Wearing cheerleading uniforms creates uniformity on a squad and ensures each cheerleader looks his or her best. You should be careful to choose a uniform that represents your school or organization well. Uniforms often have the letters of the school, or the school mascot sewn on the garments to make them unique.
Shopping for Team Uniforms
There are many resources for ordering uniforms, including online stores. Here are some vendors to consider.
CheerDeals.com carries a variety of practice uniforms, cheerleading T-shirts, and basic uniforms. They also take customized orders. When price is an issue, this is a great place to get uniforms for a younger squad or a squad with a very tight budget.
The Cheerleading Company
The Cheerleading Company offers a variety of options for uniforms. One particularly nice feature is their "Total Bow to Toe Cheer Pax." If you're ordering for a squad, you can choose from a variety of shells (that you can have customized), a traditional pleated skirt and other accessories. Each uniform costs about $150. The Cheerleading Company also offers other options including camp packages, practice uniforms and sundry accessories.
Team Cheer offers in-stock as well as customizable traditional uniforms. Purchase stock, quick ship, or custom uniforms with no worries about paying more than you should. Their lowest price guarantee beats the price of any lower price competitor (with proof of the cheaper price). Uniforms can be purchased individually or in Head to Toe team packages that range in price from under $40 to around $240. Packages are available in five different levels varying from basic packages that include the shell and skirt, bow, briefs and socks to complete packages that cover everything from bows for the hair to shoes for the toes.
Use Cheer Zone's interactive Uniform Creator to build the perfect team uniform or make your selection from their uniform library of in-stock items. Custom uniforms are available as well, and if you can't find a pattern you like, just send them a photograph and they will create a uniform exclusively for your team. Uniform options include:
- In stock uniforms: Available in nine of the most popular color combinations, these durable uniforms are made from 100 percent polyester. Choose from the basic, competition or economy series or an in-stock kit. The basic kit includes a shell and skirt and the ultimate kit includes those items as well as a body suit and brief, poms and bow, socks and duffel bag.
- Custom uniforms: Mix and match from available pattern choices or personalize a look by selecting options such as braiding and lettering.
- FormFlex: Ramp the performance and showmanship of your squad up a notch with these uniforms made from a unique blend of nylon and spandex that moves with the body.
Elaine's Cheer Gear
Elaine's Cheer Gear offers in-stock or made-to-order uniforms that can be customized with silk screen printing, tackle twill lettering, or stock or custom designs and logos. Some styles may have a minimum purchase requirement of six or more uniforms. Sizes range from youth to adult, and average turnaround times on made-to-order garments is four to six weeks.
Choose from Campus Teamwear stock tops and skirts in double knit, nylon-spandex blends, or metallic accents or opt for customizable Nike Cheer Uniforms. Cost effective team packages in the same materials and metallic accent options are available from top brands such as Chasse, Chasse Performance, Chasse Sport and Zoe Cheer. Basic uniform packages start under $30 and range to about $85.
Cheerleading Outfit Requirements
Since cheerleading is considered a competitive sport in its own right, the uniform certainly reflects the need to allow for freedom of movement in tumbling, stunting, jumping and dancing. To accomplish those goals, uniforms are typically made of a blend of polyester and spandex.
A typical uniform consists of:
- A skirt generally no longer than 12"
- A vest or shell
- Briefs called spankies
Under current regulations for high school teams, uniforms must cover the midriff when a cheerleader's arms are down. However, professional teams and college teams do not have such regulations.
Football Cheerleading Outfits
Football tends to be one of the more popular sports for which there are cheerleaders. Consequently, uniforms for these cheerleaders tend to be more comprehensive and include:
- Sweater or turtle neck
- Cheerleading sneakers
Basketball is another popular sport for which there are cheerleaders. Generally, basketball cheerleaders wear more traditional cheerleading outfits which include:
- Sweater or shell
- Reversible skirt
- Cheerleading sneakers
Basketball cheerleaders may use different pom poms, wear their hair down more often as a team and/or even wear different shoes. This is all to accommodate the fact that basketball is an indoor sport.
Many high schools and universities split up their squads to cheer at other sports events throughout the year. This may include swim meets, track and field events, and softball or baseball games. Cheerleading outfits can change drastically for these sporting events. In many schools, the cheerleaders don't actually cheer through the event. Instead they are there to offer support for the team. Consequently, their cheerleading outfits may include:
- Cheer sneakers
- Team shorts: These most often look most like track shorts, but may have the team logo on it.
- T-shirts: Capped sleeve shirts, ring neck T-shirts or regular shirts with the school logo are all appropriate for other sporting events.
The goal is to give the cheerleaders a uniform look by having matching outfits, and to make sure that they are comfortable while at other events. An event like a swim or track meet can last all day, whereas a football or basketball game lasts just a few hours. Also, some schools have their cheerleaders wear different uniforms to help keep their regular uniforms clean for competitions and other events.
How to Make Uniforms Affordable
Uniforms for an entire squad can be quite expensive. Some squads opt to hold a fundraiser to offset the cost of purchasing uniforms. Other squads ask the members to purchase their own uniforms. There are a few other ways to make uniforms affordable for your team:
- If you're not competing, consider coordinated shorts and polo shirts. This is an excellent idea for a new squad, as it is much cheaper than ordering new uniforms.
- Purchase a school set of uniforms that are lent out every year. This would provide the squad members with uniforms at a low cost.
- Petition your school's booster club to hold a special fundraiser for the purpose of buying the cheerleading squad new uniforms.
- Win a competition. Squads that win in competition are often able to secure funding for additional gear, uniforms, and training.
Squad Outfits: Endless Possibilities
Depending on how large your school is and how many sports there are to cheer for, cheer outfits can vary from season to season. It's important to think about the goals and purposes of the squad when deciding on outfits for the year.