School Uniform: English School Cap Conventions

British school caps
Figure 1.--British school boys commonly work the traditional peaked cap through the 1950s. By the 1980s they were being worn at only a few prep schools.

The English school cap has come in our modern age to be associated with exclusive private schools because since the 1960s only traditional preparatory schools required the boys to wear caps. Before the 1960s, however, virtually all English boys wore caps to school. They were widely worn even at primary schools that did not require uniforms. Virtually all secondary schools required them, both private and public. Not only were they worn to school, but until the 1960s, boys even worn them when not goung to school. A British contributor reports that "... even into the 1950s boys wore school caps both in an out of school. Even in the early 1960s I wore my school cap into town on Saturdays when I went shopping with my mother. The seismic change of attitude towards uniforms amongst the young was still a year or two away." Schools were often very strict about wearing the caps. They gradually became rather unpopular with the boys and by the1980s only a few prep schools were still requiring them.

Related Cap Pages in the Boys' Historical Web Site
[Return to the Main English school cap page]
[Return to the Main cap page]
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Created: 6:09 AM 10/4/2007
Last updated: 6:09 AM 10/4/2007