England: 1960s Boys' Clothing

My earliest recollections of the clothing I wore as a boy, were of my school uniform. I remember really wanting to have one of my own, after my elder brother got his and I think I was very jealous of him at that time. We both went to prep school, and the uniform as described in my previous e-mail was every day wear from the ages of 5 through 12, including the school cap I forgot to mention.

For games and physical education at school we wore a white vest ("T"-shirt), red shorts, white ankle socks and black plimsoles (sneakers)--these had an elastic gusset in place of laces). When we played cricket, our whites, consisted of shirt, pullover, short trousers, kneesocks and cricket shoes. The football kit was similar to the rugby kit which had a red and gold striped shirt white shorts and red socks with gold bands at the top.

When I was around 6 or 7 years old, I recall wearing denim bib and brace shorts, polo shirts, ankle or knee socks (usually plain grey, oatmeal, or white). After school I mostly wore sandles or plimsoles during the summer, shoes in winter. Also around this time, about 1964, I remember getting a 'Beetle suit' and a pair of 'winkle picker' boots. The suit had the first pair of long trousers, I ever remember wearing.

Between the ages of 8 and 11 years, I was a Cub Scout. The Cubs uniform used grey school shorts, plain grey kneesocks, with green garters (tabs) black shoes, green jumper with scout motif on the left breast, green cap with gold stripes and a neckercheif.

When I was about 10 years old I remember 'Levis' jeans were all the fashion and the boy who lived next door to me, actually got a pair. The other boys who lived in our neighbourhood (myself included) were probably jealous of him, as nobody else could afford or were allowed them.

I was about this age when I attended my cousins wedding as a pageboy. The outfit I had to wear looked like a Little Lord Funtleroy suit. It consisted of a cream blouse, with large lacy collar maroon vevet jacket and knickerbockers, white kneesocks and black patent Mary Jane strap shoes. I remember hating the outfit and being teased unmercifully both during the reception and for weeks afterwards, by my brother and several cousins who lived close by and had also attended the wedding.

At the age of 12 I left prep-school and went on to a secondry modern. At this time I was eventually allowed to wear long trousers with my new uniform, which was predominantly green. The blazer was bottle green with silver piping and had the school badge on the left breast pocket. With this was worn a white shirt, green and silver striped tie, grey v-neck pullover, grey or black long or short trousers, grey socks and black shoes or T-Bar schoolsandles. Short trousers were worn by probably half the first year boys and very few second years (13 years old). None were worn at school by boys older than this, that I can recall. I beleive that it was around this time that a fashion footwear came over from the states, that being baseball boots. These boots were made of black canvas with white piping and laces and had a white round rubber blob stuck on the side for ankle protection. I remember having a frightful argument with my father, because he gave me the money to buy a pair of tennis shoes and I came home with baseball boots.

I joined the Boy Scouts when I was about 12 years old. The Scout uniform at that time was made up of a green beret, light brown shirt, neckercheif with leather woggle, light brown shorts, greeny/brown kneesocks garters and black shoes. This uniform was worn not only by the boys but also senior scouts and leaders.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: April 25, 1998
Last updated: April 25, 1998