French School Smocks: Demographic Trends

Figure 1.--This photograph of Paris boys up to little develment after school show only one of the boys wearing a school smock, in this case a front buttoning smock. I'm not sure when famed French photographer Doisneau. One report suggests the 1930s. 

French boys through the 1920s very commonly wore smocks. This included both boys in the city, small towns, and rural villages. This begab to change in the 1930s. Smocks contnued to be very commonly worn in rural villages. Many boys in city schools also wore smocks, but am increasing number began going to school without smocks. I'm not positive why this was. Did city mothers no longer think that smocks wertr needed. Or was it the boys who no longer wanted to wear them to school. City boys are of course more intuned and this probably explains why it was in Paris and the other cities that boys first stopped wearing smocks. Smocks did not totally disappear in the cities. Some schools required them, but most did not leaving it to the parents.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: January 3, 1998
Last updated: December 29, 2001