The Girl Scout uniform has gotten a modern makeover for the first time in decades, with the updated pieces meant to be as fashionable as they are functional.
Three students from the Fashion Institute of Technology, who all graduated in 2020, designed about 20 new separates for Girl Scouts in grades six through 12, the New York Times reports.
The new look, which was released on Tuesday, includes a traditional khaki sash and stylish utility vest that have wider pockets — specifically designed to fit the largest iPhone.
‘In all our fittings that was the No. 1 thing,’ Wendy Lou, the deputy chief revenue officer of the Girl Scouts of the USA, told the publication. ‘Can you fit the iPhone in there? Yes? Let’s go.’
Girl Scouts from each grade level have one official uniform item — a sash, vest, or tunic — to display their badges, pins, and awards.
When officially representing the Girl Scouts, they wear either a sash, vest, or tunic over ‘official apparel’ or a white shirt and khaki pants or skirt.
The sash has remained largely the same, aside from the hidden cellphone pocket, but the new khaki utility vest has a far trendier look.
Not only is it lighter than the previous design, but it also features a notch collar, epaulet shoulders, snap buttons, and a cinched waist.
New York Times fashion journalist Jessica Testa described it as being ‘the Burberry trench of Girl Scout vests.’
Before the redesign, Girl Scouts-branded official apparel was limited and consisted mainly of polo shorts and plain skirts, a style similar to that of a school uniform.
The new separates are more line with items likely to be found in most pre-teens and teens’ closets: short knit dresses, cargo skirts, a belt bag, and a denim wrap skirt.
The collection, which ranges from $10 to $49, also includes athleisure staples such as crew-neck sweatshirts and drawstring joggers.
The pieces were completed before the coronavirus pandemic, but the inclusion of more comfortable options couldn’t have come at a better time.
When the Girl Scouts — originally called the Girl Guides of America — was founded in 1912, the organization modeled its uniform after those worn by the Girl Guides of England.
The earliest Girl Scout troops wore dark blue blouses, skirts, felt campaign hats, and black stockings.
‘Girl Scout green’ was introduced in 1928, serving as an update to the khaki uniforms that were worn earlier in the decade.
Twenty years later, America couturier Mainbocher was commissioned by the Girls Scouts to give the uniform an update. The label took a cue from Dior’s New Look and designed green shirt dresses and neck scarves.
In the following decades, Stella Sloat and Halston also designed uniforms for the organization, with the latter creating a collection of polyester separates in 1978.
The Girl Scouts curriculum has also evolved over the years, and it now includes STEM and entrepreneurship programs.
The girls earn badges in everything from cybersecurity to making business plans, but Lou told The Times that the outdated uniform didn’t reflect that.
‘It’s been more than 20 years since we’ve done something to this scale,’ she said. ‘If you look back at historical Girl Scout uniforms, they really reflected the fashions of the time. We were evolving every decade. And somewhere along the way, about in the ’90s, we stopped evolving.’
After decades without a redesign, the organization wanted to create a uniform that its older members would want to wear to school — a look that would, hopefully, make them want to continue to be a Girl Scout.
The Girl Scouts unveiled the new ‘mix-and-match’ uniforms for cadettes, seniors, and ambassadors on Instagram on Tuesday.
‘Redesigned for the first time in nearly 20 years, this collection is all about letting girls express their individuality!’ the organization wrote.