Marching Band Uniform Care
or
How to Hang Up Your Uniform Properly and Avoid Being on the Slacker Rack

1. One Marching Band uniform costs approximately $450. You and your parents purchase these uniforms through cash payments or volunteer work on fund-raisers. That money doesn't have to go to uniform replacements as often if we take good care of what we have.

2. Section leaders will assist you in caring for your uniform.

3. Uniforms should look good on the student and on the hanger. When a uniform is hung up properly, it will look good all season long. Often the uniforms finish a performance damp with rain or sweat. If the uniform is not hung up correctly, it will "dry" in that condition and look bad the next time it is worn.

4. The basic steps to hang up a uniform are:

a. Pants first. Turn the pants upside down, aligning the seams and the pleats. All four seams should match (seams are the line that is sewn down the inside and outside of the pants leg). The 4 pleats should hang completely straight and flat (the pleat is the crease in the front and back of the leg). You should be able to hold the pants from the bottom of the legs and see the uniform hanging flat and straight. When you get this right, you'll know it. If the seams and and pleats do not match, the uniform will never hang straight.

b. Place the pants over the hanger and pull the legs down so that the bottom of the pants hangs about even with the shoulder straps. If one side hangs much longer than the other, the pants will not hang correctly in the wooden crates.

c. Jackets next. The jacket goes on the hanger so that your name and the numbers can be seen from the front of the jacket. That way, all the uniforms hang facing the same direction. This makes finding your uniform the next time you need it much easier and quicker.

d. Zip the jacket ALL the way up and hook the clasp. Zipping the jacket up allows the jacket shoulders to hang and dry on the large hanger correctly (see #3 above).

e. Place your uniform in the wooden crate labeled with your section. If you put it in the correct spot, it If
will be easy to find the next time you need it! Amazing, huh?

5. Sequins. Even with the new plastic covered sequin inserts, care must be taken as this is one of the more fragile parts of the uniform. There should never be a reason to bend or fold the insert.

6. Uniform fitting. When you are fitted for your uniform in August, the shoulder straps on the pants may be pinned to get the pants length correct. Please do not mess with those pins! Sagging is not appropriate in marching band - Mr. Walker is watching.

7. Every marcher will be issued a new pair of gloves on Picture Day. After that, replacement gloves are $2.00 a pair.

8. Black socks. While the song goes "they never get dirty" we all know differently. Take your socks home occasionally. There are a limited number of loaner socks in the uniform room, emphasis on LIMITED. In the past, we have run out.

9. Black shoes. Keep them at school! There are a limited number of loaner shoes in the uniform room, emphasis on LIMITED. Remember, socks go home to be washed - uniforms and shoes stay at school!

10. Hats and hat boxes. Storing your gloves in your hat box is a pretty good idea. Storing 5 or 6 pairs of dirty gloves and socks, candy, and food in your hat box is probably not, emphasis on NOT. Love notes found in hat boxes will be posted on the Band web page.

11. Returning uniforms to the uniform room after a performance. Yes, we know you've got things to do and places to go and people to see. Believe it or not, so do the uniform moms. Getting 200+ uniforms stored away properly after a performance is a big job but an easy one if each student does their part. If just 30 uniforms are put away incorrectly, that can become an extra hour of work for the moms. Soooo…..uniforms that are found to be hung incorrectly go to the Slacker Rack. The next time a student comes to fetch their uniform and cannot find it in the wooden crates, they will face the jeers, taunts, and humiliation of having to get their uniform from the Slacker Rack.

How can YOU avoid the Slacker Rack? There are a couple options:

a. Learn to hang your uniform up correctly. It isn't hard. YOU CAN DO IT!
b. Ask your section leader to assist you. They like to help.
c. Ask a friend to help you, given that they know how to do it correctly.
d. Pay a friend to help you (jk).
The option missing is asking a uniform parent to do it for you. You will be asked quiet nicely and with a smile on our faces, to go to the back of the line and try again (see options a through d).

12. Missing buttons, hat straps, chains, and other problems. If you lose a button or a hat strap/chain or your zipper breaks or you tear (please no!) your uniform, tell one of the uniform moms. We are always equipped to make emergency repairs as we are quite amazing.

13. Hair, jewelry, nail polish and make-up. Hair must be completely up inside your hat. If you need hair clips and bands ask but preferably, take responsibility for this ahead of time. No make-up, nail polish or face glitter when in uniform. None. No earrings -none, not even tiny, little ones. You can wear them after the performance.

14. Do NOT wear bulky shorts, jeans, or pants under your uniform even if it is cold! Thermal underwear might be necessary later in the season but is worn close to the skin. Jeans and shorts, other than the thinnest soccer type shorts, do not work.

15. Hat plumes (feathers) are much like the sequins: very fragile. Each plume is stored in its own individual cardboard tube and babysat by loving plume moms. You will notice that the plumes are inserted into your hat before each performance by one of these obsessive plume moms. There is a reason for this! The plumes must be handled carefully and inserted by holding on to the base metal piece only. Unfortunately, the plume moms are not numerous or quick enough to catch every marcher as the band exits the field. This causes great anxiety to the plume moms when they see students grabbing the feathers and yanking the plume out! Please try to reach up to the top of your hat, clasp the base of the plume and gently pull the plume out. By doing so, you are adding years on to the lives of the plumes and the plume moms!

16. Uniforms "on the road". For shorter trips the band travels in uniform, for over-nights, the uniforms will travel separately in crates. On the short trips, students have the option of riding in the uniform pant and leaving the jacket on the assigned hanger OR leaving the entire uniform on the assigned hanger in order to ride in comfortable clothing. Each student is responsible for carrying their uniform, hat box, gloves and shoes onto the bus. Special care must be given to where and how the uniform is stored on the bus. Students can gently lay the uniform in an overhead compartment or work together to hang uniforms in available locations. Section leaders and chaperones will be checking to see that uniforms are not crammed under seats or in overhead compartments or even worse, being sat on or (gasp!) spilled on! Students need to take care of their assigned hanger for the return trip and uniform check-in back at school.

17. Nag, nag, nag.....

That's about it. Have fun and a great marching season!

 

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