School Uniform: Headwear


Figure 1.--Many European boys in the late-19th and early-20 cenury wore peaked military caps. There were several differnt styles. Sone boys even ore them with sailor suits. We have not noted them being worn in Europe after the 1920s. They are still widely worn in Japan, mostly by boys in secondary school. Before World War II primary school boys also wore these caps, but after the War they became mostly wore by boys in secondary schools.

School children around the world have worn a variety of different hat and cap styles. We are just beginning to acquire information on some of these headwear garments. Others we have collected considerable information. Perhaps the most widely worn school cap as part of a uniform was the peaked school cap which originated in England, but caps were worn in other countries as well. It was England, however, wear the cap reached almost universal status as a required part of any schoolboy's attire. Virtually all British schoolboys wore peaked caps through the 1950s. Both state and private schools required them. Some schools in the alte 20th century adoptedca related style--the American baseball cap. A popular hat style was rge English boater, worn at many English public schools. French boys commonly wore berets. Belgian boys also wore berets, but also a campaign styled cap was popular after World War II. Many American boys wore flat caps to school in the eraly 20th century, but these were not a uniform cap. As the sailor suit was a popular style for schoolwear. Many boys in the late 19th and early 20th century wore sailor caps and hats, but again these were not part of a school uniform. Quite a range of other styles have been worn to school. The styling of cold wear caps in particular has varied widely. Balaclavas have also been worm, but not as a uniform garment.

Chronology

We note many kinds of school headwear being wirn over time. There were substantial differences between countries. We are not sure of school headwear styles before the modern era. We note European and American boys in the early 19th century wearing a military peaked cap, often with tassle. This was based on military caps worn during the Napoleoniv Wars. At mid-century we have seen boys at English private schools (preparatory and public) wearing mortor boards which was a style first adopted at medival universities. We also note the appearance of the English school cap, a style which was first worn at private schools, but eventually becme a standard school style at state schools as well. The school cap would be commonly worn through thr 1950s and is still worn at a few prep schools. Germamn schools did not have school unifirms, but secondary schools dis have uniform caps--a military-styled peaked cap. This style was worn in the mid-19th century and was widely worn in German until World War II. Younger boys wore them even though their schools did not require them. Japanese schools in the late-19th century adopted Prussian cadet caps which are still worn today at some schools. American boys did not have school caps, but the flat cap as so widely worn in the early 20th century that it may be considered a school style. Beanies were also popular. The same might be said about the baseball cap by the 1970s. We see many French boys wearing betets in the early 20th century. Thy were very common until after World War II.

Styles

Here are some of the school uniform headwear styles for which we have developed information. There are qite arange of different styles. Here we are primarily focusing on caps worn as part of uniforms, but many other headwearstyles were worn to school by boys not wearing uniforms. Some schools in the alte 20th century adoptedca related style--the American baseball cap. American boys wore baseball caps as part of casual dress. Some schools in Australia nd New Zealand adopted the vaseball cap as part of the school uniform, some wiyh sun protection alterations. This trend has been less common in England. A popular hat style was the English boater, worn at many English public schools as well as in schools in various English colonies (Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa). The boater is still worn at some schools, but mostly for special occassions. Many girls schools have adopted the boater in England so today it is more wodely worn by girl sthan boys. French boys commonly wore berets. Belgian boys also wore berets. Belgian boys also wore a campaign styled cap was popular after World War II. Many American boys wore flat caps to school in the early 20th century, but these were not a uniform cap. As the sailor suit was a popular style for schoolwear. Many European boys in the late-19th and early-20 cenury wore peaked military caps. We have noted these caps especially in Germany, but they appaer to have been worn to a lesser extent in other European countries as well. There were several differnt styles. These were not part of uniforms, but rather worn with the boys ordinary clothes. Few German schools required actual uniforms. Sone boys even wore them with sailor suits. They were worn both as part of a standadized school uniform and as a style selected individually. We have also noted them worn with sailor suits. The peaked school cap originated in England, but caps were worn in other countries as well. It was England, however, wear the cap reached almost universal status as a required part of any schoolboy's attire. Virtually all British schoolboys wore peaked caps through the 1950s. Both state and private schools required them. A great variety of colors, including circles and school crests decorated these caps which flooded British streets with boys going and coming to school. As the fashion of wearing caps and hats wained, school caps began to disappear in the 1960s. Many boys in the late 19th and early 20th century wore sailor caps and hats, but again these were not part of a school uniform. Quite a range of other styles have been worn to school. The styling of cold wear caps in particular has varied widely. Balaclavas have also been worm, but not as a uniform garment.

Country Trends

HBC has developed information on headwear trends in several countries. Wevhave noted both uniform caps as well as caps worn as part of ordinary clothing. One of the most important is England. The school cap became an icon of English school boys. There were, however also other styles worn in England. Boys there since the demise of the traditional peaked cap do not wear headwear as commonly as they once did. We have also noted German school boys wearing a variety of caps. These may be, however, popular cap styles rather than caps required by schools. We note a kind of peaked military cap worn by German boys, among other styles. We have notice the same style worn in the Netherlands. American boys attending private schools often wore English-style peaked caps. More common at state schools for several decades were flat caps. French boys are associated with the beret. Japanese boys have worn several different styles of school uniform caps. For the mot part this was not a required uniform cap, but rather the headwear chosen by the boys or their parents. Soviet boys wore military-styled caps as part of their school uniforms.






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Created: June 5, 1999
Last updated: 3:19 AM 12/30/2007