rules, in many schools the smocks were 'theoretically' compulsory. We write 'theoretically' because in the state school no child could be refused entry for the lack of a smock or other clothing. So the use of smocks was actually optional. Notice, however, that the boys all wear the same style and color. They all have white collsrs worn sith a bow. Put your cursor on the image to see the rest of the class.

School smocks continued to be commonly worn in Italy through the 1960s. The dark blue smocks with wide white collars and floppy bows appears to have been particularly common. We also see light-colored smocks. Children began wearing smocks with long pants in the 1960s, but short pants were more common. Long pants were often worn seasonally. This varied somewhat seasonally. One Italian reader tells us that smocks were still theoretically required. We are not sure if there was an actual law or national Ministry of Education directives. Hopefully one of our Italian readers will know. Schools did not, however, send a child home if he or she showed up without a smock. So we see schools where only a few children were wearing smocks. Or even schools where non of the children were wearing smocks. There continued to be very poor areas, especially in southern Italy. We do not see smocks at the San Nicola village school in the early 1960s. This had largely disappeared by the end of the decade with European economic growth generated by the German Economic Miracle and European integration. Smocks were still common, but gradually declining. Some schools and teachers may have encouraged the boys to wear smocks in various ways. Here we do not have much informtion. Perhaps our Italian readers will recall their own school experiences. Most teachers and school administrators just left it up the parents. We thus see schools with some boys wearing smocks and other just their regular clothes. Here we see a typical primary school, this one at Noha in southern Italy (figure 1). Notice that the smocks are not required, but the boys wearing them all wear the same color and sttyle. Smocks with white collars were popular in Italy. Most of the boys wearing smocks have small bows with their white collars. We suspect that the boys were not to happy about the bows. Notice that only one of the boys is wearing his bow properly. An Italian reader tells us, "As far I know, there were never laws or general rules about the dress code in the Italian state schools. Each school director with the teachers council can give rule for his school. Often the choices were the smocks. In my school, close to Milan, in the 1960s, the rules were different for boys and girls. Girls: Grades 1 to 5: white smocks with pink bows. Grades 6 to 8: black smocks without bows. Boys: Grades 1 to 3: black smocks with blue bows. Grades 4 to 5: short black smocks (as a jacket) without bows. Grades 6 to 8: regular clothes. Usually the pupils wore the smocks, but some (especially the boys) occassionaly came to school without the bows. In the same school nowadays in the 2010s the pupils of lower grades wear light blue smocks without bows. We boys had to wear bows only in the three lower grades. That was not the case in many other school, as can be see in many period photographs. I think that at age of 10 or 11 I would have not been at ease wearing a bow like thge little children and girls. Many younger of the younger boys took off their bows after the lessons ended and we headed home."


Navigate the HBC School Section:
[Activities] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries] [Debate] [Economics] [Garment] [Gender] [Hair] [History] [Home trends] [Literary characters]
[School types] [Significance] [Transport and travel [Uniform regulations] [Year level] [Other topics]
[Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Return to the Historic Boys' School Home]

Navigate the Historic Boys' Clothing Web chronological pages:
[The 1890s] [The 1900s] [The 1910s] [The 1920s]
[The 1930s] [The 1940s] [The 1950s] [The 1960s]

Navigate the Historic Boys' Clothing Web style pages:
[Return to the Main Italian school smock 20th century chronology page]
[Return to the Main Italian school smock chronology page]
[Return to the Main Italian school page]
[Return to the Main smocks page]
[Dresses] [Bodice dresses] [Kilts] [Sailor suits] [Sailor hats]
[Ring bearer/page costumes] [Pinafores] [Shortalls]

Created: 9:10 PM 10/29/2014
Last updated: 6:40 AM 11/1/2014