Other English School Uniform Garments


Figure 1.--This boy is a prefect at his preparatory school. Notice the prefect badge on his lapel. Also notice the grey shirt and school crest.

Besides the major school uniform garments, another of other items have been worn or used by English school boys. Some like book bags or satchels were also used in other countries, although the types and styles may have varied. There were two basic types of English school book bags. Other iems like the snake belt seem to have been primarily worn in England. Blazer and cap badges are another item primarily associated with English and British schools in general. Like the major unifom items, these items have in some cases changed significantly over time. Some like the snake belt have almost disappeared.

Snake Belts

Other iems like the snake belt seem to have been oprimatily worn in England. Some like the snake belt have almost disappeared. The so-called 'snake-belt' was at one time an extremely common item of English (and indeed of British) school uniform, although it tended to be worn on many other occasions too as part of regular boyswear. It consisted of an elasticated strip, fastened at the front with an S-shaped metal hook-buckle fashioned as a snake; it was, obviously, this feature of the belt which gave it its popular name.

School Crests

Blazer and cap crests are another item primarily associated with English and British schools in general. Most schools in England have adopted a badge in order to distinguish themselves from other schools. The badges may be seen on notice boards in front of schools, at various locations within schools, and on stationery, including, quite often, pupils' exercise books. They have also been displayed on items of school uniform: on blazers and school caps and, less frequently, on pullovers or ties. In those few schools where a straw boater has been worn, the badge has sometimes (but not always) been displayed on the ribbon hatband.

Badges

Schoolboys wore a range of badges with their school uniforms. They identified a variety of acomplishments or positions achieved by the boys. These badges varied from school to school. Boys who had been given positions of authority such as the head boy or prefects might have pins identifying them. The names for these positions might vary somewhat at different schools. Boys who had won their colors in games (sports) often received badges. Commonly they might have the name of the sport such as cricket por football. Other activities might also have pins, sich as library. There might also be pins given as prizes in school competitions. The various boarding houses might also have pins, often in different colors. House pons might also be used in day schools as a way of organizing the boys.

School Book Satchels

Some like book bags or satchels were also used in other countries, although the types and styles may have varied. There were two basic types of English school book bags. Some boys wore both a single strap-style satchel. One HBC contributor indicates that this style was typical of the ones commonly worn at grammar schools (academically selective secondary schools) in the 1950s and 60s. Others boys wore the rucksack style with the two over the shoulder straps. With the two shoulder, it was worn in the middle of the back. And what was irritating was, the Jewish boys all seemed to be given briefcases for their Bar Mitzvahs (initiation into manhood, shortly after the 12th birthday), whereas the rest of us had to carry on with our satchels (which were far from worn out, of course) for a good while longer.







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Created: April 29, 2002
Last updated: 6:05 PM 6/20/2004