I was born in 1938 and was 12 in 1950, roughly the period I am writing
about. I don't know if many people had the kind of social mobility that
had. My father was a veteran on disability and it was the government
insisted that we move into a ranch style house in the upper middle
neighborhood -- which bordered on the upper upper class neighborhoods on
West side of Worcester, Massachusetts.
American children of all social classes in 1950 dressed almost alike,
in jeans and (usually) white T-shirts. There were no T-shirts with logos on them, at least that I can recall. There were, however, some minor differences.
When I moved from a working class neighborhood to a lower middle class neighborhood in 1948 I was struck by the one obvious difference: poor boys wore sneakers while lower middle class boys wore shoes. The shoes were impractical but they wore them, even when playing baseball. At least in Worcester, Massachusetts. Then, in 1949, I moved to an upper middle class neighborhood. Dress was similar to the working class and lower middle class neighborhoods except that the boys wore mocasins instead of either sneakers or shoes. I know that the movies show American boys at the time all wearing sneakers, but in my experience that wasn't the case with my experience.
Most sneakers then were black Keds. I think some of the older boys in the
upper middle class neighborhood wore white tennis shoes 1n 1949, much like
the tennis shoes of today. I am almost certain that the older (teen age)
girls wore them. In the working class neighborhood it
was the black Keds. You may be right about changing from shoes to sneakers
after school. I do remember boys playing ball in leather shoes in the lower
middle class neighborhood. I am pretty sure that none of the upper middle
class boys ever wore those black sneakers
A lot of the family photographs we took were of us all dressed up in
our best clothes. I'll have to check the photograph albumn.
I recall one other interesting difference between the different neighborhoods
we lived in. Most of the time all boys in
Worcester in 1949 wore jeans and a white T-shirt when not in school. But
sometimes the upper middle class boys on the West side wore shorts. They
were made of sturdy material and not far different from the kinds of shorts
boys wear now. The boys in the working class neighborhood would never wear
shorts. They would have called them "short pants" rather than "shorts" and
seen them as juvenile or even sissified.
There were other differences in terminology between the two neighborhoods.
A few years later, in 1954, teen age boys took to wearing chino pants in addition to jeans. On the West side
they were called "chinos," while on the working class East side they were
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