Girl Scout Khaki Uniform
This page is just a brief overview of the Girl Scout Khaki uniform and its evolution. It doesn't cover every change such as hat styles for the adults.
Also, it's important to remember that many other girl organizations where wearing very similar looking khaki uniforms at this time; The Girl Pioneers of America, Girl Guards of the Salvation Army and even the Camp Fire Girls flirted with khaki briefly.
The khaki-colored cotton-denim fabric of the old Girl Scout uniforms is probably the most iconic.
It debuted in 1914, but some good old blue serge was still kept on hand. At this time all Girl Scouts, even adults wore that same uniform. Many still made their uniforms at home, or had them made by skilled seamstresses. Continuity of fabric quality and shade as well as design was a challenge.
By 1915 there were 4 components:
Long Sleeved blouse with 2 pockets on the chest and an open neckline
Middy Blouse - long-sleeved with 2 pockets, big collar (imagine the US Navy uniform) with a lace-up neckline
Bloomers (never to be worn in public!)
"Shoulder knots," also known as patrol ribbons, were 2 ribbons of different colors that were supposed to coordinated with the troop's crest colors,
yet be different from the other patrols' color combinations.
These were discontinued in 1919.
Proficiency Badges were (mostly) on white felt and troop crests were on black felt.
At first, badges were on
In the earliest days of Girl Scouting, the officers (the adults) wore the same uniform and earned badges just like the girls, it was important to be able to distinguish just who was in charge.
As Girl Scouting evolved special hat and shoulder cords and differences in the uniform developed and around 1916 the Captain's Pin was introduced. The gold 3-leaf clover sits atop a red, white and blue shield.
The Lieutenant's Pin was introduced in 1917 for adults to be worn until the adult passed the First Class Rank. Then they could wear the Captain's Pin.
The Lieutenant's Pin only lasted until 1922 and the Captain's Pin was discontinued in 1923.
A rare full set of Girl Scout uniform buttons on a card
Over the years Girl Scouting had developed official products to offer and was creating a cohesive look.
The khaki fabric now carried a watermark to show that it was approved for Girl Scout uniforms.
Proficiency badges changed from white felt to khaki fabric, as did the troop crests.
Watermark for hat
Clover Troop Crest
Buttons weren't owned by the Girl Scout, only rented - and had to be returned if the girl left Girl Scouting!
Long Coat style of uniform, lacking the belt
Note the metallic silver ribbon on the sleeve, for 5 years of membership
Bugler Badge (oval)
Armband, for Girl Scouts who couldn't afford the whole uniform. This one has a Red Rose Troop Crest in the center.
A rare example of a proper Girl Scout identification strip for the era.
1921 Price List
This set of Proficiency Badges on khaki fabric shows the wide variety of fabrics used that were still considered "khaki."
A few of the magazine covers from the era.