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A Short History Of School Uniform In Sydney And Elsewhere In Australia

Updated: Sep 18, 2018

The Australian school system has its origins in the colonial British era. It was, therefore, of little wonder that in the initial days of the introduction of school uniforms in Australia in the latter part of the 19th century, the dress should closely match those work by Britons. But to the credit of administrators of the Australian school system, the dress code was modified to match the warmer climate prevalent in Australia. It should also be noted in this context that these days the laid-back culture is more reflected in the school uniforms of children in Australia than ever before.

The 1900s

In the early days of the 20th century, children were accustomed to attending school walking barefoot though a form of uniform was indeed present. Caps and sailor suits were the common attire of Australian school going children of those days. These were found in both peaked and flat avatars. Some schools had no school uniform as such and the boys school uniform in Sydney was mostly suits. Before the onset of the First World War, collars like those worn by boys studying at Eton were common along with knee-length pants and knickerbockers.

Post WW I

In the post-war era, suits were discarded in favor of a more formal dress consisting of blazers, caps and a creased flannel short. Slowly schools were implementing a common dress code. Tights were discarded in favor of knee socks for the boys.

The 1960s

Till the 1950s the Australian School Dress resembled that of the British. Short trousers were the norm for boys attending even secondary schools coupled with blazers, knee-length socks, caps and ties. But during the 60s of the previous century style and culture underwent a mammoth change the world over. The trend was evident in Australian school uniforms also. Caps, ties, blazers were discarded but some schools still wanted the kids to wear them though it was not required by law. The difference the weather of Australia and that of Britain was finally paid attention to as the country modified its school dress accordingly.

Slowly modern long and short trousers were replacing their outdated flannel short counterparts. The school shirts were made more casual and had pointed collars which were in vogue in those days. Schools became more lenient as far as school uniforms were concerned and children were now free to take their pick from V-neck sweater and crew neck sweaters. Some schools even permitted children wearing roll neck jumpers during the chill of the winter months.

The Present

Things got even more relaxed with the passage of time and the 80s witnessed the diversity of school uniforms in the soil of Australia to be at a high. Some schools indeed still have the old world dress code of formal school shirts with blazers and ties but most of the mainstream schools had switched to a more casual school uniform consisting of polo shirts or sweatshirts with logos and comfortable cotton shorts or pants.

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