New Zealand Boyhood: The 1950s

Figure 1.--.

I went to school in the late 40s and 50s in New Zealand. I spent nearly 5 years as a boarder. I wore uniform the whole time that I went to school. I wore gray uniform at all schools that I went to. Some schools had navy blue uniform. I wanted to go to a school that had the navy blue school shorts but that never happened. We had pretty tough school rules especially at boarding school. Corporal punshment was common and quite severe.

I wore corduroy shorts to a school I went to in the early 50s it was a school in the poorer part of town and Money was in short supply as well as clothing. The school had a uniform code. The girls wore white shirt or gray, blue gym slips or blue pinafores, blue bloomers, gray soxs and brown shoes. The boys wore gray shirt, brown or blue corduroy or tweed or gray shorts. (All of these shorts were lined with white cotton or old cotton flower bags) gray soxs and brown shoes. I wore brown corduroy shorts and they were lined with old flower bags. I also had several pairs of corduroy's as I got older but these weren't school wear. I had blue, brown, black and a wine colored pairs. I liked my cords as they were comfortable and soft. Only the first school pair were lined with old flower bags the others were all lined with plain cotton. I still had a pair at 16 and wore them in spite of being well out of fashion.

Cord shorts weren't all that common for schoolwear. They were mostly worn at schoolos in the late 40s and eraly 50s. They weren't really part of school uniform, but were allowed if your parents were poor and couldn't afford proper school shorts. Cords were a lot more common for after schoolwear, usually blue or brown, but there were other colors. I had mostly brown. Cords just disappeared off the market toward the early 1960s. I still had cord shorts at age 16. The cords rarely had a fly and were normally lined with cotton.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: October 15, 2000
Last updated: October 20, 2000