The Pride of Mississippi displayed their new uniforms at the Oct. 5 home football game. This is the first time the band has changed their look in over a decade.
The design of the new uniform was voted on by fans using Facebook in 2012. “Thousands of people responded,” said James Standland, director of the Pride of Mississippi.
The new uniform came from three potential designs. Directors wanted to keep the look of the older uniforms intact by keeping similar designs and fonts. “We wanted a contemporary look that preserved tradition,” Standland said.
Stepping away from tradition, the uniforms are no longer made of dry-clean only cotton. Instead they are made of modern sweat-wicking, washable material. According to Standland, the uniforms are also designed to be completely adjustable to fit each band member.
Students received their uniforms the day before the Oct. 5 game. Because the new uniforms are adjustable, members were able to wear them for the game without having to tailor them. “If this was 10 years ago, this would be impossible,” Standland said.
“It’s athletic wear for bands,” said Director of Bands Catherine Rand. She explained that her first initiative as director was to push for the marching band to get new uniforms.
“We were safety-pinning kids in,” Rand said. She explained that marching uniforms last for about a decade. The same uniforms are reused and refitted until it’s time to replace them.
With the cotton uniforms, it was common for students to overheat in the beginning of the season.
“The first game always needed medical attention,” Standland said. It’s the hope of the band department that the uniform change will make marching safer for students.
“[The old uniforms] are like a second skin,” Rand said. “These uniforms were made just for Southern bands.”