New Guide uniform reaction and where Girguiding may be heading

A Guide is honest, reliable and can be trusted.

So based on this Guide law, I will give my honest opinions on the newly introduced Guide uniform, I will also be considering why this is being introduced and where this may be leading us to in the future.

For those unaware of the new Guide uniform, this article will show you some of the new pieces being introduced for the 10-14 age group. There are also some images in this post I will be using to discuss the new uniform.

I first saw this new uniform on the Daily Mail website (yes, I do read it, but yes, I also comment on how awful some of their articles are). My honest immediate reaction seems to mirror the large majority of online opinions. “Ergh”, “Awful” and “This must be a joke uniform, the real one will come out next week…”. I hate to have negative opinions on Girlguiding but I was really shocked at the new uniform.

My thoughts then went to the many young teens who just want to fit in, and in some scenarios being a Guide is uncool. It is a shame it can still be seen in this way as those negative about the programme may have never been a part of it. And now with such bright, bold colours you have to be a confident person to pull this look off. Especially in comparison to the navy blues of Guides we are used to. I hope this initial introduction to the new uniforms does not put off new recruits.

Let’s look at some of the new items…

uniform3

This is the look I imagine the girls will be going for. The polo will become the main item of uniform, with some taking on the hoodie also. However, if they’re like the Guides who meet near us, the girls will only wear the polo but hidden beneath their own choice of hoodie.

uniform5

The skirt is interesting. In this image I think the shape of it actually looks okay, there are other images that make the shape look awful so I guess we won’t know until we see it in person. The pattern however, what were they thinking! I really do not see Guides wearing the skirt, not unless it changes to a plain colour. I could be proved wrong though, I really am no fashionista!

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This may be a popular choice for the girls on the slimmer side. I wonder if the idea of this was more to be worn underneath this dress…

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I’ll be honest, I’m finding it hard to see what is the dress and what is other items being worn underneath it. This I also cannot imagine will be popular. But I am aware that for some religious groups this may be the uniform item of choice.

It has been stated that younger Guides requested skirts and dresses in the uniform, there are plenty of girls who only wear these opposed to trousers, but I’m unsure if the style is right. For the many people in uproar that their girls won’t wear these, that is fine. Guides still have the option to wear their jeans if they wish. So the introduction of these items shouldn’t really have an impact, they are an added extra.

The real issue in the new uniform is the polo and the hoodie, and these are what I wish to discuss further.

Girlguiding branding

Girlguiding have stated this uniform was designed by Uni students, and it is a great opportunity for these young women. But I think there is some misleading statements here as this new uniform was also clearly designed by branding bods. Blue and red were not plucked out of the sky, but straight from the branding guidelines. Guides should be mostly blue, some red, and a tiny bit purple and green. This is where the issue with the new uniform comes from, the pre-planned choice of Guide branding colours. I’ve felt that Guides branding is the strangest assortment of colours, and this is now reflected in the new uniform. How I wish the colours could’ve been resolved before the new uniform launched!

The Girlguiding facebook photos show that some Guides chose blue shirts with purple sleeves, but it was the red that won out. I would guess because this colour needs to be given more room for the brand to show through.

But being honest the blue and red is growing on me, a touch of purple I guess is okay but the green is a strange addition.

Why the Guide uniform change?

Many have welcomed the update to the Guide uniform, I was looking forward to it too, but why has only the Guide uniform changed? The last change occurred in 2000, alongside a change in the Brownie uniform. Why haven’t both undergone the same redesign?

uniform1

This is the Rainbow, Brownie, Guide and Senior Section uniform, how it was known last week anyway. These are the popular top options for many girls. Of the four, the Guide uniform does stand out. It is clearly the only shirt without cap sleeves. It also doesn’t include the Guide brand colour.

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We still have an odd one out though, the Brownies are yet to get a polo shirt. I think this will be the next change, but not the biggest. The other reason the Brownie uniform sticks out? It isn’t blue. Could we see the rise of the blue Brownies? I wouldn’t be surprised. Some well known girl guide uniform from around the word are the Canada uniforms and the Australia uniforms. Both have all sections in matching uniforms with just a secondary colour to tell the age groups apart. Perhaps this is the route Girlguiding are looking to take in the long term.

uniform8ausuniform9canada

I think Girlguiding know the skirt and dress won’t be as popular, with the polo and maybe hoodie winning out. The uniforms may then all take their turn morphing into this zip up polo with colour co-ordinated sleeves and matching collar.

There is talk online of an adjustment to the Leader tops. While it seems this is just a change in sizing or material I really would not be surprised to see a navy polo with white sleeves and a white polo with navy sleeves. Maybe a zip on the front too!

Online mayhem

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but this is the first uniform change to occur during the age of social media. Can you imagine the outrage online if we had access to Facebook in 2000? Or in 1990? It is a shame there were so many leaders showing their negative opinions online as this has fuelled a new Daily Mail article on ‘girls threatening to quit over uniform’. I think we should wait and see what the girls think in September. If the girls are aware of their parents and leaders hate for the uniform they will be unable to make their own opinions!

In conclusion

The uniform is growing on me. There are aspects I am coming to like and others I don’t think will last. I’m interested to see if this is phase one of a whole new change for Girlguiding, and am looking forward to a fresh new start too! Blue Brownies? Only the future will tell us.

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4 thoughts on “New Guide uniform reaction and where Girguiding may be heading

  1. I think you might be onto something there. In which case, I’m guessing you’ll end up with Brownies with a white shirt with yellow sleeves and brown or blue zips and trim. The skirt is rather cute, but I’m befuddled that that tiled print in the skirt and dress isn’t repeated somewhere else in the shirts – maybe as a bias binding type trim on sleeves or something? The dress is odd, I don’t understand why it doesn’t have the red sleeves of the polo.

    FYI, that picture of the Australian uniforms has things intriguingly out of order (no idea why, that picture is everywhere!) – the designs actually go blue with yellow (5-10s) blue with orange (10-14s), navy with orange (14-17), and navy with blue (adult). In the blouse versions, the blue is for 14-17s and the white (which has yellow and blue pin stripes) is for adults. 🙂 We also have a touch of flexibility with the uniform – if I have a 9 1/2 year old join, I get her to buy the blue and orange that she’ll wear for a while, rather than the yellow of the littlies. It works fine, as our sections are not generally as differentiated as those in the UK.

    • I remember reading somewhere that people don’t realise Brownies and Guides in the UK are part of a larger organisation, so I can understand that they may want to start something similar to the Australian uniforms. (I always feel bad for 9 year old Brownies, their parents spending out on a new uniform they will be changing within the year.)

  2. My daughter has just moved up to Guides from Brownies – she was also a Rainbow. One of the best things for her as a ten year old is moving up to be with the ‘big girls’ – I really don’t like the new uniform, I think it is quite childish looking, the skirt is like something my own grandmother would wear and the dress is so cute in my opinion, but not in my daughter’s!!! I’d love her in that dress but I’ve got no chance, and I think she’ll be requesting the blue striped polo too as the new polo is very young looking. Introducing a skirt is a great idea, but compared to the ‘skort’ available to Brownies, this is like something from the dark ages 😦

  3. Guides have already been blue, and unsure why they chose to suddenly be navy in 2000! It has meant that for years the Guide uniform looked like the leader uniform. Brownies have always been brown and yellow. I agree with you on the green and purple thing…where did that come from? Senior section has been aqua since the 90s. Their 2000 uniform change wasn’t too different from the uniform I wore. Just the weird addition of the grey hoodie.

    One of the turning points for me was my mum coming to see the Remembrance Sunday parade, for years I’d been annoyed that organisations failed to see that the guides were present as well as the scouts and Boys brigade. My mum asked why the girls weren’t wearing uniform. They all were but half of it was hidden and the navy colour top was not recognisable as Guides. So I’m glad we have gone back to bright blue, even if I think there was no need for the red sleeves.

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