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Question? Camp dress


Veteran (100+ posts)
After a mammoth cupboard clearing out at Guides yesterday, I'm the proud owner of a vintage Guides camp dress.

I want to be able to wear it, so am planning on taking it in as it's a size 16 and I'm a size 10, but I wanted to try and get some more information before I start altering it!

It's from the 1970s, I'm guessing as it has wash care instructions and is made of cotton polyester blend :D Its the style with one patch pocket on the front and a grown-on collar.

1. It's rather long - mid calf length on me - does anyone know if this is how long they were meant to be or would they have made them longer for a size 16? Terrible grammar but hopefully you get what I mean!

2. Would people have worn a belt with them? as it seems to be quite shapeless when I tried it on without one !

Any information gratefully received!


Darth Vader (12,500+ posts)
They usually came with a blue fabric belt, but most people changed to wear the leather belt with them :) There are plenty of guiding belts come up on ebay eg, http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Girl-Guides-Belt-S-Vintage-Still-suitable-for-camp-retro-or-fancy-dress-/251107845673?pt=UK_Collectables_Memorabila_RL&hash=item3a7731a629

Search Girl Guide belt and you will get leather and plastic ones up - leather would be more authentic.

As for length - as fashion changed, so did the length of the camp dress so choose the length you are comfortable with :)


Guide Guider and District Commissioner
Agree with Cazbly. I mainly remember them being worn knee length or shorter but remember that a belt shortens the length quite a bit.


It's as well to try with a belt before making any decisions about whether/by how much to adjust the length. By the 80s they were generally worn somewhere between below-knee and mid-calf. Going by pictures, in the 60s, considerably above the knee!


Regular (50+ posts)
I'm not really sure why you would want to wear it - they were the most awful, shapeless garments a-going! I'm not sure I have ever got over the trauma of having to wear one as 'summer uniform'!!


Darth Vader (12,500+ posts)
That is one opinion CherryRipe - a lot of people found them very comfortable. As with all uniform of all eras - some loved it, some hated it and it is a richer world because we are all so diverse :)

I did not like mine much, but looking back on photos have to say how smart we all looked!


Veteran (100+ posts)
ah, it meant camp was on the way when Heron got out the bag of camp dresses. We each got one to wear to camp, with our belts.... yes to shapeless but better with a belt and so practical!


The adult ones weren't so bad, in that they did have shaping, the Guide ones were more shapeless. Problem was, they were designed for warm climates, which for us only occurred a few days a year and almost certainly not during camp!