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Variation of Shako Hats — April 30, 2015

Variation of Shako Hats

One of the most prominent pieces of the marching band uniform is the shako hat. It is one of the forms of headgear that a marching band member may wear as part of the overall uniform. The shako hats have a history of their own and have deep historic origins. Basically the name ‘shako’ originates from the Hungarian language, in which it means ‘peaked cap.’ Back in the 18th century the Hungarian hussar wore this hat as part of the overall uniform.

During the 1800s this headdress was very popular among armies and it was worn by different armies of Eastern Europe and even by the American army during the 1800s. It was made out of heavy leather and felt, and was designed to provide protection to the skull of the soldier wearing it. Furthermore the visor of the shako hat is designed to protect the eyes of the soldiers and served to provide shade to them.

Regardless of these considerations, there was little protection that the shako could provide the soldiers with, as it was only able to cover the skull partially and it proved to be ineffective against the enemy’s cavalry. This is why the popularity of the shako hat was short lived and other more effective headgears were developed with time.

However, this kind of hat is still very popular and is worn as part of marching band uniforms. There are different kinds of shako hats, some of which have are mentioned as follows:

  • There was the ‘stovepipe’ shako, which was cylindrical in shape and stood tall decorated with a brass badge right at the front of the hat.
  • Then there is the ‘Belgic’ shako which was introduced by the Portuguese marines and it was slightly different in shape from other categories of the shako. This kind of shako was made from black felt and it had a slightly raised front.
  • The Imperial Russian army introduced a design of the shako hat in 1812 which was called Kiwa and it was again made with certain distinguishing features in order to differentiate it from the other kinds of shako designs. These shako hats are easily distinguishable from their concave or slightly dished tops.
  • Next in line is the ‘bell top’ design which was much popular in the 1820s and in the 1830s. This form of shako hats was much bigger in size and was elaborately designed. This hat was more commonly used for parades rather than on battlefields because there were very few wars in Europe at that time.
  • There are many other variations that were introduced as additions to the shako hats and we are well-equipped to provide you with a design of your choice to match your marching band uniform.
Types of Majorettes Uniforms —

Types of Majorettes Uniforms

Majorette uniforms have evolved a great deal since their inception. In their earlier days, they used to give off a cute appearance with short tasseled boots, flippy skirts which had a military style to match the overall attire, and also, a frog closed jacket to complement the overall uniform. Although cuteness is still a part of majorette uniforms, however, now priorities have changed.

This is because a large number of schools are searching for uniforms which are have the shine and dazzle that is becoming common in show costumes. Furthermore, they are also made to fit, in order to enhance the toned and athletic form of the majorettes.

The functions and moves of Majorettes have also considerably evolved from simply twirling batons; and more and more majorettes have incorporated flags, ribbon twirling, and dance moves as a part of their routine. The purpose behind displays by majorettes have also increased significantly. These majorettes not only lead a band now, but serve the role of interpreters as music bands, while also attracting the audience’s attention towards themselves and towards the band.

The costumes of a majorette are no longer required to just look pretty, in fact, they are now meant to be stylish uniforms which facilitate the movement of the majorette, which is in sync with the music that is being played. Majorettes are mainly athletes; which means that the way in which they interpret the music might help them in winning a competition or it might signify a loss too. This serves to emphasize their importance as representatives of their band and school. A majorette’s uniform should be such that it should clearly indicate their ties with a band, in addition to their skills as an entertainer.

Types of majorette uniforms

Broadly, there are two types of majorette uniforms:

Nostalgic uniforms

These uniforms are a tribute to nostalgic majorettes that were charged with leading marching bands back in the 1950s and the 1960s. Such uniforms had features similar to that of a cheerleader’s uniform. These uniforms had elements like a pleated skirt, which was usually short and had white boots or sneakers to go with it. Such footwear was mostly decorated with tassels too.

Furthermore, gloves were an important aspect of these uniforms along with a hat that had a feathered plume attached to it. This plume was used to identify the majorettes with their bands.

Competitive Majorettes

These kinds of majorettes have more revealing attire as opposed to the bands of old. Such majorette uniforms include spangled leotards along with flashy cutouts and bold makeup to complement the entire uniform. Apart from this, the majorettes have their own hairstyles to complement the mood of the competition they are participating in.

Essentially, the main difference between the two types lies in the modesty of the two uniforms which is reflective of the traditions prevailing at the time. Regardless of which one you prefer, we can provide it to you with ease!

Marching Band Uniforms —

Marching Band Uniforms

Marching bands originated in the military and the police forces, where troupes in these institutions had their specific marching band uniforms that distinguished them from others. Over time, marching bands have evolved greatly and they now serve the purpose of performances which are choreographed to enhance entertainment. The uniforms today are in many ways a tribute to the previous ones; however, there are slight variations so that all bands are able to maintain a unique outlook in order to be distinguished easily.

There are a lot of changes that marching band uniforms have undergone over time. For instance many bands wear tuxedos or matching shirts to distinguish themselves, however, most commonly there are three main components of a marching band uniform. These start with an embroidered uniform jacket and matching pants. Furthermore there has to be a headgear which is usually very detailed and elaborate. Then all band members are required to wear matching gloves, which are mostly white and the boots coordinate with the overall attire in most cases. Also, there is usually a plume to decorate the hat.

There are a number of different styles which you can use for your own band uniform. We offer you a variety of options to choose from. You can have your marching band uniform, similar to that of the military or you can have it in tuxedo style or any other colour or design that you want. We have   a vast variety of different designs when it comes to marching band uniforms . Opt for a unique jacket for your uniform or you can try the elaborate variety of blouses that can be used for an all-female band.

We pay close attention to the needs of marching bands, which is why we have a variety of different options available when it comes to the individual components of a marching band uniform. You will find a great collection of hats or headgear for your own marching band. Apart from this we offer a wide variety of footwear for you to choose from in order to make your band more distinguishable and more prominent in a crowd. Furthermore, by making use of our elaborate collection of gloves you have the option of customizing your band uniform according to your needs.

We offer a large number of band accessories as well, which include buttons, cords, cummerbunds, escorts and other things which will help you in making your band uniform more distinguishable. We also provide shields and capes to cater to your specific requirements.

Drill Team Outfits —

Drill Team Outfits

A team of dancers is often referred to as a drill team or a pom squad. These terms are essentially used to define a group of athletes who choose to participate in dance competitions. The routine that a squad follows; constitutes of a number of elements including the technical steps which are incorporated into the dance routine; such as the leaps, turns, jumps, kicks, or tumbling.

Furthermore, a squad usually follows a specific dance style such as lyrical, jazz, hip-hop or any other style of their choosing. Also, a dance routine of a squad may include cheers along with pompoms.

Responsibilities of a Drill Team

The function of a traditional high school dance squad is to represent the high school in various dance competitions, and they are also responsible for promoting the spirit of the school through their dance. Dancing is the kind of sport which is performed all year round, mostly during competitions, and at different sporting events, out of which, the most common are basketball and football matches. Sometimes, according to the policy of the school, certain dance squads also perform at pep rallies.

Uniforms worn by Dance Squads

Drill teams or dance squads require apparel that allows them to move freely and perform the stunts without any hindrance. The most common drill team uniform accessory includes a pair of white boots, which are mostly comes accompanied by a white hat. The officers of the dance team also wear uniforms that are completely white, as opposed to the members, who wear colored drill team uniforms.

In some places, usually in Texas, dance squads are trained in a military like routine. This involves having a specific chain of command for everyone to follow. This chain of command usually has military like titles, such as, lieutenants, leading squads and captains. Tradition has it that drill teams were usually comprised of females; and remains particularly true for Texas. However, now things have changed as males are participating in them as well.

There are a lot of other accessories that can be used to make a drill team uniform more effective. These include masks, dance gloves, below the elbow gauntlets, colored hair extensions, finger gloves, suspenders, wide lace up belts, metallic boot spats to get the attention of the crowd, as well as strands of bright hair, garment dance bags, and a wide variety of scrunchies, etc.

All these accessories play their part in making a drill team outfit more unique so that one squad’s uniform stands out from that of the others. This is an essential requirement in order to develop a unique identity of the team so that it has a more distinct presence in competitions.

Winter Guard Components —

Winter Guard Components

Essentially winter guard refers to an indoor activity just like color guard. This activity originates from the ceremonies of veteran organizations and military ceremonies. The main point of differentiation between color guard and winter guard is that color guard is usually performed outdoors whereas a winter guard is performed indoors, mostly in a gymnasium or some other indoor facility. The performances that take place in a winter guard mostly make use of recorded music, instead of a live orchestra or a band. Mostly the winter guard performances are usually reserved for competitions which are normally conducted by regional and local associations that make use of criteria developed by Winter Guard International.

There are three primary types of equipment that are used in winter guard namely, rifles, flags, and sabres. Apart from these other items can be used to display more artistic effects. These equipments are used for performances in shows in order to display the extent of a team’s technical ability. In order to give the equipment a more uniform look and to save it from any damage, it is covered with a rubber or electrical tape.

Flags

Winter guard flags are the most fundamental pieces of equipment, in this case. These flags are available in a variety of sizes and shapes. The standard size among the flags constitutes a metal pole which is six feet long along with silk which is normally of five feet and follows a custom design.

Swing flags which feature a shorter pole are also available. The length of these poles is considerably shorter but they have a large piece of silk attached to them. Often, these poles are made from plastic which allows them to move smoothly. The main purpose of such flags is to enhance the artistic elements of the performance overall.

Rifles

Winter guard rifles are molded to look like real rifles, but the rifles that are used during winter guard are made of lightweight hollowed-out or solid wood. The normal weight of the rifle is around 1-2.25 kilograms or 2-5 pounds. The standard length of winter guard rifles is about 30-39 inches. These rifles are primarily composed of 6 parts:

  • The neck is that part of the rifle which normally has the trigger on the original rifle.
  • The bolt is usually made out of metal or plastic and is connected to the body of the rifle with the help of screws.
  • The body of the rifle is its middle section and it has the most mass
  • The strap of the rifle is made of leather and it goes from the butt of the rifle right up to the nose.
  • The clip or the swivel is a piece of metal that is used to attach the strap to the rifle’s body.
  • Lastly, there is the butt of the rifle which is its heavier back end

Sabres

Winter guard sabres are the more elegant form of equipment in such performances. These sabres have an average length of 30-39 inches which comes to an approximate of about 76-79 centimeters. These sabres are made from a variety of materials including plastic covered metal, plastic, and metal.

Dance Leotards and Unitards —

Dance Leotards and Unitards

Dance leotards

A dance leotard is a one piece skin tight garment which can be used by both males and females. This garment leaves the legs free and just covers the torso of the wearer. The attire gained popularity after it was used in performance by a French performer; Jules Leotard; hence the name. Most commonly, leotards are the preferred choice of dancers, gymnasts, acrobats, those who perform at circuses, those involved in figure skating, by athletes and by actors as well.

These garments are preferred while practicing as well as while performing an act. Dance leotards are also often worn in combination with tights, particularly by men, while women often wear ballet skirts on top too. Dancing leotards come in three variations that are with long sleeves, sleeveless, or short sleeves.

Variations of Dance Leotards

A variation to this is the dance unitard which is a one-piece suit that includes material to cover the legs as well. In the form of a casual garment, the leotard can be worn along with a belt. Apart from this, the leotard can also be worn under short skirts or while wearing overalls.

Dance leotards are very different from bodysuits, mainly because leotards are usually entered through the neck; whereas bodysuits comprise of snaps located at the crotch area. These snaps allow the garment to be pulled over one’s head. A variation to general leotards is the scoop necked leotard that has a wide opening for the neck. However, in spite of a broader neckline, the garment is held in one place owing to its elasticity. Other variations to dance leotards include leotards which are closed at the neck using a zipper or a snap, polo necked leotards, and crew necked leotards.

History

This garment was referred to as the leotard in 1886, which was a long time after the death of the original performer. The name that Leotard himself used for this garment was ‘maillot.’ This is a general term in the French language, referring to the sports shirts or tight- fitting shirts. During the early part of the 19th century, leotards were worn only during circus performances and acrobatic shows, by the people acting in the performance. Later, these were fashioned into female swimsuits during the 1920s and 1930s. As time progressed, this garment started being used by dance performers as well and it gained popularity as dance wear due to the efforts of showgirls in Broadway.

Dance unitards

Unitard as mentioned above; is a one piece garment which is skin tight, featuring long sleeves and providing covering for the legs as well. Dance unitards cover the entire body up till the wrists and the ankles. It is different from a leotard as only one piece of apparel is needed to cover the entire body; ‘uni’ signifying the suit’s oneness. It can also be considered as a leotard with tights. These are worn by almost the same category of people but are highly preferred by gymnasts and dancers. This garment provides ease of movement for the wearer.

Essentially there is very little difference between a dance unitard and a dance leotard, as both can be used to serve similar needs. The choice of buying one; simply depends on what you prefer to wear and what your requirements are.

Customizing a Majorette Uniform —

Customizing a Majorette Uniform

The term majorette is used to define a person who performs any kind of dance or movement which is choreographed beforehand. The most basic form of routines associated with this; include parades, bands, and baton twirling. This is also related to the performance of females in gymnastic and drill teams somewhere in the late 19th and early 20th century.

The choreographed routine of majorettes is any group performance which makes use of apparatus which is similar to that used in rhythmic gymnastics. Other things that are made use of by majorettes include flags, fire batons, light-up batons, fire knives, and twirl knives.

These choreographed routines performed by majorettes include a number of variations which are aimed at attracting the crowd. These variations include flips, cartwheels, illusions, and they sometimes included performances which involved twirling multiple batons. This number might go up to four batons at a time.

Although majorettes are often confused with cheerleaders; the fact remains that these performances include baton twirling, which is more closely associated with rhythmic gymnastics as opposed to being a part of cheerleading.

How to customize majorette uniforms

It is essential that the uniform of a majorette is considerably different from the others and there are a number of ways in which schools can customize the uniforms in order to achieve this difference.. As majorettes are the ones leading the band, the uniqueness of their uniform is crucial for establishing a distinct identity of the band. Variations to the uniforms can be made in terms of:

Cloth

The appearance of a majorette is greatly affected by the fabric that is used to make the costume. For instance, a uniform made out of plush velvet will appear quite different from one that is made out of sequins. Similarly, the difference will be quite obvious with a majorette uniform that makes use of metallic material or lace. These things clearly standout as the band is led by the majorettes.

Design

One of the most obvious ways to customize a majorette uniform is to modify its design. The design can involve customizing the jacket of the uniform or by modifying the various components of the uniform. For instance; the inclusion of skirts, pants, or perhaps, short pants is an important decision in terms of the uniform design. Other important aspects include decisions regarding whether the suit is a one piece or whether it is in two pieces.

Accessories

Now this is one of the best ways to make your uniform stand out. These accessories include a large variety of items which may vary from wearing a cowboy hat to a bowler’s hat or perhaps a feather headdress may be used to accessorize the overall majorette outfit in order to make it look unique. Other accessory choices may include the inclusion of a skirt featuring a fringe or belts of sequin.

We can provide you with a variety of majorette outfits and accessories as per your need.

Choosing the Right Hat for a Marching Band Uniform —

Choosing the Right Hat for a Marching Band Uniform

A marching band uniform has to be just right with everything complementing each other. Sloppy attire is just not acceptable, and therefore, you should be careful that you maintain the right color combination among other details. This is specifically true for the hat that you pick out for your band uniform. There are many things that you need to consider before you go and buy a marching band hat. It is an important aspect of the uniform as it helps in maintaining an even or standardized look on the whole. It serves to make the band look as one whole unit without any differentiation in terms of hair or gender, etc. Listed below are some tips which will help you choose the right hat for your marching band uniform.

  • You need to ensure that your hat goes with your uniform. This requires the consideration of the type of the band that you are required to get the hat for. It could be a simpler hat for a simple uniform or in the case where the uniform is quite elaborate, the marching band hat, needs to be just as detailed.
  • When choosing a marching band hat, you will find that there is a larger variety available in the market. Especially when it comes to the different types available in the market, such as:

1.     Shako:

This is the most common type of marching band hat that is used. These hats have a cylindrical shape which is decorated with a small visor, along with a small hole for holding the plume and a chin strap to hold it in position. It also comes with some kind of decoration like an emblem or a chin. The most common use of these hats is in high school bands. These are standard marching band hats and they prove to be a good choice for anyone who is indecisive of which one to get.

2.     Helmet/Caps

Helmets or caps go well with a marching band uniform for military bands. These might also prove useful for bands which have a military background. These hats have a more formal look which is why they go well with uniforms which are more formal.

3.     Unique hats

Some bands are more informal and they have unique style hats. These hats are sometimes viewed as being very unusual mainly due to the relaxed and informal look that they carry. These hats include vintage jazz hats or the hats of the ‘bearskins’ or the ‘busby’, and are tall and furry and its similar to the ones mentioned previously.

There is a vast variety of marching band hats available in the market these days and we maintain almost all categories to meet your needs.

Benefits of Sweat suits —

Benefits of Sweat suits

A sweat suit is a form of garment which is made using water proof material and it features a unique design which allows the user to sweat extensively. It is also sometimes referred to as a ‘rubber suit’ because earlier versions of this suit were either made from rubber or a type of cloth which has certain characteristics of rubber in it. Nowadays, sweat suits or windbreakers are made from coated nylon or from PVC. It is made in a way which allows it to be water proof. These suits are used by people for a number of reasons which are mentioned as follows:

Used for losing weight

These suits are most commonly used when working out or during sessions of intense physical exercise that are performed in order to lose weight. This is one of the reasons for which wrestlers, professional boxers, and MMA fighters make use of these suits when they seek to qualify for a certain weight category. The rise in body temperature, along with the intense sweating induced by these suits help the person in losing weight due to loss of water. However, one must use these suits with due caution mainly because of the effects of dehydration caused by wearing these track suits. Water loss can cause dehydration and it considerably increases the chances of a heat stroke, which is why one should use these suits with caution as in extreme cases the above mentioned conditions may cause death as well.

It claimed that a sweat suit results in an increase in weight loss as it increases the metabolic rate, which aids in burning calories and this claim is endorsed by many experts in the field.

Use as a body wrap

These suits are also used in health spas to serve the purpose of body wraps. In the beginning the user is wrapped in bandages saturated with minerals and other forms of herbal preparations. After this is done the user is covered with a sauna suit. The main goal in this case is to allow the wearers of the suit to release the toxins present in their body through sweat. This is the most common use of these sweat suits.

For treating Psoriasis

These suits are used for medical purposes, including the treatment for psoriasis. This is essentially a type of skin inflammation which results in considerable discomfort and itching. This condition requires the affected person to keep the skin moist which is why these suits come in handy as they can be used to induce sweating. As these suits do not absorb water the person sweats extensively keeping the skin moist.

Different Types of Color Guard Uniforms —

Different Types of Color Guard Uniforms

There are many different types of colored guard uniforms available in the market. Each type differs from the other in terms of components and design. Usually color guard outfits include attractive tunics, leotards, and black pants which are stretchy in nature. Different combinations of these components are used to deliver different designs of color guard uniforms. There are various accessories and additional materials that can be used with color guard outfits in order to make it more elaborate and more distinguishable. The kind of gear used with these uniforms depends upon the dance routine that the team needs to perform.

Essentially the color guard is a kind of a dance team which mostly performs alongside a marching band on a football field. This dancing group or band is also hired to perform at different kinds of parades, but that happens occasionally. A color guard may come equipped with various props which they might use during their routines. These props may include flags, batons, plastic rifles and other such materials which might be used to complement the nature of the performance that the band is about to perform.

All color guard uniforms are designed to be eye catching as that is the main purpose of the band. The uniform ensures the dance groups get all the attention of the crowd which is why it is made to standout. The main idea is for the bands to be visible even form a considerable distance and which is why color guard uniforms are very detailed in nature. Most of the color guard uniforms have glittery material sewed into them to reflect the lights of the stadium making the dancers more visible. Furthermore, this material benefits by making the movements of the dancers more visible and pronounced.

Stretch pants are considered to be the foundation of a color guard uniform. These pants serve the purpose of being supportive and are usually made to fit the form of the dancers. However, these pants are never too tight so as to restrict the dancer’s movement or to reveal the shape of the dancer’s body. Depending on the type of performance for which the uniform is required, different forms of dance tops or tunics may be worn along with these pants.

The additional pieces that are used as part of the color guard uniforms are considered according to the kind of music that is being used and the dance routine of the performers. The tops may be cut in different styles, according to the preference of the group, so that one group is distinguishable from the other.

We have a large variety of color guard outfits along with different accessories to complement your uniform and to make it more unique.