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Skirts and dresses - what happened?

Discussion in 'General Guiding' started by Burghilly, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. Burghilly

    Burghilly Veteran (100+ posts)

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    Following on from a thread about the cost of uniform got me thinking about the current Guide skirts and dresses which don't seem to be very popular.

    I'm really not trying to be moany or negative - this is something I would genuinely really like to understand, where the dress and skirt idea came from as I wasn't involved in Guiding at the time.

    I understand there was a consultation with the girls who must have asked for skirts and dresses, yet it would seem they're not actually very popular. What happened?

    Is this an example of Girl-Led guiding back firing? Should there have been greater input or guidance from Guiders?

    How many 13 year old girls would have chosen the dress option as to me it would seem more suited to Rainbows?

    And finally - for an organisation trying to promote outdoor adventure where does the skirt fit into the picture?

    For all those girls that did opt for a skirt and dress option I wonder if what we have is what they had in mind?
     
  2. Tregi

    Tregi Veteran (100+ posts)

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    I've had 1 Guide with a skirt - bought but never saw her wear it.
    Saw 1 Guide wearing one over the weekend at a Rainbow event - looked fine with tights, but again, not hugely practical.
    Not sure where the research came from, but we still have girls wearing other skirts with leggings/tights, but not as many as we did a few year ago when they came out. Maybe it is just a sign of how quickly fashions change - by the time they were made and available to be worn, they were out of style!
     
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  3. Quack

    Quack Veteran (100+ posts) Staff Member Moderator GuiderPlus

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    I understood there was a cultural requirement to have them as part of a uniform option. However bearing in mind there are no 'official' bottom halves then it shouldn't have been an issue.
     
  4. Batty Owl

    Batty Owl Veteran (100+ posts)

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    I think it is possibly just a case of fashions change. About the time they were doing the survey about uniform, I was doing the Brownie traditions and when looking at where Brownies might be in 10 years time, several older girls designed uniform almost exactly like the current dress. So maybe it was spot on when they askes but not now.
     
  5. badgemad4

    badgemad4 Veteran (100+ posts)

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    I think some of it comes from the fact that for parents (and the girls) if you can wear your own bottoms or buy an extra set that doesn't really match your own clothes why would you? It's not compulsory and a skirt/ dress isn't as practical for certain activities. And unlike Brownies there have been at least one generation of Guides not having uniform bottoms, it's not really culturally there for some units. Nor is there likely to be as much concern from parents about "play clothes" as with younger girls.

    I have noticed that if one girl has the skirt a few more might have it. I have never ever seen a girl wear the dress apart from in one posed photo.

    Looking at common comments a few years ago about uniform there was lots of talk about wanting uniform bottoms (which I think many meant walking trousers). I suspect this some how translated into a skirt by the college design team that came up with the Guide uniform.

    Regarding culture I thought that was why there was a long-sleeved top, rather than the reason for skirt.

    My feelings about the dress are strong. Very strong!
     
  6. Burghilly

    Burghilly Veteran (100+ posts)

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    I have to say mine are too but I didn't want to have a rant as the opener for the thread :0) Personally I feel both garments are horrible - I feel they will/have dated VERY quickly , are unpractical and like I said earlier - seemed to be designed in a style for a girl of around age 5!

    I would love them to come up with an 'activity dress' - similar concept to activity trousers, quick drying UV protection fabric, not too tight to allow for movement and with useful pockets & zips.Girls who like to wear dresses, or whose body shape is better suited to a dress can still have outdoor adventures in dresses but in something far more practical.

    If they were to do away with the skirt and dress - which if poor sales or lack of demand are to go by might well happen - I'd be interested to see if they would come up with other uniform items to replace them - eg Guide branded leggings or perhaps Guide branded activity trousers / joggers. OR perhaps a skirt & dress that the girls actually like!
     
  7. Hilary

    Hilary Guide Guider and District Commissioner GuiderPlus

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    Nobody would buy them. They would be too expensive when you can buy navy leggings, joggers, jeans dead cheap in the supermarket. Latest self-imposed fashion for my lot seems to be navy "school " skirts, which none of them wear to school but you can pick up in Asda for a fiver.

    Having said that we visited HQ a few weeks ago and some of my 12 year olds loved the skirts and insisted on trying them on and being photographed in them. I don't think they'd known they existed up til then. It's not a secret but if nobody wears them you never see them. I think they're hideous but I kept quiet!
     
  8. badgemad4

    badgemad4 Veteran (100+ posts)

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    As the last time I posted about the dress on here it ended up in the Plymouth Herald and resulted in the forum changing its post value titles I think I should remain quiet ;)
     
  9. browniebeth

    browniebeth Brownie Leader Staff Member Moderator GuiderPlus

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    What, you mean we're not in the presence of the World Chief Guide??? :')
     
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  10. ker-stee

    ker-stee SGP Enthusiast GuiderPlus

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    I saw a number of girls in them at Flamingo Fling and I thought the skirt looked nice, the dress on the other hand doesn't really go with the polo top (Which I imagine is one of the pieces it's supposed to go over!

    In the long run though, the girls won't be the people buying the items, it relies on the parents thinking they're nice/practical to buy them for their girls.

    With regards to being 'practical', the camp uniform years ago wasa dress, and the girls still climbed trees and did other adventurous activities... Perhaps it's not the type of outfit that has become impractical, but possibly our options and feelings about what is practical has changed...
     
  11. Tregi

    Tregi Veteran (100+ posts)

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    One guide appeared in the dress last night (2 units together so not one of 'ours') and although it looked fine on a small 10 yr old, she wore it without a top underneath - she had a cardigan on most of the night. It is fine, and looks fine, but on a 13-14 yr old who has curves, I'm not so sure. I think all uniform should look good on all members, whatever size or shape they are, and the 2 different t-shirts and hoody give those options, I personally don't think the dress does.
     
  12. badgemad4

    badgemad4 Veteran (100+ posts)

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    I don't think it's that it's not practical, as you said girls managed for many years. It's that it's not as practical. As an example I'd happily go on a long walk in a dress or skirt, but if I was doing an incident hike or going to be sat on the ground I'd plump for trousers or shorts as they don't twist about as much, and have a bit more coverage from stingers (and don't have the risk of exposing my knickers!!).
     
  13. Trinny

    Trinny Veteran (100+ posts)

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    The whole process of the new guide uniform felt a bit forced to me. It all smacked of GGUK hearing what they wanted to hear. Maybe that's unfair, but when I saw the "sketches" the girls had done, that all conveniently had the arms a different colour to the body, and then the zip in a third colour, I thought it strange that so many girls would independently choose that. I suspect a similar thing happened with the skirt and dress.
    Also, I find that more girls have multiple activities now. So for girls coming straight from hockey/gymnastics/debate, chucking a hoodie in your bag is easier than a dress and then tights, and then some shoes that go.
     
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  14. Epona

    Epona Veteran (100+ posts)

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    I'd love to see GGUK cargo trousers. My Guides have many sharp comments about the fit and availability of pockets compared to men's trousers!
     
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  15. Tregi

    Tregi Veteran (100+ posts)

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    I bought 2 pairs of pj bottoms, 1 ladies 1 mens, same style, same size(ish). Men's were cheaper and had pockets!!!!

    Sent from my SM-G850F using Tapatalk
     
  16. Hilary

    Hilary Guide Guider and District Commissioner GuiderPlus

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    I and some of my Guides wear the Scout activity trousers. They come in girls and women's sizes but some people find the boys/men's fit better.
     
  17. Quack

    Quack Veteran (100+ posts) Staff Member Moderator GuiderPlus

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    There is an article about pocket equality on the BBC a few months ...

    The hunt for women's clothes with pockets - The hunt for women's clothes with pockets

    It's a topic that really irritates me.

    Sent from my SGP712 using Tapatalk
     
  18. mhairilowl

    mhairilowl Beginner (10+ posts)

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    we had one girl buy the dress but she didn't wear anything underneath it. but hasn't been on since we have returned. i liked the dress but i doubt i would of wore it as i am a trouser girl through and through. would agree navy or black trousers would be great but again i don't think many in my unit would wear them.
    i guess it is hard for GG to get the balance of what every person wants but it would be nice if they listened. current bee in my bonnet is the removely of the zipper leaders hoodie because they produced the zipper jacket.
     
  19. turnip

    turnip Veteran (100+ posts)

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    I don't see the point in parents spending £15 or £20 on something they don't need. I could understand offering a skirt option if uniform bottoms were compulsory or even if they were optional but there was a Guide trousers option as well. Just having an optional skirt is a bit... pointless?

    I do tell parents about the full range of options, but I also point out that the dress and skirt still need to be worn with a uniform top (and leggings to be practical). The skirt itself doesn't offend me, although i think the dress is awful and more suited to Rainbows (just can't imagine any girl with the slightest of curves wearing it) but its impractical and pointless. I wouldn't object if one of my Guides wore it, as long as they have leggings or thick tights on underneath so they can still do everything
     
  20. GeorgiaMarie

    GeorgiaMarie (Newbie)

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    As a ranger myself, I honestly would wear either garment and am personally gutted that they didn't come up with them when I was a guide, I actually really like the skirt and if I could, I would wear it to Rangers
     

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