of Brownie Uniforms
History of Guide Uniform
1909 - 1916
B-P suggested in his 'Scheme for Girl Guides' that a jersey and neckerchief of Company colour, together with skirt and stockings of dark blue, should be the uniform of the Girl Guide, worn with a red biretta (or straw hat in the summer). Not until 1911 was the familiar stiff-brimmed navy blue felt hat with chin strap introduced, and by then the blouse had become dark blue and the neckerchief (tie) pale blue. A hat ribbon was also worn with the initials 'B P G G' in gilt on black or dark blue ribbon. The poplin tie, generally reached to the belt and was loose-ended (knotted at one end if the Good Turn was still to be done). Both skirt and shirt were of serge or flannel, and both had patch pockets with black buttoned flaps.
1917 - 1929
Blouses began to be made of casement cloth, a much thinner material than serge. By the 1920's a definite change in appearance had emerged, though there was no radical change in the uniform. Shirts were more commonly worn outside the skirt and then secured with the belt. The initials 'B P' were now omitted from the hatband, ties were generally folded.
1930 - 1945
In 1929 a dark blue cotton dress was introduced for Guides, and this was very popular throughout the 1930s (though the skirt and shirt were always an alternative and much in evidence during World War II, the skirt generally being pleated in style and naturally much shorter than the skirt of the 1920s). The stiff brim of the old Guide hat disappeared and the hat was now smaller, pudding basin in shape, and without a chin strap. The hat ribbon became a hat badge of two intertwined 'Gs' in gilt on navy blue.
1946 - 1963
In 1946 a major change in Guide uniform was introduced. A new bright blue (later to be known as 'Guide' blue) shirt came in which was to be worn inside the navy blue skirt. A navy blue felt beret superseded the hat, and the hat badge was now a Trefoil.
1964 - 1980
In 1964/5 Guides were given a new look with the introduction of an air-hostess style cap in navy blue proofed melton, and an overblouse in rayon together with a new style tie. In 1969, after several adjustments the tie became a crossover. The new blouse was open-necked and had pockets at the bottom instead of breast pockets. Originally the sleeves were three-quarter length, but these became full length in 1968. The belt was worn underneath the blouse, if at all, and the county badge was now worn at the back of the neck on the point of the tie.
1981 - 1990
The new Guide blouse in Terylene/cotton was to be worn tucked inside the skirt and had no pockets. The tie reverted to the neckerchief similar in style to that sported by the early Guides, and was worn with a woggle.
1990 - 2000
With the launch of a brand new uniform in 1990, designed by Jeff Banks, Guides underwent a radical change. A mix and match uniform of sweatshirt, jumper, polo shirt, t-shirt, jogging bottoms, skirt and trousers were introduced - all in bright 'Guide' blue and navy.
2000 to Present
To go with the Guide Section Renewal in 2000, new items of Guide wear were introduced, designed by catwalk designer Ally Capellino. The new T-shirt, gilet, rugby shirt and sweatshirt are mid blue and dark blue, with red detail and a Guides logo label.
Please note the uniforms pictures are from the Bedfordshire Guide Archives and some of the Uniforms are incomplete. If you are able to offer any items for our archives please contact us.
Last updated 25 February, 2013