What DID work – uniform

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So many things went right, I think I’m going to split them up.  So this is about the uniform.  If you are a delegate in the future, DO NOT STRESS THE UNIFORM.

Seriously.

There were people in t-shirts.

Some Councils decided to all wear matching polos (hot pink, nonetheless) or cardigans (light blue) or cowboy hats (from Nation’s Capital Council of all places) or t-shirts (seriously).  If your Council (like mine) does not opt for something like this, wear the navy blue pants you want to sit for hours and walk for miles in.  Wear the shoes that are most comfortable and don’t worry if they go with your outfit. Wear a white button down or blouse or nice knit top.  Wear a jacket if you want.  Whatever style you want.  If you have a denim jacket covered in patches, wear it.  People will take pictures of you in it.

Wear your pins and scarf.  This is not optional.  If you forget yours, they are sold at the Girl Scout Shop Booth.  Go get them ASAP.

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What didn’t work

The Shoes.

My new boots that I thought I had gotten decently broken in.  Did. Not. Work.  I wore them to my GSU sessions the first morning I was there, and by the end of the first 90 minute session where I was SITTING the whole 90 minutes, I was in agony.  I don’t know if they weren’t broken in enough, or if my feet had swollen from all the walking, or from the altitude.  I just know I was sooooooooo happy I also brought my well-broken in walking shoes.

In fact, they were so well broken in that now that I have put another 30 miles on them over the course of the trip, they are pretty much done for.

The Pants.

I brought two pairs of pants with me, and I am SO grateful I did.  The first pair of pants I bought in May or June.  And then I lost 50 pounds.  Needless to say, they were about 2 sizes too big on me, and hung there, looking like a sack from my waist.  I had originally thought that they would be super comfortable to wear on the way home, you know, big and slouchy.  But come Sunday morning, I could not stomach the idea of wearing them again.  They were lined, and the lining had ripped at some point, making them even worse looking on me.

So I chucked them.  Just threw them away in the garbage.

I wore my other pair of blue pants, which fit perfectly, and saved a little space in my bag.

Laundry.

I had planned on washing my pajamas/workout clothes every morning after my workout in deference to my roommate’s nose.  Yeah, didn’t happen.  I did wash them after the second day, though (because 4 days without washing would have grossed me out), washing and rinsing in the sink and hanging to dry in the bathtub.  They were mostly dry by the time I wanted to get ready for bed, but I did move them and wring them again halfway through the day.

I also brought several dryer sheets to keep everything smelling “fresh”.

It’s not required, but . . .

that doesn’t mean I don’t want/need a jacket.  After all, it is Utah.  In October.  And I’m from Houston.  But, rather than the stupid (already returned) badly fitting structured blazer, I’m going with a DIY solution.  I’m using this pattern (which is not as easy as it looks), so try to imagine the jacket in a navy blue ponte knit.  That pretty much EXACTLY matches the pants I bought at the beginning of summer (which are gonna be a whole lot looser on me now).

Like this, only cut out and sewn together. 🙂
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The pattern is way more complicated than any pattern I have used before, because it has this weird Y-seam going on at the shoulders.  I tried really hard, but I couldn’t get it to be perfect.  I’m okay with that, because the shawl collar is gonna cover that up.  I am VERY proud of my armscyes, though.  For you non-sewers, that’s the armhole.  This was the first time I was able to produce a perfect, non-bumpy, non-gappy, set-in sleeve.   So if you see me at the Convention, you are allowed to come up and compliment me on my sleeves, but no fair lifting my collar to see the craziness going on at the shoulder seams. *grins*

No Jacket Required

Woot! So after all my angst and worry about wearing a “professional” blazer to represent my Council in the most dignified way I can – now I find out I can actually be comfortable!  Once I was able to log on to the Delegate Resource site, I noticed that the exemplar piture they have of a woman in official Girl Scout uniform is wearing . . .

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A navy sweater.  THIS navy sweater.  The one that is curently on sale for $9 at girlscoutshop.com and is listed as a T-SHIRT.

Rather than get my knickers in a twist over the unnecessary angst, I merely cheered loudly and made plans to return the blazer I bought to wear for the Convention (and that I would wear  NOWHERE ELSE).  I am totally going to get a waterfall style jacket instead, which is a design I love and I think looks much more attractive on my bulk than a structured jacket.

It will not look good over my white button down blouse, but my intention was to wear that on days when I didn’t wear a jacket anyway – I get too hot to wear a long sleeve shirt and a jacket.

So the lesson for other Girl Scout National Delegates (for 2014 and beyond), is that “business attire” in the GSUSA lexicon means “business casual” but don’t forget the scarf and pins!

Oh, and speaking of scarves – I found the one I really wanted on ebay, and it arrived, and I’m so loving it!  I was not a fan of the current scarf (not big on polka dots, and the background is a little too dark for me).  I would love either of the 100th Anniversary ones, but silk is out of my price range.  So I got one from several years ago, which I fell in love with months ago when I was reseaching the various scarves.

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I love all the different blues and greens (except the chartreuse, I really hate chartreuse) on this scarf.  I like that it is an oblong scarf, as that seems easiest to work with (as a non-scarf-wearer).  And even though it is polyester, it has a really nice drape and feel.

What’s your favorite Girl Scout scarf?

Delegate Wear

I have been going over and over the bazillion travel capsule wardrobe plans out there on the internet. I think they are a great idea, especially if you want to pack very lightly. But no one has really designed one for my specific need – being a Delegate at the National Girl Scout Meeting and Convention. Almost every capsule starts with the premise that you should have a foundation of black, because black goes with everything.  Many will give lip service to the idea of using other neutrals, like beige, brown, white, ivory, or navy – but they rarely show examples.  The Vivienne Files does have quite a few posts that focus on navy, as do some other sites, but many of those do not focus on formal business attire.  So, what is an adventurer to do?  Make her own.

The Rules:

  1. Navy formal business attire for Council Sessions.  Three days of them.  Don’t want to wear the same thing three days in a row.
  2. Try not to buy things I will never wear again.
  3. Must look good with the Girl Scout Scarf – so orange and red are out.  Would be anyway, since I don’t wear them.  Ever.
  4. I might get to walk around the Hall of Experiences, or do other things where I can wear casual clothes.
  5. I’m not wearing a suit on the plane.
  6. There is a Delegate Dinner and Party I would like to look pretty and non-suity for.

Here is what I came up.

Delegate Wear

Navy Suit Jacket, White Scoopneck Tank Top, Blue GSSJC Polo (I already own), white button down, Girl Scout Legacy Scarf, Navy Scoopneck Tank Top, Green to Navy Ombre Overtunic, Khakis, Navy Suit Pants (The suit pieces are from Jessica London, the polo is Land’s End, the other four shirts are from Catherines, and I haven’t gotten the khakis yet.)

  • Travel days – khakis and polo
  • Casual Activities – Khakis and polo, khakis and white shirt, khakis and navy tank and white shirt
  • Council Sessions – suit pants and white tank and jacket, suit pants and navy tank and jacket, suit pants and white shirt
  • Dinner, Party, etc. – either pants and navy tank and overtunic

I love that overtunic.  It screams Girl Scouts to me while not screaming GIRL SCOUTS, if you understand what I mean.  It’s sheer and floaty – no way to wear it without a tank underneath, but that’s okay.  The tanks are the same as one of my favorite shirts I already owned – in black.  I love the fit, the thickness of the material, the length (have I mentioned I’m really tall?), the collar, and the shoulder area.  I like that they don’t have the usual tank straps, so under a jacket it looks like I am wearing a regular shirt without all the extra fabric making me hot on my arms.  I would never feel really comfortable wearing a full business suit with long sleeve white button down shirt under a jacket – the heat would kill me!

Next, I have to sort out shoes and accessories.

Adult Girl Scout Uniform

Quick Quiz!  What is the official Girl Scout Uniform for Adult Volunteers?

 

 

According to GSUSA,  it’s a navy business outfit with an official scarf and your membership pin tab.

Yeah, that’s not what I wear in any of my roles.  Sorry, GSUSA.

As a Troop Leader, I wear clothes appropriate to the activity (jeans and t-shirts for meetings, with hiking boots and bandanas added for camping).  As a Community Leader (the new name for Service Unit Manager, which I am not fond of), I wear nicer clothes, put on jewelry, and maybe put on makeup.  As a Facilitator, I wear khakis and a darker shirt which identifies me as a Council Volunteer (as required by my Council).

Houston, we have a problem.

I’m kind of a casual dressing person.  In my head, I look like this, very subdued and loose, kinda boho (but not crazy), nothing glittery or neon.  My jewelry is usually more like this, though. *grins*  We’ll talk jewelry later.

But business attire?  Um, nope.  Not in my closet.  I am a mostly Stay at Home Mom, with some Jewelry Teacher thrown in on the side.  These are not careers which call for a suit.

And navy?  Seriously?  Ooooh, boy.  I don’t wear anything navy except denim.  I love blues, don’t get me wrong! But navy is so somber; I prefer teals.

Okay, so I will have to acquire the required uniform.  Now comes problem #2.  While, in my head, I am this tall willowy figure who can wear anything, in reality I am a tall plus sized woman who carries a lot of her weight in a well distributed way.  I do not have a shelf butt, nor am I exceedingly top heavy.  Think of it this way: I have an hourglass figure that holds enough sand for 2 days. 😉  I find tight structured clothing extremely restrictive, and frankly it doesn’t serve me well, style-wise.  Most suit jackets for some bizarre reason end right across the hip, which on me would kind of point out where I am widest.  Doesn’t that break a fashion rule somewhere???  And while Anna Marie Chavez may be able to really rock a standard business suit; to me, it is just reminiscent of a badly designed corset.

Don’t even get me started on trying to shop for a good looking suit.  If you are a plus sized woman, then you have gone through the process explained exceedingly well (with images) here at Buzzfeed.  One thing they don’t mention is that even though there are a huge number of online options available now, 99% of them use “plus size” models who are a size 12 or so, so the customer has NO realistic idea of how the clothing will look on them.  We just get the slender look they want us to think their clothes can give us.

So, add it all up, and my best option is to make my own.  I will get something in fabrics I know will travel well, sized to fit me exactly, in a style that will make me feel comfortable and confident.  Here is the pattern I plan to use (notice the woman on the package is plus size!).  I love waterfall style jackets, and they will look so great with scarves – which is something I will have to practice wearing in a professional way.  I usually use them for my hair! 🙂  I will be getting white or ivory sleeveless shells to go under the jacket (because I don’t really get cold easily), and a nice green based blouse that I can wear with my suit.  I plan on getting one pair of more standard suit pants to expand my wardrobe for the week.  (I’ll get more specific in a future post.)

One of my fellow possible delegates (who has been there, done that 3 times) said that any official uniform is acceptable at the National Council Sessions, so she is going to be rocking the green one from the 70’s!  🙂 Not my style, but I really like the scarf’s design.  I would have to sew 2 together, though – it’s only 36″ long.