Color Guard Uniforms

Lori Soard
Color guard and batons

Selecting the best color guard uniforms for your group is critical to presenting a fierce team presence. These uniforms often become a valuable way for you to stand out from the competition. Try some of these options, along with suggestions to save money and choose the perfect uniforms.

Find Variety by Shopping Around

To get the best look in color guard uniforms, you need to choose from a larger selection. Numerous companies offer various styles and great looks for most groups.

Jazz Pants With Band Top

Asymmetrical Long Top from Bandmans
Asymmetrical Long Top from Bandmans

Another choice for a uniform is simple black jazz pants and shoes combined with a color guard top. The Bandmans Company specializes in marching band uniforms. You'll find a wide variety of band tops made specifically for color guard members.

  • The Must Have Top is velvet with a "microsequin" zig zag pattern. Choose the velvet and the microsequin colors separately from a wide selection of available shades.
  • Another option would be the asymmetrical long top paired with jazz pants. The top can be worn right or left and features one long sleeve and one off the shoulder side. Matching armbands are also available.

Most outfits on Bandmans require a minimum order of three. Pay in advance and receive an additional five percent discount.

Tunic Tops

Tunic tops are another option that can be paired with jazz pants or a jumpsuit to create a cohesive team look. A Wish Come True has a nice selection of tunic tops for color guard.

  • The Force Field Tunic is a dramatic top in velvet with metallic inserts. It features a foil denim yoke, belted waist and armband. It comes in black and silver, red and black or gold and black.
  • The Discover Tunic is made of velvet and sequins. It has one long sleeve and one side sleeveless. It is available in burgundy or you can customize the tunic.

Purchase items individually or get a quote for a team order. You can also order a free catalog or view all items online.

Shoes

Since you'll be doing a lot of marching and possibly a bit of dancing in your color guard shoes, you'll want to make sure you choose a pair that are comfortable as well as attractive for performances. Dinkles has a couple of footwear options that will work for almost any color guard outfit.

  • Holly Boots
    The Holly Boot
    Flexy is a frontline shoe that is flexible enough to be worn for both outdoor and indoor performances. Made of pig-skin leather, the shoe has a rubber sole. It comes in black or nude in both full and half sizes from 5 1/2 to 12. The shows lace up with six eyelets.
  • Marching boots can add a bit more flare or a western look to a color guard uniform. The Holly boot has slip resistant rubber soles, additional cushioning in the insole and comes in white. Order sizes 5 to 12 with half sizes available.

What to Look for in Color Guard Uniforms

As you consider all of the options available to you on the market, think about what your group needs these uniforms to accomplish. Purchasing high-quality products is a great way to show off your group and to get the most for your investment.

  • St. Patrick's color guard
    Choose the Right Look: One of the first things to look for in any color guard uniform is the overall look. Does the style match what your group wants to wear? While there are often some limitations on choices, such as choosing the appropriate length and overall cut of the uniform, there may be some flexibility in the design. Compare several options.
  • Available Colors: Your uniforms should have colors that are fitting for your team. You want to choose great colors because this will help your team to stand out. Do not be afraid of mixing up colors or changing up the shades to get that unique look, dependent on what is available. You want to be visible. Keep in mind, however, that you will get dirty and therefore choosing whites and other light colors may not be the best options. School colors are a good place to start when choosing your color palette.
  • Practical Usage: While looking for a flashy new ensemble may be your goal, try to keep your uniform practical in its function. You need to be able to move around easily, including flexing elbows and knees. If you choose pants, ensure the length is appropriate and will not drag on the floor. If you go with skirts, ensure that the uniform works for flagpole usage.

Create a Great Uniform Look

If you are in the market for new looks in the uniforms you choose for color guard, keep in mind a few key tips.

  • high school color guard
    Choose a professional look. When your team heads out to do their routine, a professional appearance will be impressive.
  • Choose styles that are flattering to all body types, as your team will likely be made up of all shapes and sizes.
  • Darker colors are slimming. If you choose a pastel, it may make team members look bigger.
  • Choose diagonal design features rather than horizontal, including V necklines and V waistlines, as these are more flattering overall.
  • Complete the look by choosing color guard shoes and gloves that match the look of the uniforms.

In addition to these tips, remember that the best way to buy these uniforms is to shop around. Compare pricing, styles and overall customer service of any company you consider buying from. Most often you want to choose a company that is going to be in business for some time so that you can replace used or worn uniforms over time as needed. Ask the company if they keep the styles in stock just in case you need a replacement at the last minute.

Save Money with Frugal Options

Second-hand professionally-made uniform by ALGY from Guard Closet
Used professionally-made uniform by ALGY from Guard Closet

Purchasing the pieces to create a full uniform can be expensive. Pants, tops, shoes and accessories can run into hundreds of dollars. If your school and/or team members are on a tight budget, there are a few frugal options that can save you money.

  • Larger schools often have a budget to purchase new color guard uniforms every few years. The old uniforms may be in good shape or just need some mild repairs, so you may be able to purchase the used ones at a reduced price. Some schools may even donate the uniforms to a school with a smaller budget. It doesn't hurt to ask.
  • Pair jazz pants and white dress tops. To add some interest to the outfit, ask a mom who is gifted at sewing to add some silk strips, ribbons or sequins for some flash.
  • Buy used uniforms from sources like The Guard Room or Guard Closet.
  • Double-strap camisole jazz leg unitard from McCormick's Guard
    Double-strap camisole jazz leg unitard from McCormick's Guard
    Stick to the extreme basics, such as a unitard from McCormick's Guard. By minimizing the frills, you'll save money and put the attention on the flags twirling. The double-strap camisole jazz leg unitard is cute but under $50.
  • Think outside the box. The uniform likely doesn't have to be an official color guard uniform. An inexpensive pair of black pants from a thrift store and silk blouses in a variety of colors may work just as well.
  • Sew your own uniform. There are many patterns for dance and figure skating that would work for color guard uniforms. Jalie has a nice selection of patterns that would be suitable, such as the long sleeveless unitard. There are also some vintage patterns that are specifically for majorettes and color guard, such as Simplicity # 5111 (1972) and Butterick # 6733 (1988). The vintage patterns can be hard to locate. Search sites like eBay and Etsy or ask people you know to see if anyone has one from years gone by. Also, keep in mind that some types of material are less expensive than others. Choosing cheaper man-made versions of velvet and silk will keep overall material costs low and save money.

Confidence Makes the Uniform

No matter what uniform your school can afford, wear the outfit with pride and school spirit. Even the most simple costume can be an award-winning ensemble when the focus is on technique and your team performs to the best of their ability. The uniform simply highlights the synchronicity your team has worked so hard to achieve during band camp and practices.

Color Guard Uniforms