Marching Band Uniforms

Marching Band/Guard Uniform Information

Some parts of the Marching Band or Guard Uniform are owned by the school (vest, red long sleeve shirt, bib pants, guard uniform, shako, shako wrap and shako box, plume, and parka). Others must be purchased through the Upbeat Uniform Committee by each student and are the students’ to keep (Uniform Show Shirt, Drill Master marching shoes, summer uniforms, Ever Jazz dance shoes, black gloves, and berets as applicable to each section).  Still others must be supplied by each student (lyre/flip folder, black long socks, shorts or sweats/leggings, and black t-shirt/long sleeved shirt). 

Our school uniforms are very expensive; it is the student’s responsibility to take good care of their uniform while it is in their possession. The parka, shako, and shako box will be sent home with the student and are the student’s responsibility until they are turned in at the end of the season. A band issued duffle bag known as the “Red Bag” will be supplied for the storage of uniform items.  Students need to bring their shako, shako box, parka, and gloves, as well as their socks, t-shirt, and shorts to every performance. The vest, red shirt, show shirt, bib pants, shako wrap, and plume portion of the uniform will remain in the band room while not in use. Guard staff will let guard students know where uniforms will be kept.

Each marching uniform has an assigned number, and each student is responsible for remembering their uniform number. Uniforms must be hung properly in the band room following each performance. Uniforms will be cleaned by the Uniform Committee whenever needed; if a uniform requires extra cleaning or repair, the student will be charged a cleaning fee. Uniform clothing that is lost or damaged by a student will incur fees which are assessed by the district through the EZpay system. Shoes will be sized during minicamp, distribution and payment will occur during fitting days.

The band has an official summer uniform of black shorts and a red polo shirt for marching members and red polo shirt for guard. Leadership will instruct members what style shorts to purchase. The cost of the summer uniform is not included in the marching band fee, and will be the property of the band student for future seasons. These will also be fitted on fitting days. Rookie marching members will need to purchase a red polo, Drillmaster shoes, uniform show shirt, and two pairs of gloves.  Rookie guard members will need to purchase red polo, shoes and warm ups. Warm ups will be purchased separately via online store link provided later, estimated cost is $85. Veteran marching members will purchase a show shirt, and should also check their uniform items before fitting day to see if they need to purchase replacements. Veteran guard members will purchase replacement items as needed.

Uniform Pricing for Fitting Day:

Uniform Show Shirt  $72

Drillmaster shoes $36

Red Polo $20

Marching Gloves $3/pair / Field Commander Gloves $4/pair

Field Commander Polo $35

Sousaphone Berets $34

Color Guard shoes $40

Color Guard Gloves $15

Color Guard Warm-Up Jacket $62

Color Guard Warm-Up Pants $39                       

Cleaning fee $10

Estimated Uniform replacement Cost:

Vest $140

Red Long Sleeved Shirt $70

Pants $75

Hip Drop $36

Shako $45 / Shako Wrap $55 / Shako Box $15

Plume $30

Parka $85

Show bibs $50

Purchase Process

On their Fitting Night, students need to bring cash, a credit card, or a check made out to Lakota West Upbeat Club to pay for their uniform items. Items not paid for will not be issued until payment is received.

Uniform Fitting Nights

Students will be measured for uniforms, show shirts, Ever Jazz and Drillmasters during minicamp. A uniform will be pre-assigned to try on during band camp Fitting Nights. At the Uniform Fitting Night, they will also receive their red duffle bag, parka, Drill Master or Ever Jazz shoes, and gloves.  Summer uniforms will also be fitted and purchased. You are required to pay for a show shirt, shoes, summer uniform and gloves on your fitting day.

Plan to attend Fitting Night only on your section’s scheduled day/time which will be communicated during Band Camp.  Please contact to make arrangements for make-up times if you are unable to attend the assigned time.

Students –You will be trying on your uniform, shako and parka, as well as gloves.  Rookies will also try on and take home your summer uniform, and be given a Red Bag.  Shoes will be available to take home.  Remember to bring payment for all purchased items!

Leadership Team – Please arrive 15 minutes before your section’s appointed time and be prepared to stay with your section to help them with their uniforms.  If you are unable to fulfill this duty, designate someone to do it in your place.

Wearing the Uniform

You must be in full uniform for band performances unless otherwise instructed. This will allow you to feel proud and to make a good impression when you are out in the public eye. Moreover, the band is judged and scored on appearance in all competitions. Each marcher must wear the uniform correctly. Inspection will take place before every performance. Section Leaders will inspect their sections and Field Commanders will inspect Section Leaders.

  • Clean gloves, polished shoes, a shiny instrument and well maintained equipment are all very important.
  • Shako must be worn on the top of your head, slightly forward, so the bill is just above the eyebrows and there’s a two finger space between it and the nose and the strap is firmly fastened under the chin. Percussion wears the strap on the chin but not in the mouth. Sousa players wear berets.
  • All hair must be securely inside the hat or short enough that it does not touch the collar of the red shirt. Elastic bands, clips, hairnets, or skull caps are suggested. This is YOUR responsibility. The Uniform Committee has emergency hair supplies only. If you aren’t sure about your hair, ask BEFORE the first performance. 
  • No facial hair, make-up, or jewelry is permitted. All earrings and other piercings must be removed or covered. You must bring flesh tone bandages to cover if not removed. Flesh-toned gauges are permitted; all others must be covered.
  • A black t-shirt with sleeves must be worn under the uniform shirt (no sleeveless tanks). A design is permissible if it is not visible under the uniform. Thermal long-sleeve shirts are also permitted for colder performances.
  • Shorts must be worn under the uniforms as there are no dressing rooms and all members change together. Black tights, leggings, or thermals are permitted under the uniform for colder performances.
  • The red uniform shirt is worn for football games and the long sleeve uniform show shirt is worn for competitions.  The shirt is worn under the bib pants, and the vest over the shirt and bibs. Shirt and pant hems are adjusted with a simple snap and will be determined at Fittings.  Pant hems MUST NOT drag on the ground. Tell a uniform mom IMMEDIATELY if your hem needs adjustment.
  • Plain black crew socks are required for all performances. “Shortie” socks are not acceptable -nor are socks with any other color than black or socks that fall down to show skin. Socks are not supplied by the uniform committee, but must be brought by the students. All band members must wear Drill Master marching shoes.
  • Musicians (except percussion) wear black gloves which are ordered during uniform fitting. Additional pairs may be purchased from the Uniform Committee during the season. Clarinets may cut the finger tips out of their gloves. No other holes are permitted.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to properly hang the uniform on the racks after performances following the direction of the uniform committee. It is also their responsibility to dry out the shako (hat), parka, and gloves after performances if needed. Failure to do so could result in having to pay to replace damaged uniform parts.

Performance Day Expectations

  • Arrive EARLY. Students must be completely dressed and in place at the report time.
  • Uniform racks will be available 45 minutes before report time. We will be available to sell gloves or cover the occasional forgotten items.
  • The uniform calls for no visible jewelry.
  • No facial hair, starting Friday of band camp.

Items to Pack in Your Red Bag for every Game or Competition

  • Parka (rain or shine, things change)
  • Shako/Shako box or Beret
  • Gloves
  • Marching/guard shoes (name marked inside)
  • Black crew socks
  • Flip folder & lyre (for home games)
  • Guard-designated makeup/hair accessories
  • Hair ties, bobby pins as needed
  • Water Bottle
  • Smaller bag for personal items (watch, wallet, jewelry, etc.)
  • Power snack (granola bar, trail mix, etc.)

Items to bring to Band Camp

  • Clothing: Follow the Lakota Schools dress code. t-shirts or tank tops are acceptable. Shirts and shorts must meet – no bare skin should be visible on the abdomen. This dress code applies for practices and all evening activities. Students who are dressed inappropriately will be sent home to change.
  • Thick cotton socks: The best blister prevention equipment. A change of socks available each day is very strongly recommended.
  • Sturdy shoes for marching/pivoting 
  • Rain gear – Jacket or poncho
  • Hat or visor
  • Sunglasses
  • Instrument/music/flip folder & coordinates!!
  • Sunscreen!! & insect repellant
  • 64oz. Water bottle – This large capacity water bottle is available at Meijer, Walmart, and many other retailers. Having 64oz of water on-hand, on the field at all times is critical for proper hydration; especially when the mercury rises.
  • A packed lunch or dinner – check schedule to find out which days

The Uniform Committee works hard to make sure the Lakota West Marching Firebirds look their best at all performances, and we expect the students to do their best to take care of their uniforms and make sure they have everything they need when they arrive at a band event. If there are any questions or concerns regarding Marching Band uniforms, contact the uniform committee at