Thursday 21 October 2010

Boys in shorts

My son has been getting some strange looks the last few days as he has chosen to wear shorts even though the temperature has been close to zero. I did persuade him to wear knee high socks to keep most of his skin covered but all the other children were well wrapped up:

He looked very old fashioned from the days when boys wore shorts all year round whatever the weather. My dad grew up in the 50s and remembers not having long trousers until he was older. Putting boys in shorts was probably practical as it reduced the number of knees that needed patching! Boys had a right of passage at 13 - 14 when they were finally allowed to wear long trousers.

Boys must have been a lot hardier then as they weren't living in houses with central heating. Also materials used for making clothes were more durable and warm such as wool instead of the cheap man-made fibres our kids' clothes are made of today. Were they also tougher than boys today whose mums wrap them up as soon as the temperature drops below 10C?

Whilst looking into the history of boys in shorts I came across this debate about a primary school causing furore by trying to insist that all boys wore shorts. It was quite interesting reading the different points of view!

So even though I'm not happy about my son wearing shorts in wintry weather I think I'll let him decide on what he wears. He'll learn soon enough that maybe long trousers are warmer even if they can get in the way of young boys pursuits!


  1. At my son's school, they have to wear shorts until the autumn holiday in a couple of weeks. After that, it's optional until the spring holiday.

  2. My brother wears shorts all year round!

  3. My boy will only wear shorts - I've brought all different types of long trousers but there is no way he will wear any!

    I'm glad to hear it's not just a problem that I have!

  4. Spencer a friend has resorted to hiding all the shorts!


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