Old Uniforms

overview.jpgAs part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2004 Girlguiding Scotland held an exhibition of Brownie and Guide uniforms from 1909 to the present day. The exhibition had nearly a thousand visitors from all over the world and it was such a success that it was extended for another week. It shows real uniforms displayed at the exhibition which belonged to past and present Brownies and Guides.

The information comes from research from original handbooks (P.O.R.'s etc), CHQ resources (such as the Girlguiding UK website, "History Now" and "1910 and Then") as well as advice from Guiding Archivists. It represents the official uniforms of most eras. Not every variation or minor change in the uniform can be represented, particularly as girls often wore items that were available at the time or inherited from big sisters or borrowed from the Unit.

We are very grateful to Girlguiding Scotland for allowing us to share this excellent information on our Heritage website. If you want to buy your own copy of their book Guiding Through Time, see http://www.girlguidingscotland.org.uk/Publication/index.html

BROWNIE 1967-1990 - Susan

1967-small.jpgIn 1967 a new brown cotton dress was introduced for the Brownies with a yellow crossover tie.
In 1973 a knitted brown hat with a pom pom was introduced, replacing a brown beret.

Read more: BROWNIE 1967-1990 - Susan

BROWNIE 1950-1966 - Dorothy

1950-small.jpg A brown wool beret was introduced for Brownies in 1950, and stockings were removed from the official Brownie uniform list. In 1964 Brownies were also allowed to wear a cardigan!

Read more: BROWNIE 1950-1966 - Dorothy

BROWNIE 1990-2001 - Ashley

1990-small.jpgIn 1990 Jeff Banks designed a whole new look for the Brownies. The girls could choose from a number of items, including sweatshirts, t-shirts, shorts, culottes, baseball cap and sweatpants. Brownies now wore their badges on a sash.

Read more: BROWNIE 1990-2001 - Ashley

BROWNIE 2002 - Chloe

2002-small.jpgToday's Brownie uniform was designed by dresser to the stars: Ally Capellino.
The clothes range today which is a modern collection of mix and match items which keeps the traditional Brownie colours with a touch of sky blue. It includes: hooded jackets, boot cut leggings, body warmers, t-shirts and skorts (shorts with a flat front like a skirt).

Read more: BROWNIE 2002 - Chloe

BROWNIE 1934-1945 - Betty

1934-small.jpgA summer uniform was introduced for the Brownies as well as a cotton cloth hat that soon became the most popular item of head wear. Scottish Brownies were more likely to wear a hand-knitted cap with a tassel. Later they were given an option of wearing a gold rather than a brown tie, as long as the whole Pack wore the same.

Read more: BROWNIE 1934-1945 - Betty

BROWNIE 1915-1933 - Helen

1915-small.jpgThe Rosebuds were not very keen on their name. In 1915 Lord Baden Powell's sister Agnes suggested the name 'Brownies', who were helpful little creatures in a fairy story she loved.

There were several variations of uniforms for the Brownies, of which Helen is wearing a 1915-1916 version. The blue uniform continued as an alternative until 1921.

Read more: BROWNIE 1915-1933 - Helen

Rosebud 1914 - Mary


Younger girls, eager to join the Girl Guides, but unwilling to wait till they were 11yrs old, began to be linger at Guide meetings.  Inevitably the Guides began to organise them into groups for activities and training, they were formally adopted into the Guide Movement in 1914 and were called "Rosebuds" thier promise badge was designed by Agnes Baden-Powell, sister to Lord Baden-Powell and the "Grandmother" of Guiding.  The Girl Guides Gazette suggested that Rosebuds wear a dark blue skirt, knitted jersey, cap or tam o'shanter and the Rosebud Brooch.

Read more: Rosebud 1914 - Mary

GUIDES 1910-1916 - Elizabeth

GG-1909-small.jpgIn 1909 when the first Girls (registered as Girl Scouts!) attended the Scout Rally at Crystal Palace, there was no official Girl Guide uniform.  Girls wishing to be part of the Scouts adapted the khaki Scout Uniform, usually a khaki Scout hat and shirt complete with Scout badges and a long green or navy knee or ankle length skirt (not shown).

Robert Baden-Powel mindful of the need for "something for the girls" approached his sister Agnes to take charge.  In 1910 the Girl Guides were officially formed with Agnes at the helm to look after the new organisation. Later Roberts wife, Olave became involved in 1912 and in 1918, was appointed World Chief Guide.

In 1911 the colour blue was introduced as the official uniform colour. The tie was knotted at one end if the Good Turn for the day was still to be done. 

GG-1909-2.jpg         GG-1909-3.jpg


What kind of things would Elizabeth do?

Second Class Badge:
✓ Rules of the Corps
✓ Lay and light a fire
✓ Make a bed
✓ Cut out and sew a Union Jack
✓ Tie six knots

First Class Badge included:
✓ Have one shilling in the Savings bank
✓ Cook a simple dish
✓ Know First Aid bandaging
✓ Know the history of a place and act as a guide to the place


 Photos and information from 'Guiding Through Time'

available from Girlguiding Scotland

GUIDES 1930-1945 - Margaret

GG-1930-small.jpgA dark blue cotton dress was introduced for Guides in 1929 and was very popular throughout the 1930s.
However the skirt and shirt could also be worn as an alternative. In the 1940s skirts were worn shorter. This reflected the fashion of the period and the fact that material for clothes was scarce during the war years.

Read more: GUIDES 1930-1945 - Margaret

GUIDES 1917-1929 - Ruth

GG-1917-small.jpgBy the 1920s there was a different look, shirts were commonly worn outside the skirt with a belt. This particular Guide uniform was used into the 1930s by a Ranger Guide (see lower badges on left arm).

Read more: GUIDES 1917-1929 - Ruth