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"[A uniform] gives a certain prestige in the community. When a girl is seen in uniform, people recognize her as a girl who is courteous and obliging… The uniform puts every girl on the same footing…[and] makes a useful dress for her to work and play in at the meetings."
—Girl Scout Leader's Manual, circa 1917
Of all the changes in Girl Scouting throughout its history, perhaps the most apparent is in the uniform. Influenced by supply, demand, and fashion, the modifications reveal the organization's response to the changing needs of girls. Regardless of whether or not it's made of cotton, wool, rayon, or nylon, the uniform has always symbolized the high ideals for which Girl Scouting stands.
Our Featured Exhibit highlights the different styles of dress for Girl Scouts of all ages and reveals how utility and style have blended so well for over 100 years of Girl Scout history.
Girl Scout 1912
The first American Girl Scout uniform was based on illustrations of the uniforms worn by Girl Guides in England. Girl Scout Captains, girls, and their mothers made paper patterns and used dark blue "duck" to make middy blouses and skirts. The ensemble was accented by light blue sateen ties, blue felt campaign hats, and black shoes and stockings. By 1914, the uniforms began to be manufactured to satisfy the demands of the growing organization.
Girl Scout 1919
By 1919, Girl Scouts had a choice of a button-down-the-front coat dress or a short coat, which could be worn with either a skirt or pleated bloomers (worn in the camp setting, not in public). The girls thought that khaki was more practical than blue for hiking, picnicking, and camping, and khaki uniforms were worn until 1928. Khaki-colored web belts, large crowned hats of matching material with a hatband and a "GS" pin, and voluminous neckerchiefs completed the outfit.
Girl Scout Adult 1919
Khaki-colored Norfolk suits were declared the official uniform for all officers in 1919. The material could be either cotton khaki cloth or serge or twill. An officer's hat with an officer's hatband was worn with the uniform. All officers were to wear the "GS" insignia, either embroidered squares or metal pins, on their collars. A plain white or tan tailored shirt was to be worn with a black silk tie, tied in a four-in-hand knot. The Girl Scout pin (trefoil) was to be worn just below the knot in the tie and was to be kept polished.
It wasn't until 1927 that the Brownies had their own uniform. It was a brown slipover dress with raglan sleeves, a laced front, Peter Pan collar, and handy breast pockets. The long sleeves and generous hem were to allow for the growth of the child. A pixie-style cap of the same fabric as the dress was worn with the uniform.
A new brown uniform was introduced for the Brownies in 1936. There were two large patch pockets, comfortable, short raglan sleeves, and a Peter Pan collar. The dress featured a 5" zipper at the neck. Brownies could choose either a pixie-style cap or a brown wool beret.
Another Brownie uniform was introduced in 1941. It was made of light brown chambray in a grown-up shirtwaist style, with a circular skirt and a side seam zipper. It featured a white stitched trim and an embroidered elf on the breast pocket. The new Brownie cap was a brown felt beanie, made with six gores, and a tan felt Brownie emblem.
Girl Scout 1928
A new uniform of Girl Scout green became available in 1928. The full uniform consisted of the Girl Scout gray-green cotton covert one-piece dress and a dark green neckerchief. The coat dress, which slipped over the head, had "GS" embroidered on the convertible collar, a modesty shield for the V-neck, and action pleats on each side. A soft, crushable hat of the official Girl Scout cloth was worn with the uniform. The trefoil was embroidered on the band.
Intermediate Girl Scout 1939
The silver-green Intermediate Girl Scout uniform, introduced in 1939, was crisply tailored. It had unstitched darts at the waistline in front and back and a youthful sports collar fitted with a zipper at the neck opening. Popular shirtwaist sleeves were modernized with darts at the shoulder line for that squared shoulder effect. The six-gore skirt gave a flattering fit over the hips and a graceful flare to the hemline, and the smart zipper placket assured a neat closing.
Mariner Scout 1934
In 1934, the Mariner Program, for older Girl Scouts with an interest in sailing and the sea, was launched. The official uniform was a blue middy blouse, skirt, and shorts. The middy had three rows of white cotton braid on the full sailor collar and snug-fitting buttoned cuffs. The skirt's ten white buttons in two rows formed a panel effect in the front and two inverted pleats in both front and back gave room for all activities of sea scouting. The zipper opening on the left permitted a quick change to the shorts worn under the skirt. A snug-fitting blue beret was the official hat.
Teenage Girl Scout 1935
The Teenage uniform was designed for the older Girl Scout who could wear a size 13 or larger. Made of green Sanforized end-to-end gingham, the blouse, with a yoke across the shoulders and an action-pleated back, was buttoned down the front, could be worn high at the neck or in an open V, and featured a collar embroidered with the initials "GS" in green silk. The skirt had buttons on the left side, kick pleats, and pockets. Pleated shorts of the same fabric were worn under the skirt so it could be removed for greater freedom and comfort when on hikes.
Senior Girl Scout 1938
The first uniform specifically designated for Senior Girl Scouts was introduced in 1938. The forest green dress featured a flared skirt and fitted bodice with a long front zipper. Short sleeves and a pert little roll collar were delightful contrast to the modern zipper. The harlequin belt, made of rayon webbing in yellow, red, and two shades of green, was worn with this uniform.
Girl Scout Adult 1928
The dress uniform for all officers—Captains, Lieutenants, Commissioners, and national and local Councilors—was a one-piece coat dress of Girl Scout gray-green cotton or all-wool twill covert and the officer's hat with insignia. Designed for comfort and utility, this dress featured deep pleats in the front that gave ample fullness for walking. The Girl Scout pin was worn at the crossing of the lapels. The officer's hat, made of dark green felt in a shade that matched the belt, had a tapering brim narrower at the back and the full crown was easily adjustable to individual taste.
Mariner Adult 1934
Mariner Skippers and First Mates (leaders and assistant leaders) wore a blue one-piece coat dress in the style of the 1928 adult uniform. The Mariner insignia was embroidered on the collar. The uniform of serge fabric had chromium buttons and the cotton uniform had white buttons. The Mariner beret was worn by girls and adults.
Girl Scout Adult 1939, shown with 1942 hat
The new style uniform for adults, introduced in 1939, featured a square-shoulder effect, a smaller waist, and a femininely flared skirt, while retaining the popular coat-dress effect. A white pique facing was worn at the neckline to accentuate the tailored details. This facing was supplied with each uniform, but the collar insignia and belt had to be purchased separately. A dark green felt or wool crepe hat was worn with this uniform until 1942, when the overseas-style hat was introduced.
Senior and Intermediate Girl Scouts (wartime)
The availability and construction of Girl Scout merchandise was affected by World War II and general market conditions in the early 1940s. One significant modification was made to the 1939 Intermediate Scout dress: a button-down front replaced the zipper. Windsor ties replaced neckerchiefs in 1943 to conserve fabrics. The redesigned Senior Scout uniform was a dark green two-piece shirtwaist dress with short sleeves and a six-gore circular skirt, buttoned on the side, with a service hat to match. Insignia pertaining to defense activities were developed for use on the uniform.
Girl Scout Adult 1942
The 1942 leader's suit was a smart two-piece uniform popular in its day. Trim and practical, it was classic in cut and tailored for easy, comfortable wear. The smooth-fitting jacket was fully lined with rayon and the six-gore skirt gave it a slimming line and freedom for walking. Made of rayon gabardine in soft, silvery green, this supple yet firm fabric held its tailoring through long wear.
Brownie Scout 1956
In 1956, the skirt of the Brownie uniform was changed to a six-gored style. Now fashioned of light brown combed cotton broadcloth, the uniform could be worn with either the self-belt or official elastic belt. In that same year, a "Girl scouts of the USA" identification strip was added above the breast pocket.
Intermediate and Senior Girl Scout 1948
Designed by the renowned Mainbocher, the Intermediate Scout uniform was a button-down-the-front dress well suited to Girl Scout needs. The bright green covert dress had an action back, button-down lapel tabs, deep armholes, a dark green web belt, and a six-gored skirt with pockets. The green beret was the official hat. For Senior Girl Scouts, Mainbocher designed a short-sleeved dress with action back, buttoned to below the waist and worn with a dark green cowhide belt. Made of bright green cotton covert, the seven-gore skirt was gently flared. The overseas-style hat continued to be worn.
Intermediate and Senior Girl Scout alternate uniforms 1951
In 1951, an alternate uniform was offered for both Intermediate and Senior Girl Scouts. The Intermediate Girl Scout alternate uniform was a blouse and skirt combination worn with the Girl Scout beret and Windsor tie. Senior Girl Scouts wore the same skirt and blouse but with the overseas-style hat. The white blouse featured a taffeta pocket strip with trefoils woven in green and yellow. The collar was worn open by Intermediate Girl Scouts and closed by Senior Girl Scouts. The medium dark green six-gore skirt had an adjustable waist zipper that ran along the waistband.
Girl Scout Adult Dress and Suit 1948
The one-piece tailored leader's dress, designed by Mainbocher, was made of bright medium green cotton covert and had a yoke back, two buttons on each collar, and long sleeves. The suit, also designed by Mainbocher, was made of specially woven wool and had a fitted jacket with two flap pockets and a six-gore skirt in the new longer length. The adult Girl Scout brim-style hat, worn with either the dress or the suit, had a dark green grosgrain ribbon band, a tailored bow, and bronze "GS" insignia.
Girl Scout Adult Dress 1953 and Suit 1956
Introduced in 1953, the adult green dress featured a shirred back, tapered sleeves, slant pockets, and a raised neckline with white pique trim. A short-sleeved version of this uniform was made of lightweight covert and, in 1956, of broadcloth. The 1956 adult green suit had short sleeves, adjustable side tabs, and buttons on the collar and lapels. Two additional new hats—a pillbox beret in fine fur felt, designed by Sally Victor, one of America's foremost millinery designers, and a soft beret in green acetate and rayon gabardine—were developed for adults.
Brownie Girl Scout 1963
The 1956 Brownie Girl Scout uniform was modified in 1961 and a dark brown elastic belt was added. A side-seam zipper replaced the earlier side button placket. The trim of the dress was stitched in dark brown. A "Girl Scouts of the USA" ribbon was added to the top of the now straight edge of the breast pocket. In 1962, a tangerine-colored, four-in-hand tie was added. An embroidered tangerine Brownie emblem was used on the dark brown beanie.
Junior Girl Scout 1963
The first Junior Girl Scout uniform was an adaptation of the former Intermediate Girl Scout uniform. The lapel of the short-sleeved, light green uniform was modified, and the buttons were removed from the collar in 1962. A pre-tied yellow tie, a badge sash, and a dark green beret were worn with this uniform, along with a green elastic belt.
Cadette Girl Scout 1963
The newly established Cadette Girl Scouts wore the white blouse and green skirt formerly used as an alternate by Intermediate Girl Scouts, with only minor changes. A simplified trefoil design was used on the blouse's pocket strip. A dark green, arrow-shaped tie was worn with this uniform, and a cockade was sewn on the Girl Scout beret.
Senior Girl Scout 1960
In 1960, a deep green, jewel tone, two-piece dress uniform was introduced for all Senior Girl Scouts, including Mariners. It featured a smart, half-belted jacket and slim, five-gore skirt with a kick pleat in the back. A hat of matching dark green was worn with the uniform. The hat was trimmed with an embroidered insignia and its cord was the same color as the tie of the uniform. The particular color each Senior Girl Scout wore identified the major interest/activity of her troop or patrol.
Girl Scout Adult 1968 (Stella Sloat)
A new green uniform, designed by Stella Sloat, came in two versions: a short-sleeved lightweight dress or a three-quarter sleeve Dacron and wool worsted dress. The A-line dress had yoke detailing, a rolled collar, four walking pleats, and a three-inch hem that allowed the wearer a midi- or mini-style. A bone-color scarf and gloves completed the outfit. A green belt was worn with the short-sleeved uniform and a self-belt with wrapped buckle was worn with the three-quarter sleeve uniform. The green beret, designed by New York hat couturier Miss Emmé, was adjustable, packable, and could be worn year-round.
Brownie Girl Scout 1973
Starting in 1973, Brownie Girl Scouts chose among several official uniform components: light brown A-line jumper, shorts, pants, white blouse with brown trefoil stripes, tangerine-colored knit top, tangerine tie, and light brown eyelet design belt. A dark brown beanie and brown knee socks with tangerine flashes or brown tights that were wither ribbed or flat knit were the official accessories that could be worn with the uniform. An insignia sash for Brownie Girl Scouts was introduced in 1977.
Junior Girl Scout 1973
In 1973, a Junior Girl Scout chose from five separates to create 12 different looks. The light green A-line jumper featured a four-button placket, an inverted front pleat, and large patch pockets. Matching pants or shorts could be worn under the jumper. Junior Girl Scouts could choose the white blouse with green trefoil stripes or the dark green body suit to wear with the other components. A red tie was worn with the blouse and the belt was made of green patent leather with red stitching. The dark green wool beret featured the traditional trefoil from 1973 to 1980 and the contemporary trefoil from 1980 to 1985.
Cadette Girl Scout 1973
In 1973, Cadette Girl Scouts chose among these official components: dark green A-line jumper, tunic over blouse, or pants with a flared leg, yellow turtleneck body suit, or pale yellow blouse with yellow trefoil stripes and a dark green tie. They wore them with these official accessories: a green felt beret with Cadette Girl Scout cockade and a dark green felt insignia vest. A dark green skirt was added in 1976.
Senior Girl Scout 1971
In 1971, the versatile Senior Girl Scout uniform featured a bright green A-line dress in sporty step-in style with short sleeves, side pockets, and gold medal buttons. The dress, manufactured with a mid-knee, unpressed hemline, could be shortened into a tunic to go with pants. It became known as the "official Girl Scout uniform with an unofficial hemline." An optional green belt wrapped around the waist and a bright green beret featured the Senior Girl Scout emblem. Girls could choose from seven different tie colors to match their troop's Senior interest patch.
Girl Scout Adult 1972 and 1976
In 1972, a pantsuit version of the Stella Sloat dress was introduced. The soft green tunic top featured the distinctive yoke detailing of the Stella Sloat dress, but had a long zipper-front and two patch pockets. An A-line skirt and brightly printed blouse were introduced in 1976. The skirt could be worn with the new blouse or the pantsuit tunic. The blouse had a green, orange, and yellow leaf motif, and could be worn belted outside or tucked in.
Girl Scout Adult 1978 (Halston)
In 1978, Halston, the world-famous American designer, created a beautiful new adult uniform for the Girl Scouts. The Haltson sage green jacket or vest was worn with a matching A-line skirt or straight leg pants. An ivory tone-on-tone check blouse with long sleeves had an open notched shirt collar and a matching, self-fabric, bias cut, oblong scarf/belt. A sage green, high crown beret was worn.
Daisy Girl Scout 1984
Daisy Girl Scouts were welcomed into Girl Scouting in 1984. The new age–level, for girls who were five years old or in kindergarten, was launched after more than 10 years of study. The official uniform for Daisy Girl Scouts was designed to best accommodate easy participation in activities. To be worn over the Daisy's own clothing, the uniform was a blue tunic with self-ties at both sides. It had two front patch pockets and "Daisy Girl Scouts" in white on the front. Blue cable-stitched knee socks were added in 1985.
Brownie Girl Scout 1986
A cocoa brown jumper, pants, and shorts were introduced in 1986. They were worn with a long- or short-sleeved white blouse with cocoa brown emblem stripes and a tangerine tie, or an orange polo shirt. A brown insignia sash and brown cable-stitched knee socks with tangerine flashes were worn with this uniform. In 1991, an insignia vest was introduced.
Junior Girl Scout 1985
The new Junior Girl Scout uniform, introduced in 1985, featured a Kelly green A-line skirt, pants, or shorts with a white blouse with blue trefoil stripe and a blue tie, or a green polo shirt. Junior Girl Scouts could choose between a green insignia vest or sash, and for head wear they could choose either a bright green beret with the contemporary trefoil or baseball cap.
Cadette and Senior Girl Scout 1980
In 1980, Cadette and Senior uniforms consisted of a bright green vest, skirt, pants, and insignia sash of brushed polyester/cotton twill worn with a coordinated, sporty plaid blouse-a green plaid blouse for Cadette and a blue plaid blouse for Senior Girl Scouts. Both had matching scarves that could be worn in a bow, ascot style, or as a sash-type belt for a variety of looks.
Cadette and Senior Girl Scout 1987
Beginning in 1987, Cadette and Senior Girl Scouts chose among several components: a blue A-line skirt with two front pockets, blue straight leg pants, and a pencil-striped blouse with a tailored button band-front and long cuffed sleeves. A reversible oblong scarf featured blue on one side and green on the other. Cadette Girl Scouts folded and tied the scarf with the green side out, while Senior Girl Scouts folded and tied the scarf with the blue side out. The polo shirt was worn with either the skirt or pants.
Girl Scout Adult 1984 (Bill Blass)
Bill Blass, member of the Fashion Hall of Fame, designed the adult uniform in 1984. The components of this uniform included a dress with dropped shoulders and modified dolman sleeves, a jacket, pants, and a skirt. The pants and skirt were worn with a blue-, white-, and green-striped blouse. The long-sleeved blouse had dark green cuffs and epaulettes. The dress was worn with a self-belt or a blue/green stretch polyester belt with a contemporary logo buckle. A light blue beret completed the outfit. A navy blue blazer, to be worn with the dress, was added in 1987.
Girl Scout Adult 1990
Two new adult Girl Scout uniforms were introduced in 1990—a tailored classic uniform and a casual active-wear uniform. The tailored classic uniform components included a navy skirt or a green A-line skirt, a white oxford blouse in long or short sleeves, and an adjustable belt. For the casual active-wear uniform, adults could wear a sporty striped blouse in long or short sleeves, navy pants, or a green button front skirt, an adjustable belt, and a navy cardigan. A trefoil scarf could be worn with either uniform, but the cravat could only be worn with the tailored classic uniform.
Daisy Girl Scout 1993
In 1993, the Daisy Girl Scout uniform was updated. It retained the original blue tunic with knee-high socks, and added a long- or short-sleeve white T-shirt with puffed screen print and shorts. The T-shirts could be worn with either the tunic or shorts. An official Daisy Girl Scout cap, bright yellow with a blue visor, was introduced in 1985.
Brownie Girl Scout 1993
New Brownie Girl Scout uniform separates were introduced in 1993. The light blue chambray shirt was worn with the one-piece floral top culotte jumper, cocoa brown pants, or knit skirt. The light yellow knit top or the Try-It T-shirt is worn with the knit skirt, pants, shorts, or jumper. A western-look belt, light yellow cotton webbing tie, and cocoa brown beanie with a blue embroidered elf emblem completed the outfit. Brownie Girl Scouts chose either a vest or a sash for their insignia.
Junior Girl Scout 1994
The new official Junior Girl Scout uniform featured bold styling, bright colors, and coordinating separates. The whiter blouse with jade green "GS" scatter print was worn with either a jade green culotte, skirt, or shorts, and an insignia sash or vest. The brown simulated-leather belt featured jade green top stitching.
Cadette/Senior Girl Scout 1995
The official uniform components of the new Cadette and Senior Girl Scout uniforms included a royal blue skirt or walking shorts, a white blouse with royal blue, yellow, and green stripes with short or long sleeves, a bandana, and an insignia vest or sash. The uniform was worn with a simulated leather belt with royal blue top stitching and a royal blue baseball cap with the initials "GS" in white.
Girl Scout Adult 1995
The new adult uniform was updated, finely tailored, and designed to mix and match. A modified A-line skirt, dress pants, or walking shorts in evergreen were worn with a wheat-colored long-sleeved blouse or wheat-colored multidesign shirt. An evergreen jacket completed the outfit. For a more informal look, evergreen casual pants or culottes were worn with the wheat-colored mock turtleneck, short-sleeved cotton sweater, or T-shirt. The turtleneck, sweater, and T-shirt are all embroidered with "Girl Scouts."
Several stylish, comfortable separates were added to the Brownie uniform collection in 2003. Made of polyester/cotton french terry, a light blue, hooded, zip-front sweatshirt featuring Brownie elf embroidery, pouch pockets, and yellow-trimmed sleeves and matching pull-on pants with an elastic waist allow for maximum ease of movement for active girls. An adjustable yellow visor with colorful "Brownie Girl Scouts" embroidery coordinates with the new sporty look.
With a "Brownie Girl Scouts" screenprint, a new cotton/polyester T-shirt joined the uniform collection in 2003. It can be worn with Brownie Girl Scout shorts, pants, skirt, or sweatshirt, and is getting rave reviews from today's girls.
Junior Girl Scout 2001
Junior Girl Scout uniforms saw some great additions in 2001, as jade green skorts, khaki cargo pocket pants and shorts, white short-sleeved polo shirts, and jade green hooded sweatshirts were introduced. Designed for "Every Girl, Everywhere," the new pieces are in step with today's lifestyle and tailor-made for active girls. Also added were a white T-shirt with "Junior Girl Scout" emblem, a jade green double zipper A-line skirt, and a jade green bucket style hat.
Cadette and Senior Girl Scout 2001
A new color palette and updated styling make the new Cadette and Senior Girl Scout uniform collections sporty, fun, and ready for anything. Among the new pieces are khaki parachute style pants, a khaki bucket style hat, a navy hooded sweatshirt, and a navy V-neck T-shirt. The polo shirt is light blue for Cadettes, as is the stretch cotton fitted blouse, while Seniors can wear the oatmeal colored polo shirt and navy stretch cotton fitted blouse.
STUDIO 2B® T-Shirt for Girls and Adults 2003
The goal of STUDIO 2B is to give the power to the girls themselves and let them pursue their own interests, Girls can choose from all sorts of new possibilities in place of uniforms of the past. Among the additions are this heather gray T-shirt, a beautiful silvertone charm bracelet, and a stylish chain necklace with their STUDIO 2B pendant.