I received this announcement from GSUSA today:

, Girl Scout History Project
GSUSA Message, February 25, 2020

The new scarf looks lovely. But what really caught my attention was the statement that I underlined:

“In 1968, our first adult uniform…”

Oh my. No adult uniforms for the first 56 years? Really?

That gives a whole new dimension to exploring the great out-doors.

Perhaps what was meant in this release was that 1968 was the first time a well-known designer created an adult uniform?

Wrong again.

In 1948 the American designer Mainbocher created new uniforms for Intermediates, Seniors, and ADULTS.

GSUSA eagerly announced the new garments in its own publications:

, Girl Scout History Project
1948 National Equipment Catalog

… and press releases.

, Girl Scout History Project
Lancaster New Era (September 8, 1948)

Before the Girl Scout uniforms, Mainbocher was best known for outfitting the WAVES (women serving in the US Navy) during World War II.

A retrospective exhibition of Mainbocher’s work was held in Chicago in 2016. Vogue magazine described the man as “The Most Important American Designer You’ve Never Heard Of.” (And it’s pronounced Main-Bocker)

Tsk. Tsk. Next time, run it by a Girl Scout historian. Better yet, an editor/Girl Scout historian.

, Girl Scout History Project
Girls hang a sign at Weston Lodge

10 responses to “Those Naked Leaders?”

  1. I had to laugh at this too. Same reasons…

  2. I thought the same thing!! Thanks for writing it up – and finding the exhibits.

  3. Rosemarie Courtney Avatar
    Rosemarie Courtney

    I sent back a note saying that Mainbocher an American designer designed the Intermediate, Senior and Adult uniforms in 1948.

  4. […] note:  Ann Robertson has already pointed out the mistake in the email claiming there was no adult uniform until […]

  5. Try 1919 for the first adult uniform, which sported a Norfolk jacket.

  6. How timely! I am changing out our rotating display of uniforms, and I have plans for two of the groupings to show designer uniforms. One will be three adult uniforms; Stella Sloat, Bill Blass, and Halston. The other will be a Leader, Senior, and Intermediate in the Mainbocher uniforms. I too keep wanting to pronounce it main bocker, but I have been corrected that, although his American name WAS pronounced main bocker, professionally he had to give his company the French pronunciation of MAIN bow-SHAY to compete with all the French women’s fashion houses of the day.

    1. I heartily agree with Karen, above. I have also been corrected on the correct name. Personally, I think his company was avoiding anything that sounded remotely German in post war world.

      1. I expect you’re right. Probably a situation like the British royal family. Before WWI, Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. During/After WWI, Windsor.

  7. $150.00 for a scarf. Now I know they have lost their minds!! This is funny and how appropriate that it comes out just before the GS convention. There are those of us still around that remember. I know my leaders had uniforms because my leader was my grandmother. How stupid can they be? Frustrating!

  8. Your last sentence…  YES!  I find more and more staff who have no sense of our history, and more people who just don’t care.

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