Leslie's Guiding History Site



Guiding Uniforms (UK)

From the invention of Boy Scouts in 1908, there has been a uniform for all members of Guiding.  It started on Brownsea Island with the patrol 'shoulder knots' in Patrol colours which were issued for each boy to wear, and in Scouting for Boys, where the first edition set out the suggested uniform for Scouts, and the second edition in 1909 stated the uniform for Girl Scouts also, and uniform continues to be a key part of the Guiding brand worldwide to this day.  

Cataloguing the uniforms through the years and the various changes which occurred is not easy.  Some of the terminology of past years such as 'jumper' and 'stocking' does not necessarily retain the same meaning now.  And there were times when different styles were introduced and quickly dropped, or minor alterations made without great fanfare.  So as a starting point, we are going to work with 'as at', using the details quoted in sources such as the official rulebook, 'Policy, Organisation and Rules' or in the official magazines, or in catalogues issued either by Guiding or by reputable suppliers of the era.  Any pictures seen here should be used as a guide only, as even back in the day people did not always know the rules, or stick to them if they knew of them, hence photos of actual members from that era don't necessarily show textbook uniforms.  It's also worth bearing in mind that the date for a uniform change will always be simply when the change was announced or when a new style was first launched - it would take a few years after that date for all the existing Guiding members to change over to the new style, especially in localities where second-hand uniform was more common than new and it would take time for second-hand uniforms to come on the market in sufficient numbers to meet demand.

To make this section more manageable, I'm going to break it up into sub-pages for each section.