Style and Sound: Band Uniforms and Footwear for 2017

Mike Lawson • • May 13, 2017

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SBO presents more of the latest fashion offerings for your band programs.


Prints are still the main trend for 2017! We continue to see more sublimated design ideas used on various parts of the band uniform. In many cases, it’s a drop sash or a short waist skirt used for accent, or in other cases the entire coat front, and trouser panels are printed with unique patterns and ideas that complement the style and image of that performing ensemble. As indoor performing groups continue to grow in number, we see more overlap of design ideas that often find their way to the field for marching bands across the country. Direct embroidered logos, emblems and special trims still reflect the traditional uniform worn by most of America’s marching bands. Bright new fluorescents and free flowing attachments such as shako wraps, drop skirts and other pieces help to create a more edgy look on the field or for inside venues. Technology continues to play a big role in the manufacturing process as more advanced cutting and printing equipment is now commonplace among uniform makers, as well as advances in customer service solution tools and online services to make the order processes faster and more efficient for the clients. Quality standards remain an important factor for most buyers because the uniform project is generally considered a longer-term investment for school band programs and therefore stronger, better construction standards are still needed even for machine washable garments that are the mainstay among today’s marching band programs.


The printing trend is extending to colorguard costumes too. McCormick’s is introducing a new line of vibrant, custom-printed unitards designed for colorguard and winterguard groups. Starting at an eye-popping $99.99, the company says these new custom, affordable unitards fill a void between the traditional $200+ costumes that take 8-12 weeks, and the stock ready-made pieces that don’t allow for full expression of a show theme. “Right now, a program with a costume budget of $100 doesn’t have many custom options,” notes Alan Yefsky, president of McCormick’s. “Our customers tell us they want something that looks good, is affordable, and can be customized quickly. These unitards deliver on all three fronts.” The company does the design work, just like they do with their extensive line of flags. Virtually anything can be printed, so the costume can fully integrate with the show being presented. The custom-printed unitards are available in sleeveless and sleeved designs, in a choice of three fabrics: tricot spandex, stretch velvet, or stretch metallic. Add-ons include skirts, mitts, and extra printed fabric. McCormick’s is also challenging the long lead times normally associated with custom costumes; their custom-printed unitards ship only in three weeks.


Trend-setting images are the hallmarks of FJM, Inc. Known for creating immediately identifiable uniforms for major DCI drum and bugle corps powerhouses, as well as BOA Championship Bands, FJM remains a leader in innovation with its Apollo headwear, a unique, versatile way to offer a variety of looks with interchangeable custom wraps. Premiered by Carolina Crown, and Claudia Taylor Johnson High School, the Apollo has become popular across the activity, perfectly pairing with their Gemini convertible uniforms. Gemini performance wear combines stretchwear elements and Cesario structured elements, allowing a variety of looks, depending on your show, and school. The Gemini concept can be worn as true stretchwear, hatless, for complete movement freedom, as seen on the 2012 Blue Devils, or in full-dress mode as seen recently on the Phantom Regiment. The Cavaliers use it both ways, in contest or concert. Apollo and Gemini show FJM’s commitment to leading the activity, responding to the changing needs of today’s bands.


Stanbury Uniforms serve as the industry leader in design, construction and customer service in the ever- changing world of marching band uniform production. Regional representatives with knowledge of your needs, as well as a feel for the traditions of yesterday and the trends of tomorrow will help you design a uniform that is “uniquely you”. We offer fully constructed military uniforms, college bands, athletic stretch wear, and modern customizable styles that offer a fresh look every season at a fraction of the cost, Stanbury is ready to work with you, and design a uniform that will stand out. Our many options of design and production will meet any budget and individual needs to provide you not only a quality uniform, but also a “memory maker” for you and your program. Every client at Stanbury is our most important, from new directors, to seasoned master teachers, to the DCI world champion Bluecoats, Stanbury is ready to make you part of our family.


Drillmasters’ patented Rolled-Heel design promotes a perfect “roll/glide-step/ corps-style” step. Built expressly for the Blue Devils, this footwear offers your performers structural features that deliver unmatched super-comfort. Rolled-Heel: Patented technology directs the foot into and through a perfect corps-style, “glide step.” Over and over, effortlessly, until it becomes automatic. Achilles Tendon/Heel-Lock: Plush-Comfort Ankle Collar derived from high-end sports shoes, the heel lock and collar protect, secure, and stabilize the foot. Promotes flawless execution of complex drills. Forefoot Hinge: Another unique innovation facilitates a more pleasing, “Toes-Up” visual-effect. Some band shoes fight the foot’s anatomy. This strategically placed “groove” complements it for a graceful, “ball of the foot” flex.


Upfront Footwear, Inc., distributer of Dinkles Marching Shoes, is proud to announce the addition of the Accent, an all-new dance shoe for color guard and front line performers, to their selection of marching shoes. Designed to provide style and comfort to both men and women performers in sizes ranging from men’s 5-14 and women’s 3-10, the Accent dual heel is available in stylish black to complement any uniform or costume design.




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