The Uniform


The distinctive uniform of Christ’s Hospital is one of the School's most public and enduring features.  It is remarkable that in this age of rapidly-changing fashions, the outer long blue coat and distinctive yellow socks of the uniform have remained virtually unchanged for over 460 years.

In recent years pupils have been given the opportunity to complete a survey to find out their opinions of their iconic Tudor uniform and the results have been overwhelmingly positive.

“The uniform is a very important part of the School’s history and heritage. The uniform isn’t something you wear; it’s a symbol of an opportunity that we are all very fortunate to have and should take full advantage of.”

When the School was founded over four and half centuries ago, the City of London gathered up ‘fatherless and poor children’ and cared for them. Through the generosity of the citizens of London smart new clothes were provided for the children of Christ’s Hospital.

The early uniform was, in accord with Tudor style, very colourful. There has been much speculation as to why blue and yellow was chosen.  It was thought that both these colour dyes were not expensive, but blue and yellow could also have been chosen to distinguish the children within the care of Christ’s Hospital from those attending other schools. The linings of the coats were dyed yellow and their ‘stockings’ were always knee length and also dyed yellow.

The buttons on the blue outer coat depict the head of the School’s Founder, King Edward VI and were introduced a little over 200 years ago.  These still have importance, signified by the fact that the highest distinction is the award of academic ‘buttons’. Large silver buttons and velvet cuffs are the mark of a Grecian (Sixth Form pupil) who, in his or her final year, has demonstrated outstanding academic performance in more than one subject.

Today, the uniform is still provided free to all the pupils.  They all wear the distinctive outer blue coat; the boys with breeches and the girls with pleated skirts.  Yellow socks are worn instead of stockings (senior girls can choose to wear black tights) and white cotton shirt with ‘bands’ (similar to a lawyer’s or priest’s stock) instead of a regular school tie.  The leather belt is belted and buckled differently according to the pupil’s year group.