The most important boys' school garment for many years was the "owl-badge" cap that boys wore to school. Pictures from the 1950s (sometimes) show the boys wearing blazers and the owl-badge cap. Elementary school children, both boys and girls, wore smocks for many years as a national requirement, although actual enforcement varied. Most elementary schools in the late 1980s had uniforms with short pants. Nowdays its very rare to find a school with a shorts parade uniform
even if it is an elementary school. A HBC reader reports, "I saw my mother's picture in the 1960s and all children wore a uniform (a blue smock with white collar). A gym or physical education (PE) called "formes" was adopted in the 1970s, but in the 1980s became popular as ordinary schoolwear.
The most important boys' school garment for many years was the "owl-badge" cap that boys wore to school. Pictures from the 1950s (sometimes) show the boys wearing blazers and the owl-badge cap. I'm not sure when this cap was first introduced. The cap had an emblem of an owl (symbol of wisdom in ancient Greece) on it. Boys had to wear the cap in and outside school. If they were caught without the cap they would be punished at school. Many schools were very strict about the boys wearing it. There was also a curfew fixed at 19:30 hours. If a boy would be seen in the streets after 7:30 pm without the cap, he ould be punished or suspended from school (for a day or a few days).
The cap was abolished in 1964 from the reformist government of George Papandreou.
HBC has little early historical information about Greek school smocks. Smocks were introduced in French and Italian schools in the late 19th century. We are less sure as towhen Greek children began wearing smocks to school and how common it was during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Smocks for boys have been primarily an elementary school garment, although girls at times have been required to wear them in secondary schools as well. Many elementary school children, both boys and girls, by the 1950s appear to have wore smocks to school. The school uniform for the Demotiko in the 1950s and 60s consisted of blue smock with white collar for girls and boys. I'm unsure if the Government actually specified the specific style as there are some differences in the smocks worn by the children. The few images avaialble at this time suffests that the boys and girls wore smocks of similar style and color. The term used for the school uniform in Greece is "Scholiki podia" or simply "Podia" which means "Apron". This was the standard uniform but in many cases it was acceptable for boys to wear a blue sweater with blue or grey short or long trousers instead. In poor and/or isolated regions teachers and school authorities tolerated non-uniformed students. As a result almost none of the children in those areas wore a uniform in school. The democratic Karamanlis government of 1974 changed the shool uniform requirements. Now, boys and girls in Demotiko had to wear the blue smock with a large white collar and there were theoretically no exceptions to the rule. School photographs during this period, however, show considerable divrsity in what the children wore. This varied greatly from school to school and over time. There were no regulations as to what children wore with their smocks. More and more boys began wearing long pants to school during this period--especilly in the cooler winter months. In 1982 the social democrat government of Andreas Papandreou abolished the school uniform once and forever. Smocks continued to be worn at some private schools for a few years. Greek children, especially the boys, never wear smocks to school any more. They much prefer the popular "formes".
Greek boys in Gymnasio (secondary school) commonly wore suits or sports jackets and slacks. Through the early 1950s, short pants were also common. By the 1960s schoolwear became mucvh more casual and suits were rarely seen.
Some schools in the 1950s and 60s did not strictly eforce the rules about school smocks. Many boys wore blue sweaters with blue or grey short or long trousers instead.
Most Greek boys beginning in the 1920s wore short pants to school. This was not a school requirement, just that most Greek boys at the time wore short pants. Most elementary schools in the late 1980s had uniforms with short pants. Nowdays its very rare to find a school with a shorts parade uniform even if it is an elementary school. Bell bottoms pants and long hair became were extremely fashionable in Greece during the 1970s. School authorities at first prohibited both, but found these regulations increasingly difficult to enforce by the late 1970s.
A gym or physical education (PE) called "formes" was adopted in the 1970s, but in the 1980s became popular as ordinary schoolwear. One major change from the mid-70s on was the introduction of a specific sport outfit for the class of physical education. Cotton trousers with matched tops were required for both boys and girls in Demotiko and Gymnasio. At the beginning teachers tolerated students who couldn't afford them but when they became
cheap in late 70s they were strictly required for PE class. The term used for this outfit is "forma" or in plural "formes" which means uniform in Greek. In the 1980s
with the abolisshment of school uniform, children began wearing their formes to class as school garments rather than PE garments. But they have nothing to do with
school uniforms since students can buy any type and color they like. Since the late 80s Nike, Adidas and other brands are prefered by students over the classic
"made in Greece" cheap cotton forms. They continue to be very popular.
Related Chronolgy Pages in the Boys' Historical Web Site
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