Vintage Girl Scout Online Museum

 

Girl Scout Khaki Uniforms

Our Ladies in Khaki, note the various hat styles

Juliette Low - 1923

Juliette Low

The program improvements of 1914 included the break from the Girl Guide blue uniforms to a totally American khaki. The change was in direct response from members for a uniform better suited to hiking, camping and service work.

Basically there were 2 styles of uniform; one piece (dress) and two piece (blouse and skirt).  The two piece outfit had two styles of blouse; one called a middy and one with a lower neckline. Official bloomers (baggy shorts gathered at the knee) were NEVER to be worn without the dress or skirt, unless the girl was in Girl Scout camp. Girls wearing bloomers in public was considered a serious issue. Official announcements were issued to correct the problem. The triangular neckerchief's official color was black, but other colors were allowed, especially after 1919, when the patrol shoulder cords were discontinued. It was hoped that a patrol or troop would adopt a single color neckerchief.  Hat styles varied over the years; both felt and fabric and wearing a gold tone "GS" was encouraged. "GS" squares were available in 1918 to stitch on to the collar of uniforms.

 

The adults in Girl Scouting were called Officers. Troop Leaders and Co-Leaders were called Captains and Lieutenants. Girls ages 10-17 were called  Girl Scouts. Younger girls were called either Brownie or Junior, but the terms were interchangeable. They work unofficially for years and were first mentioned in the handbooks in 1918. They wore the same uniform, only smaller and worked in packs instead of troops or patrols.

 

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Capitan and Lieutenant Pins for adult leaders.

(Images donated by Terry Beye and the Altvaters)

 

 

 

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There were many changes with the uniform during this period. At first both leaders and girls wore the same uniform and both earned badges, stitching them to the sleeve of their uniform. Leaders wore special pins and hat cords.  Most uniforms were still homemade and continuity was a problem. Eventually official  styles, fabric, buttons, belt buckle, hats and other items were introduced.

Early Trefoil Pin - trademarked February 10, 1914

Handbook 1920-1927

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Patrol Shoulder Ribbons were supposed to co-ordinate with the Troop Crest. Shown are 2 "thistle" crests, one on black felt, the other on khaki.

 

Early Trefoil Logo for Scarf

 

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Buttons came in 2 sizes

Buttons held a special interest for the uniform that is hard to understand today. Official buttons were issued to girls for their homemade uniforms and if a girl left Girl Scouting it was expected that the buttons be returned. The khaki outfit could continue to be worn as a regular outfit with new, non-Girl Scout buttons. Back in the early days of Girl Scouting an outfit was not simply discarded. This practice was encouraged through the 1950's.

It was decided 1919 that the adults of Girl Scouting would exclusively wear the Norfolk jacket , creating the first time there was a difference between the girl and adult uniform. A large black embroidered GS crest was on the hat.

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Skirt

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Bloomers were never to be worn in public, only under the skirt or dress or while at Girl Scout camp!

 

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2nd and 1st Class Ranks

Patrol Leader

Corporal

Scout Aide

Milliner

For girls who did not have a uniform, armbands were an option.

Squashed Trefoil Belt Buckle 1922-1936

1917 version belt buckle

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Unusual Label stitched on the top

 Common Sideways Label

Fabric Watermark

Watermark on hat

This is only a tiny snippet of information on the time period of Girl Scouting, meant to give you a general idea of the early days. Girl Scouting grew quickly, but official changes happened slowly, since most news traveled by mail. Girl Scout troops were few and far between, in most cases. There were other organizations developing for girls during this time - including a group in Iowa called the Girl Scouts of America. Therefore the timeline of information can blur a bit and get confusing.


 

 

Image from 1918 Catalog

 

Image from 1927 Catalog