Smocks at the onset of the 21st century were no longer very common. We still saw them at some schools, but theywere no longer pervasive as they once had been. We note some discussion about beining smocks back, but we are unsure just how common this was.
Italian children no longer wear school smocks as commonly as before, but they are still worn at a number of schools. At some schools smocks are optional, but they are usually common at those schools. At other schools they are required. This appears to be especially common at Catholic schools. We notice an American tourist visiting Herculaneum near Naples in 2001 complained of large numbers of schoolgroups with "shrieking children, all in color-coordinated caps, scarves or smocks, touring at the same time". So clearly smocks still are common, although HBC in 1989 did not notice school groups in Rome wearing smocks, perhaps because most of my sightseeing was on the weekends. We note companies offering quite a range of smocks in a variety of styles, colors, and sizes.
We have not been to Italy in recent years and thus are unsure just how common school smocks are in the 2010s. We have noted reports of interest in reintroducing smocks in state schools. An Italian reader has provided some informtion. "This photograph was taken on the first school day, in Porta di Roma, a suburb of Rome (Septembr 2013). It gives us an image of the smocks still worn at some Italian primary schools. The photo shows also the main reason of the school smocks in earlier years as well as the present. The smocks covered most of the children's clothing. This not only protected the clothing, but made the children look more similar. So it made no difference if the children were wearing nice new garments or old second hand clothing. The only garment that clearly cannot be covered are the footwear, about which there were never strict rules at schools. Differently from other school uniforms, the smocks can be relatively cheap almost every family could provide them to their children. Some schools still use the smocks to reduce the impact of children's fashion on the pupils. I don't know, however, if that is really effective."
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Created: September 20, 2002
Last updated: 7:29 PM 11/1/2014
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