Italian School Smocks: Chronology

Figure 1.--Here we see an Italain boy in Rome being fitted for his new school smock in 1951. The outfit is complete with wide white collar and large floppy bow. The outfit was so different from the way American boys dressed for school that the wire services ran the photograph with this caption, "Do I Have to Wear This?: Is there no limit to what an eight-year-old has to endure in this world? It is bad enough that vacation is over and the first day of a new school year is at hand, but this black frockand white bow tie, which all the children in Italy's low grade schools mut war are terrible/ Little MaurizioPuppo gets a final check from mama in front of the mirror before taking off for school. The boy is not happy.".

Smocks in Italian schools were primarily for pre-teen pre-school and primary school children, both boys and girls. Here we see an 8-year-old boy being fitted for a new smock (figure 1). We believe that the schools that required a smock as a kind of school uniform were mostly pre-schools and primary schools. We have noted. however, some realtively old children wearing school smocks in the late-19th and early 20th century. And in the 20th century we also see older girls wearing school smocks. At this time we are unsure just what the regulations were in Italy. Nor or we sure about government regulations. The photographic record suggests gthat much of gthe fequirements were set by individual schools. We also believe that smocks were also worn by some younger teenagers attending schools in the 20th century that did not have a uniform requitement. And our limited Italian archive makes it difficult to follow age trends in any detail. HBC's understanding of school smocks in Italy is still very limited and this requires further investigation. Hopefully our Italian readers will privide some detail here.


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Created: 8:39 PM 11/15/2013
Last updated: 8:39 PM 11/15/2013