School Smock Country Trends: The Netherlands

Figure 1.--

HBC has little information about Dutch boys wearing smocks. We do not believe that smocks were worn in the late 19th and early 20th century. Even so they were not as common as in some areas of neighboring Belgium, especially French-speaking Walonia. Images from the turn of the century do show Dutch boys wearing pinafore-like smocks. A Dutch source reports that after World War I some boys did wear smocks, but not as a part of the school clothing like in France/Spain/Italy. Smocks are called "boerenkiel" (kiel=smock for boeren=peasants) and were common in rural areas until about the mid-1930s. School smocks were referred to as "kiel", although in Dutch speaking Flanders (Belgium) "schort" was more common. We do not believe boys wearing school smocks was very common after World War I, they were worn by Dutch speaking boys in Flanders. One Dutch reader does not recall seeing Dutch boys wearing school smocks in the 1950s, although Flemish boys id wear them. We do not have adequate information at this time for any definitive conclusions.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: January 11, 2002
Last updated: January 20, 2002