It appears to me – but I can’t say with one hundred percent certainty – that this young woman is wearing the uniform of a camping group, perhaps the Girl Scouts. My best guess is that this photo dates from the early 1930s. I even have a Girl Scout manual from that time period, and the uniform pictured in it is remarkably similar to this one.
It could even be earlier. I have an early 1920s manual that an afternoon of on again/off again searching has not located. I will be updating as soon as the elusive manual is found.
I’m in the process of developing a presentation about women’s hiking attire for a local hiking club. I’m looking at the late Victorian period through the 1930s and would greatly appreciate any sources or photos that you might want to share.
In the meantime, here is the news…
* The Imperial War Museum in London has a very interesting artifact – the corset cover a woman was wearing when she was sucked into one of the funnels of the sinking Lusitania. The ship went down 100 years ago last week.
* The buzz about the new exhibition at the Met has been mainly positive. There are those who do question whether or not the show will engage viewers in having the thoughtful experience that is needed.
* John Frederics gets the credit for making the hats for Gone with the Wind, but there is, of course, more to the story.
* The Museum at FIT has recently posted two videos from the conservation department that are fantastic. One by Marjorie Jonas shows her conservation of a Jeanne Lanvin dress, and the other has Nicole Bloomfield describing the work that was done on a Paul Poiret coat. This highlights the extreme importance of the paper archives at FIT and other institutions. The Poiret coat was found through Instagram!
* Earlier I posted a link to how LL Bean duck shoes were sold out in the months leading up to Christmas. Here’s more about the effect of fashion on “heritage” brands.
* Splurge and Purge: the “sin” of fast fashion.
* Here’s how designer Bill Blass helped trick the Nazis.
* I have not yet seen the new film about Iris Apfel, but I’m hoping it is full of gems like this: “But 70-year-old ladies don’t have 18-year-old bodies & 18-year-olds don’t have a 70-year-olds’ dollars.”
* I just found this fantastic blog on the history of women cycling and women’s rights.
* And finally, the last episode of Mad Men airs in just a few hours here in the USA. If you have not been watching this program over the past seven years, you have missed a real treat, and I suggest you get yourself to Netflix and watch the entire thing. I do want to ware you that the sexism in the first seasons is especially hard to stomach, but stay with it to be rewarded with one of the richest viewing experiences in American TV.
The costuming of the show, which takes place from 1960 to 1970, has been discussed to death, but I found it really interesting that people actually donated clothing to the wardrobe department of the show.
I’d also appreciate any help identifying this uniform. Thanks!
Update: Thanks to the helpful comments and nudges in the correct direction, I’m confident in saying that this is a Girl Guides of Canada uniform, late 1920s or early 30s.