Things Nobody Told Me: Boy Scout Fashion

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This is a new idea I'm trying out where I talk about something trivial I just learned about and then act outraged about how nobody told me. Here goes: A few weekends ago I was at the uniform store hunting for authentic Boy Scout neckerchiefs when I noticed this:

Why did no one tell me that Oscar de la Renta was designing Boy Scout accessories?

For anyone with me on the slow train, here's the belated scoop. At first, I was just wondering if Oscar was catering to some sort of fancier dressing subset of the Scout population. Apparently not. According to Scouting Magazine (the only source I trust for Boy Scout related news), after 60 years of basically the same uniform, the Scouts wanted to change their look. To make their outfits seem less military-like, the Boy Scouts entrusted fashion designer Oscar de la Renta?! Supposedly, de la Renta spent 4 years volunteering on the project, pulled off the "vestiges of military flavor," changed up the colors, added a baseball hat, and made neckerchief wear optional (amongst other things). In fact, the uniforms you see today are pretty much de la Renta designs, and Scouts have been wearing them ever since the early 80's. Who knew?

In any case, if all of this is true (I believe everything I read on the internet) it's been over 20 years since the outfit got an overhaul. I think the Scouts are ready for a new look. Any ideas on who should be designing them? Mark Ecko? Sean John? Leave your suggestions in the comment box if you got "˜em.

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October 11, 2007 - 8:36am
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