** school uniform: Russia -- post-Stalinist Soviet era school uniforms

Soviet School Uniform: Post Stalinist Era--School Uniforms

Figure 1.--This family snapshot kooks to have been taken in the early-1970s. We believe that it was taken on September 1, because the children have flowers to take to the teacher on the first day of school. The older boy and girl wear school uniform. The boy seens to have a Young Pioneer scarf and wears a non-military suit jacket. The girl wears a fark dress and white pinafore. She doesn't wear a Pioneer scarf. So the boy probably is 10-11 years old and the girl 9-10. The younger boy seems to be pre-school age, because he doesn't have a school bag and flowers. I don't know what type of hosiery he wears -- tights or stockings, probably stockings.

There were several chronolgical changes in the Soviet school uniform during the post-Stalinist era. The date of a school photograh can thus be estimated by the clothes/uniforms that the children are wearing. The old Stalinist-era uniform continued to be worn in the 1950s. The basic uniform was not changed until 1962. There followed further changes. We have some basic informations about the different uniforms worn over time. Hopefully our Russian readers can provide more detail.


Stalin died after sufferung a stroke (1953). Had he not been having his Jewisgh dictors being tortuted in the Lubianka. He was denounced by Khrushchev 3 years later (1956). As fae as we know, there were no important change in school uniforms made durung this period. It was, however, that the iviet economy was funally recovering from the disaster of World War II. Living conditions were improving. The improvements were not comparable to what was occurriung in the West, but there were improvements over conditions in the Soviet Union with more consumer goods including clothing available vthan ever before.


A new school uniform was introduced which was grey woolen suits with jackets that had four buttons. We are not sure how rigorous school authorities were with the uniform. The boy here about 1970 wears what looks like a grey suit (figure 1). He has his scarf on under the jacket, although it is difficult to see. The girl wears a dark dress and pinafore. We are not sure about the color. I have seen both blue and brown dresses.


A Russian reader tells us, "Another new uniform was introduced in 1973. It was a dark blue suit from the half-woolen fabric, decorated with an emblem and aluminium buttons. Matching pants and jacket with five aluminium buttons, cuffs and two breast pockets with [?valves]. Girls continued to wear pinafortes." We think that there were some differences among the barious vonstituent republics, even from school to school. We see many portraits during this perios that show no sign of aliminum buttons. What we tend to see is boys wearing suit jackets with noi sign of military features like Epaulettes. We are nor sure about the color, but we think were mostly dark blue. We have few color images unrilk the 1880s. The girls' dresses also seemn to be dark blie. Girls in the Ukraine may have worn brown dresses. We have noticed features trhat werebnot standards (all union) throughout the Soviet Union, like white collars for the boys. It is possibkle that indiuvidual schools may have added uniform features.


Some schools in 1988 stop requiring children to wear mandatory school uniforms. Many children still wore the uniform, but gradually fewer and fewer children. The time line of this process varied somewhat regionally.


A mandatory school uniform at state schools was abolished in 1992 with the end of the Soviet Union. Children began wearing their street clothes. I think some private schools now have uniforms, but I have little information here.


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Created: 3:10 AM 7/18/2006
Last updated: 4:32 PM 4/29/2021