Uniform TLC: How to Care For Your Marching Band Attire Like a Pro

Welcome, fellow marching band enthusiasts. Like any good (and expensive) suit or article of clothing, properly storing it and cleaning it are essential for keeping your uniforms in tip-top shape. This might be common sense for some, but it can actually be hard for student performers and their parents at home alike to know exactly how to care for every article in your attire.

With that in mind, we're thrilled to share our expert advice on caring for your marching band attire like a pro.

Let's learn the importance of maintaining your uniforms' pristine condition. Your uniform is more than just clothing; it represents unity, pride, and dedication.

Let's dive in and learn how to care for your marching band attire like true professionals!

Tips Caring for Marching Band Uniforms Properly

We'll cover everything from jackets and shoes to hats, plumes, and pants and then dive a bit more into why you should pay attention to whether all of these are machine washable or not.

Proper Storage

How do you even store a marching band uniform in the off-season?

To maintain the quality of marching band uniforms during the off-season, we recommend storing them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. This helps prevent discoloration, fading, and damage from moisture.

Parents have also recommended others use sturdy and wide wood coat hangers for jackets to avoid wrinkles or the shoulders sagging and misshapen during the months they're stored.


How can we effectively care for our uniform jackets to ensure the longevity of our marching band uniforms?

To keep your jackets in top condition, start by regularly inspecting them for any loose threads or missing buttons. Repair them immediately to prevent further damage, both before and after performances. Drum line performers have to pay special attention to this, as the instrument will test the fabric of the clothing more.

When it comes to washing, always follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Use gentle detergents and cold water to avoid shrinking or fading. For tough stains on a jacket, treat them promptly with a stain remover before washing. While many fabric options for jackets are machine washable, dry cleaning might still be the best option because of how much usage they'll get every season. This is true, especially for bands that use a concert tuxedo.

After events, hang your jackets in a well-ventilated area to allow them to air out and prevent odors. By taking these simple steps, you can ensure that your band's jackets stay looking sharp and professional for all your performances.


When it comes to caring for your marching band shoes, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Cleanliness is key: Regularly clean your shoes to remove dirt and debris using a soft cloth or brush. Always wear clean socks with them as well.
  • Protect the finish: Apply a shoe polish or conditioner to maintain the shine and protect the material.
  • Store them properly: Keep your shoes in a cool, dry place to prevent damage and maintain their shape.
  • Rotate your shoes: Switching between a pair of athletic shoes and black marching shoes can help extend the life of both pairs, especially when it's only practice drill assignments, band camp, or a presentation that doesn't require formal attire as much.
  • Don't forget about color guard: If you're a color guard member, take extra care of your black dress shoes, ensuring they're polished and scuff-free to complete your look. Or if your color guard doesn't use black dress shoes and instead uses more contemporary white shoes or tennis shoes, make sure they're pristine. Although every member of a band must keep their shoes in good condition, the color guard probably has this as a top priority more than the others.


We strongly recommend properly caring for your marching band hats to ensure they remain in excellent condition throughout the marching season. Your hat is an important part of your overall uniform and contributes to the visual impact of your performance, whether at competitions or football games.

To keep your hat looking its best, start by regularly cleaning it. Use a soft cloth or brush to remove any dust or dirt that may have accumulated. If your hat gets wet, allow it to air dry completely before storing it, which is a tip that should actually be the main rule for most parts of any band uniform.

Be mindful of any stains that may occur during band rehearsal. If you notice a stain on your hat, treat it promptly with a gentle stain remover or spot cleaner. Stain removers and spot cleaners are your best friends if you want to avoid sending jackets to the cleaners or sticking them into a washing machine constantly.


yellow band attire with flume hat

Plumes aren't only a key component of our uniform but also a symbol of our commitment to excellence.

Here are some tips on how to care for your plumes:

  • Cleaning:
    • Gently remove any dirt or debris using a soft brush.
    • Use a mild detergent and cold water to hand wash the plumes.
    • Rinse thoroughly and let them air dry completely before storing.
  • Storage:
    • Store plumes in a clean, dry, and well-ventilated area.
    • Consider using a plume box or bag to protect them from dust and damage.

By following these care instructions, we can ensure that our plumes remain vibrant and intact, enhancing the overall appearance of our marching band.

Taking care of our plumes not only saves us replacement costs but also showcases our attention to detail and professionalism to the audience, your band director, drum majors, and guard members.


Our uniform pants (bibbers) pants are just as crucial as our plumes when it comes to creating a polished and professional look for our performances.

When it comes to cleaning marching band or concert pants, it's best to follow the manufacturer's instructions. However, we can also take some additional steps to keep them in pristine condition. Just like with jackets, before each performance, it's essential to check for any loose threads or buttons and repair them promptly. The drum line must pay special attention to this as their instruments will put more strain on the fabric.

Be mindful also that your uniform pants are always in the right length. The pant leg should just barely make contact with the shoe to prevent the leg's crease line from buckling or bending.

Also, take into consideration the footwear. Wearing clean and polished shoes not only enhances our overall appearance but also prevents any dirt or debris from staining our pants during school games or football games.


Dry-clean your uniforms regularly to ensure they're kept in pristine condition and ready for every performance. Although many fabrics and uniforms are technically machine washable, most parents have recommended that they avoid it and instead regularly dry clean them.

Here are some tips for dry cleaning:

  • Choose a reputable dry cleaner that specializes in delicate fabrics to ensure proper care and cleaning of your uniforms.
  • Before sending your uniforms for dry cleaning, remove any detachable accessories such as buttons, shoulder loops, or badges to prevent damage.
  • Store these accessories separately to avoid misplacement.
  • Inspect your uniforms after dry cleaning to ensure all accessories are securely reattached.

By following these tips, you can keep your marching band uniforms looking sharp and polished, allowing your performers to shine on the field with confidence.

Embrace innovation in uniform care to elevate your marching band's overall presentation.

Avoid Washing With Hot water or In a Washing Machine

If dry cleaning isn't an option for you, we at least recommend that you never wash your marching band uniforms with hot water or in a washing machine, as it can cause damage to delicate fabrics and intricate details. Hot water can cause the colors to fade and the fabric to shrink, while the agitating motion of a washing machine can stretch or tear the uniform.

Instead, we suggest using cool or cold water and gently hand-washing the uniforms. Fill a basin or sink with water and add a mild detergent, no bleach. Gently swirl the uniforms in the water, being careful not to scrub or rub too vigorously.

After rinsing thoroughly, gently squeeze out excess water and lay the uniforms flat to air dry. This gentle hand-washing method will help preserve the quality and longevity of your marching band attire.

Caring for Instruments Before and After Games and Performances

marching trumpetist

Taking proper care of our instruments is essential for maintaining their longevity and performance quality.

Here are some tips to help you care for your instruments before and after games and performances:

  • Before the game or performance:
    • Clean and polish your instrument to remove any dirt or residue.
    • Check for any loose parts or screws and tighten them if necessary.
  • After the game or performance:
    • Wipe down your instrument with a soft cloth to remove any moisture or sweat.
    • Store your instrument in a safe and secure case to protect it from damage.

Choosing the Right Uniforms and Accessories

When it comes to selecting the perfect uniforms and accessories for your marching band, we've got you covered.

At Cousin's Concert Attire, we understand the importance of standing out on the field and expressing your band's unique style. That's why we offer a wide range of innovative and high-quality band uniforms and accessories.

Whether you're looking for a traditional uniform or something more modern and cutting-edge, we've options to suit every band's needs. Our jackets, shoes, plumes, gloves, and other accessories are designed to not only look great but also provide comfort and durability, allowing your band to perform at their best.

From instrument covers to hat plumes, we've all the accessories you need to complete your ensemble.

Count on Cousin's for the Best Quality Marching Band Uniforms.

Properly caring for your marching band attire is essential to maintain its pristine condition and ensure that your band looks sharp and professional during performances. From jackets to shoes, hats to plumes, and pants to instruments, each component requires specific care and attention.

At Cousin's Concert Attire, we understand the importance of high-quality uniforms and accessories that not only look great but also provide comfort and durability. We offer a wide range of innovative and stylish options to suit every team's needs. Whether you're looking for a traditional uniform or something more modern and cutting-edge, we have you covered.

By following the tips and techniques mentioned in this article, you can effectively care for your marching band attire like a pro. From regular inspections and repairs to proper cleaning and storage, each step contributes to maintaining the longevity and appearance of your uniforms.

When it comes to choosing the right uniforms and accessories, trust Cousin's Concert Attire as your supplier. We prioritize standing out on the field and expressing your group's unique style. With our high-quality products and attention to detail, your marching band will shine during performances.

Contact us today, and let us elevate your marching band's overall presentation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should Marching Band Uniforms Be Professionally Cleaned?

We recommend having your marching band uniforms professionally cleaned at least once a season to ensure they stay in top condition. Regular cleaning helps maintain the quality and longevity of the uniforms.

Can Marching Band Uniforms Be Altered to Fit Different Body Types?

Yes, marching band uniforms can be altered to fit different body types of band students. Our team of experts at Cousin's Concert Attire has the knowledge and skills to ensure that your uniform fits perfectly, allowing you to perform with confidence.

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