Uniforms

4 things to do before you return your uniformReturning your uniformTaking care of your uniform during the seasonUniform FAQs


Returning your marching band uniform

We’re coordinating the returns this year with parade practices. Do not bring your uniform in before your return date.

Questions? uniforms@soudertonbigred.org.

Dates: Wednesday, May 9 — Wednesday, May 16 — Wednesday, May 23
Time: 2:50pm drop-off; pick up your return receipt after Parade Practice

    1. Follow the steps in “4 things to do… “, below. Your uniform numbers are listed here: Marching Band Uniform Numbers 2017-18.
    2. Complete the BRMB Uniform Returns – May 2018 online form.
    3. Go to SignUpGenius and choose your return date.
    4. On your return date: Bring your uniform to school. You can leave it in the Uniform Closet in the morning, then hand it to us in the hallway after school, before parade practice. We’ll check it in while you’re at practice.
    5. Pick up your return receipt after practice, before you leave the building. (We’ll be as quick as we can, but you may need to wait a few minutes after practice ends.)

4 things to do before you return your uniform

    1. Check the numbers: Every part of your uniform has a number. The numbers assigned to you are printed on your garment bag tag and are listed in the Marching Band Uniform Numbers 2017-18 PDF file. If your uniform numbers do not match, let us know before return night.
      Note: If your garment bag tag does not have “rev 9-30-17” in the lower-right corner, you may not have the correct numbers.
    2. Check for “issues”: Take five minutes to look it over and note anything that needs to be addressed:
      —Cuffs, hems, seams, snaps, and hooks: Are the stitches solid? Does anything need to be mended? The dry cleaner (or you, if you’re handy with a needle) can fix loose stitching. Do the zippers work well?
      —There is a small pocket in the pants: it it empty? (Some pants have two pockets.)
      —Are there any stains? If so, tell the dry cleaner when you drop it off.
      —Shakos: Are there stains on the shako? You can spot-clean it. Is the shako box okay or do the handle and/or hinges need to be fixed? Leave your name on the shako box.
      —Raincoats: Empty those pockets! Remove the masking tape that has your name on it.
    3. Remember the hangers: You were given one hanger for the tunic and pants and another hanger for the raincoat, and the hangers were marked with your name. Return the hangers! Let us know if your hanger broke during the year.
    4. Clean the uniform. Leave the pants and tunic in the dry cleaning bag with the ticket attached. Care & cleaning instructions—with the two revisions described in the red update below—are in the Uniform Care Guide.
      Important Updates: This information supersedes the text in the Uniform Care Guide.
      1.  A few pairs of uniform pants (black, numbers N1 through N4, white unnumbered) have snap tape along the seams. Do not dry clean these pants. Machine wash cold, hang dry.
      2. Wash raincoats in COLD WATER ONLY and tumble dry on an AIR setting (NO HEAT) or HANG DRY. The Uniform Care Guide *and* the tags in the raincoat mention warm water and a warm dryer. We were told this year that heat (even “warm”) will eventually cause the red letters on the hood to peel off.
      3. Also: Please check the hoods and the lining, especially near the seam with the hood, for orange-yellow blotches and grey/black marks. If you see any of these, use a laundry pre-treatment spray and lightly rub it in. Nearly all of these marks will come out. Red spots will defy nearly all attempts to remove them; don’t worry about these, just let us know they’re there when you return the coat.

What to do on Uniform Return Day

1. Keep your tunic and pants in the dry cleaning bag with the dry cleaning ticket still attached. Exception: pants that use snap tape for the hem. see above

2. Before parade practice begins, bring your entire uniform to the Band Hall and drop it off with the Uniform committee.

3. After parade practice, pick up your return receipt. This is your proof that you have returned your uniform.

Taking care of your uniform during the season

When do I need to clean my uniform?

If it smells bad. If something is spilled on it. Hot chocolate, coffee, mustard, ketchup, cheese… these things can all create a difficult-to-remove stain on the tunic’s white stripe.

Dry cleaners have told us the best thing to do is to bring a stained item in as soon as possible. Always, always, always: tell the cleaner about the stain. Do not assume they will see it. They probably won’t.
I used stain stick on a spot. It looks perfect now. Do I really need to get it cleaned?
Getting it cleaned now is better. But if you wait, tell the cleaner about the original spot and the stain stick when you do take it to be cleaned. The chemicals used in the dry-cleaning process sometimes react with the residue that a stain stick (or the original stain itself) leaves behind. This can result in odd, often bluish-greyish, marks that appear after dry cleaning. When those marks do appear, the tunic has to be cleaned again. Those “post-cleaning-reaction” spots do not always come out.

It costs about $5 to have a tunic dry-cleaned. It will cost over $260 to replace a permanently-stained tunic.

At a minimum: you must dry-clean the tunic and pants before you return the uniform at the end of the season.

Hang it up. Always.

Really. This makes a big difference in how it looks.

Is it okay to crumple up the pants and just sort of shove them on a hanger? Or maybe cram them into my garment bag?

Oh, dear.
No.

Easiest way to hang pants on a hanger:
1. Make sure they are right side out.
2. Turn them upside down.
3. Fold the legs at the creases and put the side seams together.
4. Make sure that the legs are not twisted around.

Here comes the tricky part:
5. Hold the pants under your chin.
6. Pick up the hanger, turn it upside down (the hook is down, the bar is up) and put the bar next to the pants about half-way down the leg — this will probably be just below your waist.
7. Keep holding the hanger, lift up your chin, and fold the pant legs over the bar of the hanger.
8. Almost there: Smooth the fabric out so that nothing is bunched up. You want equal amounts of fabric hanging down on both sides so that the pants don’t slide off the hanger. Adjust as needed.

You did it! Now put the hanger inside the tunic and fasten the hook at the top so that your tunic stays on the hanger.

Uniform FAQs

When do we take the uniform home?
When do we return the uniform?
Participation Fee
What about a garment bag?
How do I know what uniform pieces “belong” to me?
What if my pants/sleeves need to be hemmed?
How do I take care of my uniform?
Augh! My shako box won’t stay shut and its hinges come apart
Do I need anything else for my marching uniform?
Do I need anything else for my color guard uniform?
Can I pay by check? Cash? Student Credit/Scrip?

When do we take the uniform home

On Monday, 8/14/17, at the conclusion of that evening’s Parent Information Meeting. Parents will sign out the uniform, get the uniform tag, pay the participation fee, pay the shoe fee (if necessary), make Band Store purchases, and sign up for volunteer activities.

When do we return the uniform?

After the marching season ends. You’ll wear the uniforms for the Disney Trip and the Souderton Christmas parade. Return dates are typically in January or February. They’ll be announced in December or January.

  • Tunics and pants must be dry-cleaned and returned in the dry-cleaning bag with the cleaning receipt attached.
  • Raincoats must be machine washed. Empty the pockets before you put it in the washer! (Yes, we check the pockets. If we find crumblies or candy wrappers or… you will have to take it home, wash it again, and bring it back.)
  • Does your uniform need to be fixed? Tell us when you return it.
  • Color guard: Ms. Tink will give you specific information for your uniforms.

For cleaning information, read the Uniform Care Guide.

Participation Fee

There is an annual participation fee per student. There is no “uniform fee”, but because you pay the participation fee when you pick up the uniform, sometimes it gets called a uniform fee.

What about a garment bag?

If you don’t already have one, you can buy a garment bag from the Band Store as well as at the Parent Information Meeting. The bags are inexpensive (most years, they cost less than $10) and will have “Big Red Marching Band” printed on them.

How do I know what uniform pieces “belong” to me?

The uniforms have four pieces: a tunic, pants, a raincoat, and a shako (hat). Every piece has a number. We keep track of the numbers. We also record the numbers on tags. Keep your tag in the clear pocket of your garment bag. Having that tag with you will make returning your uniform easier.

Many students like to “decorate” their shako boxes with low-adhesive tape, such as masking tape or painting tape. It makes it easier to quickly identify their box.

What if my pants/sleeves need to be hemmed?

We try to avoid it, but some pants and/or sleeves will need to be hemmed. Families are responsible for their own hemming. At the fitting, we can give you pricing and contact information for local tailors. If you can sew, you are welcome to put in your own hems. (See the Hemming instructions on the Files page of our website.)

How do I take care of my uniform?

Marching Band: see the Uniform Care Guide and the Hemming Instructions.

Color Guard: Ms. Tink will give you care information for you uniform. For your raincoat, see the Uniform Care Guide.

Shoes

Shoes to wear at camp and practices: Sneakers or running shoes. No Converse/Chuck Taylors.

Color Guard: Ms. Tink will give you shoe information.

New marching students: For games, competitions, parades where you wear the band uniform: You’ll get some great marching band shoes, aka “Dinkles”. A uniform company representative will measure you during the regular band camp.

Do you need new shoes? A uniform company representative will measure you during the regular band camp.

The shoes will be delivered to the school. The BRBB will collect the payment for the shoes at the Parent Information Meeting. The price varies from year to year, but is usually in the $30-$35 range.

Orthotics/shoe inserts: If you wear orthotics or some other type of shoe inserts, be sure to have them with you when your feet are measured at band camp .

Augh! My shako box won’t stay shut and its hinges come apart.

Shako boxes go through a lot and sometimes they don’t want to stay together any more. When this happens, you can wrap a Velcro strap around the hinges and/or the handle. Many of the boxes already have straps on them. If you need a strap, ask anyone on the Uniform committee.

Do I need anything else for my marching uniform?

Yes. Each marching student will need:

  • Plumes: Everyone who wears a shako will use a plume. You don’t keep the plumes, though; they are handed out before games and competitions and returned to the band room after games/competions.
  • Shoes. See Shoes, above.
  • (2) black band t-shirts. You wear these shirts under your tunic. You will buy them from the Band Store (they’ll be available during the Parent Information Meeting). The cost varies from year to year, but is approximately $12.
  • White gloves. Depending on your instrument, you may need white gloves. Ask your section captain or a staff member. You’ll want to have at least (2) pairs and quite possibly more. (They’re easy to lose.) You will buy them from the Band Store. The cost varies, but is typically less than $5/pair. Not
  • Black wrist bands. Depending on your instrument, you may need black wrist bands. Ask your section captain or a staff member. You’ll want to have at least (2) pairs and quite possibly more. (They’re easy to lose.) You will buy them from the Band Store. The cost varies, but is about $5.
  • Non-bulky shorts or leggings to wear under the uniform pants.
  • Black socks. Any kind, as long they are completely black and come up to at least mid-shin.
  • On cold nights, you’ll want to have thermal underwear.
  • Hand warmers – completely optional, but they are nice when the nights are cold. We don’t have them in the Band Store, but they are easy to find at many stores.

Do I need anything else for my color guard uniform?

Yes. Each color guard students will need:

  • Shoes. See Shoes, above.
  • Gloves. The cost varies, but figure on approximately $15/pair.
  • Ms. Tink will tell you what, if anything, else that you will need.

Can I pay by check? Cash? Student Credit/Scrip?

Yep. Yep. And yep.

  • Make checks out to “BRBB”. Write the student’s name and the purpose (for example, “participation fee”, “shoes”, “band store”) in the Memo line. If you are paying for more than one student or for more than one fee, note that.
  • While checks are preferred, cash is acceptable.
  • Read about using Student Credit and Scrip on the home page (scroll to the bottom.) Student Credit can be used for “band necessities”, which includes the participation fee, shoes, and required uniform items. Fund request forms are posted on the Files page. Balances are updated monthly and are posted on the filing cabinet above the Red Box outside the Band Room office.