A Brief History Of School Uniforms

When school uniforms were first introduced towards the ending of the 19th century and early 20th century, it looked just like the uniforms worn by British school children. This may have been because the Australian school system was devised by colonial administrators from England. However, over the years the Australian school uniform slowly changed to suit the warm Australian climate. In recent years, many school uniforms in Australia have grown to show the laid-back side of the Australian culture.

In the early 90’s, the majority of children went to school barefoot, although they had on some type of uniform; sailor suits were common. Some schools did not really have a ‘uniform’; the boys would often wear suits to school. Knee pants and knickerbockers were also popular as of just before the First World War. In the earlier days of school uniforms, girls were not all too encouraged to go to a school, but those who did mainly wore a short sleeved shirt with a gymslip over the top.

After the war, sailor suits stopped being worn as most schools started introducing a more formal school uniform which consisted of a blazer, flannel shorts and a cap. Boys had often worn tights before the war but, after the war they were replaced by knee high socks.

School uniforms continued to resemble that of the British from the early 50’s. Short trousers were worn by the boys, with school blazers, knee socks, a white shirt, a cap and tie. Girls wore similar uniforms; a skirt, a white shirt and a cap. This continued until about a decade later when changes began to take place in fashion and culture all over the world.

During the 60’s many schools made it not compulsory for students to wear caps, ties and blazers as a part of their uniform, though some schools still felt it necessary but, not compulsory. The climate difference between the UK and Australia was eventually taken note of as many schools started to make use of a cool summer dress worn by girls during warmer periods.

Modern trousers replaced flannel shorts, casual shirts were introduced, introducing pointed collars that were popular at the time. Many schools became less strict about uniforms, allowing students to decide on which type of sweater they wore. Some schools even allowed roll neck jumpers during the winter period.

From the mid 80’s, school uniform styles began to differ from school to school. Some schools went with the formal school shirts, tie and blazer look but, as of recent a lot of schools have adopted a more casual attitude to uniforms by allowing students to wear polo shirts, sweatshirts, and cotton pants or shorts.

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