Swedish Schoolwear: Individual Schools

Figure 1.--This is a photograph at the Vist school in 1931. It looks like a warm day. The boys wear shirts with both short and long pants. Click on the image to see another photograph of the school from 1925. There have been substantial changes in schoolwear.

We have very limited information on individual Swedish schools at this time. We hope to gradually expand this section as we obtain images of Swedish schools. Many important insights on both fashion and education can be achieved by collecting school images over time. And we are steadily expanding our coverage of Swedish schools. Hopefully some of our Swedish readers will submit some information about their schools so we can better undesstand Swedish school trends. These school photographs not only provide a lot of useful information about the schools, but are a good example of children's clothing fashions over time.

Bjärka-Säby School (about 1920)

This photo was taken at Bjärka-Säby School in southern Sweden (about 1920). Clearly the pupils have dressed up for the photo. We don't think that so boys usually wore their sailor suit at school on a normal day in a rural school like this one. They may jhave been more common in city school. About bare feet, it seem to me that the attitude in northern Europe was different than in in the south. In southern Europe (Spain, Italy, Greece) there are places where children could go barefoot all year round because the warm weather. In Sicily and in Sardinia, for example, many children at the time didn't own any footwear. So the shoes became a status symbol and its lack in an official occasion a sign of poverty. In northern Europe all the children had to wear some sort of footwear in winter. Bare feet were not seen as the sign that the child didn't own any shoes. Moreover the children had to wore shoes during most of the year and probably they were happy to leave the footwear in the short spring and summer.

Carlsson´s School (1960s)

Carlsson´s School was a private school. There was a British-style school uniform, but by the 1960s, few children were wearing it. A Swedish reader writes, "There was a crest on the blazers--the letters "C" and "S". Carlsson´s Skola (Carlsson´s School) uniforms have never been compulsory in Swedish state schools. In contrast they were compuilsory at most private schools. I guess my school was a little bit more liberal, at least from the early 1960s. Even so, many boys wore them because their parents insisted. That was the fact with the girls´ dresses as well, but for them the dress were grey flannel skirts instead. The boys wore white shirts with ties to go with it, the girls did not. By the time I began school in 1962 there were strong influences from both the U.K. and America, I guess this was due to the cultural influences from movies and television. Peaked caps were a part of the uniforms with the crest on them as well, which were green letters by the way. The caps became, however, very unpopular with us boys. We thought they were corny and on top of that, they fell off your head with the slightest puff of wind! Sandals were popular in the warmer periods! As you can see on the picture the girls´ outfits were more of a "grown-up" style (like the blouses e.g.), not very kids-like!"

Jonstorp (1940s-50s)

The Jonstorp school looks to be a small rural school. There were about 30 children of different ages. It is probably a good example of village schools in Sweden. Jonstorp is a village in Skåne County, the southernmost county, or län, of Sweden. We have two images from the school. These photos were taken in the village primary school. The firstphotograph was taken in 1940. The girls allwear dresses. The boys wear shirts, jackets, and sweaters with short pants, knickers, and long pants. Some of the younger boys are barefoot. This seems more varied than one would see at many European schools at the time. Another photograph was taken 10 years later in 1950. All of the girls wear dresses and most are still wearing pinafores.

Långshyttan School (1912)

This photo shows a Swedish school class in 1912. The photo was taken in Långshyttan, a village about 200 km north of Stockholm. In the back we can see the school building.

Skolen School (1945)

This is the first year class at the the skolen school. We are not sure what 'skolen' means. The photograph was taken in October 1945. You can see that the leaves hasve mostly fallen off thetrees. It does not seem real cold, but most of the boys wear sweaters or jackets. Some wear short pants with long stovkings. Others seem to be wearing knickers, but they may be long pants. Thereseem to be three girls. Two wear dsses. The third seems to bewearing a bib-front long pants play suit.

Trolle Ljungby Skola (1934-35)

This photograph shows a mixed Swedish school class (1934-35). The school is the Trolle Ljungby Skola. The children seem to be about 12-13 years of age. Most of the boys seem to be wearing short trousers with long stockings accompanied by suit jackets or sweaters. V-neck sweaters are seen as are jackets with zippers. The boys who are not in short pants seem to wearing knickers--probably with knee socks. The girls seem to be wearing light-weight dresses, many of them of printed material. I suspect these kids are either at the upper level of primary school or in one of the early high-school classes.

Vist School (1931)

We know very little about the Vist School at this time. Presumably it is the primary school in the town of Vist. We do not know enough about Sewden to know just where that is. The image here is from 1931 (figure 1) Another view at the school is available from 1925. The school looks to be a fairly substantial one with classes for each grade level.

Ydrefors School (1944)

Ydrefors is today a tiny village located in the middle of an immense pine forest of south centrl Sweden. We notice a photograph of the village school during World War II. The village at the time was larger with a sawmill, shops, a school, and even a railway station. There were many active farms in the surrounding area. Today the farms are mostly gone and the few people remaining in the village work in nearby towns. We notice the Ydrefors village school in 1944. That was of course during World War II which was raging all around Sweden. Norway and Denmark were still occupied by the Germans and Finland which joined the Germans was trying to extricate itself from the War. Notice that quite a few of the girls wear pinafores. The boys seem to wear a variety of clothes. We notice long ski-like knickers that are gathered at the ankle, long trousers (with suspenders in some cases), and also short trousers with long stockings. The children seem to be of slighlty mixed ages as onevmightvexpect from a village school. They seem to be from about 9-12 years old. Notice the woman teacher standing at the rear left.

Unidentified Primary School (1917)

This is a primary school class somewhere in Sweden, taken in 1917. This was during World War I, but Sweden managed to stay out of the War. Notice the school caps worn by most of the boys. One boy in the front wears a wool flat cap. The girls wear berets or cloche hats for the most part. The boys are wearing knee pants, long black stockings, and shirts or jackets that mostly button up to the neck, although one boy wears his collar unbuttoned. These children seem to be about 10 or 11 years old--seventh graders in American terms. The photo was probably taken at the end of a school year, perhaps in June (notice the greenery and the jackets that some of the children are wearing). It was probably taken just outside the school where the children are taught.


Related Chronolgy Pages in the Boys' Historical Web Site
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Related Style Pages in the Boys' Historical Web Site
[Long pants suits] [Short pants suits] [Socks] [Eton suits] [Jacket and trousers] [Blazer] [School sandals]

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Created: 11:46 PM 10/10/2004
Last updated: 3:40 AM 10/24/2015