In the Soviet Union, school uniforms were strict. The boys' costumes resembled a soldier's tunic, both in cut and in pure utility. The girls' dresses also did not shine with special beauty. Schoolgirls attended school in a modest brown uniform with a white apron, cuffs and a collar.
The apron was once intended to protect the dress from ink. If a schoolgirl accidentally knocked over the can of ink on herself, only the apron suffered, but not the whole dress. And Soviet girls strongly disliked collars with cuffs. Try to rip off the gray parts of your clothes once a week, wash them separately from the dress, and then sew them back on!
For the first time, a school uniform appeared in tsarist Russia in the middle of the 19th century. Its design was borrowed from British schoolchildren. At that time there were no women's educational institutions, so only gymnasium students and cadets sported in uniforms.
The female school uniform appeared only at the end of the century before last and did not last long. In the post-revolutionary Union, it was dubbed a relic of the bourgeois past. In fact, special clothing for schoolchildren was abandoned due to the general poverty of the parents of the early USSR.
Only later, after the Second World War, the uniform was returned again. The idea of unification now dominated the masses. Identical uniforms for boys and dresses for girls were seen not as imitation of the West, but as proof of the universal equality of Soviet children.
As mentioned above, a soldier's uniform served as a model for a men's school suit. So the boys seemed to be reminded of their duty in terms of protecting their homeland and hinted where most of them would go after graduation. But with the girls, everything was a little more complicated …
Today, many researchers agree that the schoolgirl costume evolved from the maid's dress. Today this image of a maid has acquired a very frivolous association. And earlier, at the time when the dress of the Soviet schoolgirl was created, the life of a maid was primarily associated with constant, endless work.
Modest and businesslike maids were busy around the house all day long. A good maid had to be quiet and inconspicuous, but at the same time look decent, so as not to harm the reputation of the people who serve, eat and live with.
Modesty, chastity, hard work - I bet it was this set of associations that guided Soviet specialists when creating school uniforms for girls. If the boys were raised to be future soldiers, then the girls were prepared for the role of mother and mistress of the house.
It is clear that this symbolic unification did not last long. Soon, each Soviet republic introduced its own form. Tellingly, it was not forbidden to wear the uniform of the other edge, and among schoolgirls it was generally revered for special chic. By the eighties, the classic form was gradually becoming a thing of the past.