Turkish School Garments: Smock



Figure 1.--This boy is shoping after school. He wars a side-buttoning smock. Notice the embridered star design on the breast pocket of his smock. His white collar does not have a design and is a Peter Pan Collar. Also notice the color-coordinated blue straps of his book bag.

Turkey has a similar school uniform smock for primary school children, both boys and girls. We are not sure just when this style was first implemented, but we believe it continues to be worn today. It appears to be a European style adopted as part of secular educational reforms. It may be an Italian inflience.As far as we can determine, Turkey has only one school uniform garment--the school smock. Blue was the most common color, but there appears to have been some variation. The smocks here is a light blue. HBC has noted smocks in different shades of blue, including a dark navy blue looking rather like black. Older image show a darker smocks while the more recent photographs like the one here showna lihter shade of blue (figure 1). A HBC reader reports, "When I travelled around Turkey in the early 1970s the schoolboy smocks I recall were black in colour." We notice some style variations. There appaer to be both back and side buttoning smocks as wellas front-buttoning smocks. Early images appear to show mostly wear a back-buttoning style--some with smocking. They are a shorter cut smock than those worn in Europe. We see boys wearing both short and long pants with them. The smocks were worn with Peter Pan and pointed collars. The buttons can differ. Some children have blue bottons while others have white buttons which stand out more. All of these smocks are made in rather short lengths, basically jacket lenggths just below the waistline. As far as we can tell, boys and girls wear the same styles of smock. There are more differences in the collar. The collar seems to ve sewn onto the smock rather than a blouse or skirt worn under the smock. It is worn with a wide white collars, often Peter Pan collars. We have seen different collar styles. The boy standing here has more of a Peter Pan collar. Some boys had pointed collars styled more like Etons. Many of the girls have collars with scalloped edging. We note that many boys and girls wear embroidered designs on these collars. We see some are the Islamic cresant and star that are a symbol of Turkey, but there are many other designs as well. Some children had smocks with breast pocket, some of which had embroidere bdesigns such as star. This may indicate the school.

Level

As far as we can determine, Turkey has only one school uniform garment--the school smock. Turkey has a similar school uniform smock for primary school children, both boys and girls. Smocks may also be worn in middle schools. We are not yet sure about that.

Chronology

The first school smocks in Turkey appeared in private Christian schools. The first was the Sisters of Notre Dame de Sion (1856). They did not at first have much impact and The Oyyoman Empire dis jot have a comprehensive public school system, but they seemed vo have created an image of modern European education that many Turks noticed. They were black smocks worn with large white collars. [Özen] Another Christian school, Saint Joseph was founded by Soeurs de Saint Joseph in Turkey. [Curtis, 1995, p. 484.] They bwere another model for black smocks with white collars. Some Turkish children began wearing black smocks to school in the early 20th century before the schhols required it, but this is difficult to quantify. The Tukish Republic which emerged from World War I took an interrest in clothing as partbof a modernizatiin and secularization effort. The fez was banned and religious garb (especially relate to girls) was banned in the schools. We are not sure just when black msmocks became common in the public schools. n\but this appears to have been before they were specifically mandated by the ministry of education. There wre quite a few regulationms about clothing issued by the Ministry (1924-34). As best we can tell, black smocks and white collars were a uniform requirement (1930s). Subsequent regulations shifted the color from black to blue. We do mot yet have images from the inter-War era. Images from the post-World War II era show all mprimary school children wearing black or blue smocks with white collars. The earliest images wee have found come from what looks like the 1950s. We believe that the smocks with white collars were introduced before World War II, but we are not sure just when. It must have been a Ministry of Education regulation as smocks with whhite collars were so universally worn by school children. And smock colors were also universally adopted. The Ministry of Education apparently decided to end the blue smock requirement and permit other uniform styles (2010). The Ministry made the change to make students feel comfortable within school the school environment. [Hesapçioglu and Giorgetti]

Influence

It appears to be a European style adopted as part of secular educational reforms. It may be an Italian inflience. Early Tukish school smocks done in dark colors and wide white collars look very much like contemporary Italian school smocks. Itlalian influence may see unlikely as a trsilt of the collapse of European Fascisma nd the crimes associated with it. But before the War, Italy amd Itlalian ideas were was veru influenntial in Europe. Mussollimi even had admirers in America, and not just within the Italian community. This was especially true after the outbreak of the Depression (1929).

Color

Blue was the most common color, but there appears to have been some variation. The smocks here is a light blue. This color seems very commom in modern Turklish school smocks. HBC has noted smocks in different shades of blue, including a dark navy blue looking rather like black. Older image show a darker smocks while the more recent photographs like the one here showna lihter shade of blue (figure 1). The early smocks look to be blacl or navy blue. It is not possible destingish these dark shades in black and white photographs. A HBC reader reports, "When I travelled around Turkey in the early 1970s the schoolboy smocks I recall were black in colour." We are not bsure, but he may not be destinguishing between black and navy blue.

Styles

We notice some style variations. There appaer to be both back and side buttoning smocks as wellas front-buttoning smocks. Early images appear to show mostly wear a back-buttoning style--some with smocking. They are a shorter cut smock than those worn in Europe. We see boys wearing both short and long pants with them. The smocks were worn with Peter Pan and pointed collars. The buttons can differ. Some children have blue bottons while others have white buttons which stand out more. Some children had smocks with breast pocket, some of which had embroidere bdesigns such as star. This may indicate the school.

Collars

Turkish school smocks are worn with wide white collars. The collar seems to be sewn onto the smock rather than a blouse or shirt worn under the smock. They are worn with wide white collars, often Peter Pan collars. They vary omewhat in size. We have seen different collar styles. The boy standing here has a Peter Pan collar (figure 1). Some boys had pointed collars styled more like Etons. Many of the girls have collars with scalloped edging. We note that many boys and girls wear embroidered designs on these collars. We see some are the Islamic cresant and star that are a symbol of Turkey, but there are many other designs as well.

Lengths

All of these smocks are made in rather short lengths, basically jacket lenggths just below the waistline.

Gender

Both boys and girls wore school smocks. At first boys and girls wore the same styles of smock of back buttoning, smocked smock. There seem to be gender differences developing in recent years. There are more differences in the collar.

Sources

Curtis, A. S. "Lay habits: Religious teachers and the secularization crisis of 1901-1904," French History Vol. 9, No. 4 (1995), pp. 478-98.

Hesapçioglu, Muhsin and F󰁩l󰁩z Meseci Giorgetti. "The origin of black mmock and white collar".

Özen, S. Yüzelli Yılın Tanığı Notre Dame de Sion (İstanbul: Yapı Kredi Yayın-ları, 2006).







HBC-SU







Related Chronolgy Pages in the Boys' Historical Web Site
[Late 19th century] [The 1930s] [The 1940s] [The 1930s] [The 1940s] [The 1950s] [The 1960s] [The 1970s] [The 1980s]



Related Style Pages in the Boys' Historical Web Site
[Long pants suits] [Knicker suits] [Smocks] [Socks] [Eton suits] [Jacket and trousers] [Blazer] [School sandals]



Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Page
[Return to the Main Turkish school garment page]
[Return to the Main Turkish smock page]
[Return to the Main school smock country page]
[About Us]
[Activities] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries] [Debate] [Economics] [Garment] [Gender] [Hair] [History] [Home trends] [Literary characters]
[School types] [Significance] [Transport and travel [Uniform regulations] [Year level] [Other topics]
[Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Return to the Historic Boys' School Home]





Created: November 13, 2002
Last updated: 11:14 AM 4/11/2019