English Boyhood Clothes in the 1970s: Stephen

School Uniform

During the seventies the typical school appearal for junior boys was a grey school uniform,shirt,tie, v-neck jumper, short trousers and kneesocks. Until the age of 11, I wore that typical uniform. Your web site has brought back a few memories.

In my younger years, I always hated having to wear shorts, either for school or casual play clothes. It made me feel infantile as I had such respect for my father I wanted to be like him and short trousers wasn't what he wore, so I didn't belive I should wear them. However I remember at about the age of 8, I must of harrased my mother so much she finaly gave in and bought me some longs for school.

Long trousers weren't part of my school uniform. I remember that cold monday morning walking to school, friends commenting on my trousers, I presume with jeliousy. Whispers and comments from teachers went on all day. Even my form teacher pulled me to one side and commented with discust. The following day, at assembly, the Headmaster stood upon the stage in front of the hall to address the staff and pupils with his usual speech and prayers. As this was his normal procedure, I didn't expect what was to follow. His words were something like "must I remind all boys that our school uniform includes short trousers, boys must wear them." (This produced a smirk from my form teacher, Mr. Summers.) The Headmaster continued, emphatically declaring that "they did us now harm." As I was the only boy in the school who was wearing long trousers, a blush came over me like a tidal wave.

The next day before assembley, I came into school and sat down at my desk which was at the front of the class. As usual our form teacher walked in. He got down on his hands and knees as he approached my desk, looked under my desk to see my bare knees, and was satisfied.

Yes, I had disregarded those long trousers a day later. The previous days embarassment was too much. Although that battle was won as for wearing school uniform, my mother still had a battle at home for a few years, needless to say she won!


Christopher Wagner


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Created: February 5, 1999
Last updated: February 5, 1999