"Walking Out Jackets"

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by grandad, May 19, 2009.

  1. grandad

    grandad Member

    In my opinion walking out uniform is the most important uniform a band has.
    So why do so many bands ignore this?
    If you go to the lower section nationals you realize all the bands have walking out jackets.
    Is this the reason they are there? As I believe you will never attract a good player if you dress like amateurs or often football thugs or a cheap looking polo shirt.

    As the jackets my band wear were only a few pounds (with logo) it does seem a shame for all bands not to show them selves off well.
    As in sport "Look smart......Play smart"
    For me its all about "Corporate Image"

    Just wonder what everyone else thinks...;)
  2. Eddy1234567

    Eddy1234567 Member

    cant say i quite agree
    they would be a nice addition
    but many bands cant afford them, and with plenty of people going out to the pub etc after a contest or concert the majority of players prefer to wear casual clothing.
  3. Col

    Col Member

    Walking Out Uniform

    Don't want to generalise too much but you don't see too many Blazers at the Youth Championships. There is a lot of personalised polo shirts and various branded rain jackets/hoodies which is veryu much in line with the major Youth organsiations such as Scouts/Guides & the oldest of them The Boys' Brigade.

    There are some youngsters and young adults who will be happy to wear a jacket but many more see that as a further indication of a "Old School" outlook and some even as a turn off to continue due to peer pressure.

    The key thing that helps "esprit de corps" and in modern terms Team Building is the issue of uniformity not what the uniform is.
  4. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Nah. Total waste of money.

    (Oh, and isn't Warsash is near SouthaMpton)
  5. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Couldn't disagree more, in general. Personally, I wouldn't join a band that insisted on "walking-out" uniform.
    In any case, the way some bands behave in the bar after contests, I would have thought the band would prefer not to be identified ...

    And, as Rapier says, as priorities go, there are more important things to spend money on.
  6. marksmith

    marksmith Active Member

    Walking out jackets definitely look smart and certainly have their place within the elitist top section. (which incidentally is where most of the money is!)
    However, with the present turnover of players in bands, it is becoming increasingly difficult for a band to fund a constant supply of jackets.
    It is important to look like a 'unit' on stage but is it really a requirement amongst an ever more informal society off stage?
    I am with you on the appearance front Dave, but I think that your military background has swayed your thoughts on this one.
    The polo shirts are still a 'uniform' by definition, so if it is down to simple economics, then let's put up with them.:tup
  7. Despot

    Despot Member

    No, but some bands think it is! It's amazing the amounts of money some bands spend on uniforms, but never seem to think to spend it on their instruments...or good instructors...or even a new repetoire.....

    I think as long as the band gives a neat "professional" appearance, it's not too critical what exact style of uniform they wear.
  8. Columbo

    Columbo Member

    I personally agree with Grandad. Certainly as I was introduced to banding at the age of 9, it began a disciplined routine also for every band job. It taught smartness to a high level rather than throwing on a polo shirt. In addition, clean shoes, straight tie which is something not adhered to even on stage by some players nowadays. It has followed into adulthood and I don't believe it does us any harm to make that little extra effort. I personally think there's nothing better at a contest than seeing a uniformed band walking around together. Shows pride and diligence. Just an opinion, but interesting to see some views, although, hoodies???
  9. jrshimmon

    jrshimmon Member

    I agree a smart professional appearance often leads to a smart professional performance. It does not have to be a pair of grey flannels and a Jacket of some sort.
    Recently one group I play with went through a major uniform re-organisation for performance and nothing was done about the 'Walking out stuff' a group of us unilaterally then decided to go ahead and have hoodies made. They have been an instant hit with many of the band and there has been many requests for further to be made.

    The Hoodies are not official Walking out wear but adopting something like this and makes you immeadiately recognisable to strangers so it helps at concert venues when you're the first people there. They're also very warm for packing up on those winter nights as well.
  10. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    The priority has got to be how well the band plays, the ability of the players, ability of the MD, how the band is run, contest grading, contests, concerts, commute distance for rehearsals/gigs etc... walking out jackets are quite a low priority in my opinion.

    There is no relationship between appearance and performance, only practice hard work and performance. :)

    I do, however understand that the top bands have a "brand", reputation and image to protect so they are probably appropriate. If you are a more community based band, they are overkill.
  11. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Hoodies as official "walking out" gear would be an interesting proposal - I can just see some of the older and heavier set members of some bands taking to those like ducks to a barbeque. :)

    Interesting contrast though - I bet you'd get more objections from the old guard about wearing them though than you'd get from the younger members about wearing jackets.
  12. marksmith

    marksmith Active Member

    You are right there! As a member of the 'older' and 'heavier set' cohort, I most certainly would feel out of place in a 'hoody'.
    Saying that, a polo shirt does nothing for my exhausted physique, so I would prefer not to wear either when banding!
    A jacket of some form feels comfortable and helps hide a multitude of sins, so as a more experienced player, I prefer these.
    I do however understand that each generation needs to leave it's own mark, so can see nothing wrong with polo shirts on the appropriate age group.
    Hoodies are not appropriate and will only set a negative impression of those groups who sport them. Be warned!
  13. JR

    JR Member

    walking outs

    Walking out jackets/ties etc are a pretty new phenomenon actually. In fact I was looking at an old photograph from the 50s showing my Dad conducting at a contest (Holmfirth) where it was the done thing to play in civvies (and most contests were held outside)

    I remember being taken as a very young spectatotor to the old Spring Festival at Belle Vue in the late 60s - lots of players kept their stage uniforms on all day and bands could be identified by their colours at the top of the rollercoasters...

    John R
  14. ophicliede

    ophicliede Member

    Yes, I think all bandsmen should wear pinstripe suites, bulled shoes and bowler hats. When you leave the Royal Marines Grandad you might realise that not everyone is a clone. Youngsters like to express themselves through dress, most youth bands (our future players) like to have a casual T-Shirt. Some bandsmen and bandswomen look hideous in poorly tailored walking out dress. Interestingly we had Cory Band to Swindon this weekend and they wore T-Shirts and jeans. I know if I had the choice of buying music, instruments or walking out uniform it would be the first two things always.


    All bands should have a decent walking out outfit of blazer and grey or black trousers.A simple black dinner suit for contests looks the part....most people own one or you can get nearly new ones for about £10 from charity shops....I have Tommy Coopers jacket and charlie Williams trousers.
  16. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Active Member

    One other possible reason for the lack of a uniform walking out look is that any deps will be very noticeable, whilst if everyone is in civvies you can't easily spot when a band is full of deps.

    I have played in groups with walking out uniform and some without - I would say that neither of these approaches made sure of a good result nor of the standard of player.

    I would suggest that this says more about the attitude of the person seeing the hoodie than those wearing them.
    One of the groups I work with had hoodies made for their last tour - a variety of colours, but matching style and logo. They looked very smart and I was proud to wear mine alongside them (yes, the staff were wearing them as well).
  17. Di B

    Di B Member

    Our band has walking outs but also uses these jackets for park jobs etc leaving our other jackets for indoor concerts and contests.

    It's not the jacket I object to but the tie! As a woman I dont usually wear one and find it unnecessary.

    A champ band I know just have black shirts as walking outs and this looks smart and not old fashioned.

    I think there is a need to be seen as part of a band (morale, recognition etc) but how this is done is up to the band. I think slowly we will move away from jackets. After all, not many offices insist on jackets and ties anymore do they?
  18. Owen S

    Owen S Member

    My band has never had a walking out uniform, and while I've been there we've qualified for the finals twice.

    Personally, I see walking out jackets as an anachronism, though a harmless one. Forty years ago, "smart casual" attire of the day really did mean a jacket and tie, and walking out uniform formed a natural variation of that. In twenty-first century society, "smart casual" means a collared shirt or even polo shirt, paired with any trousers that aren't jeans, plus brown or black shoes. This is now the dress code in many offices. In that context, the standard walking out uniform makes bandsmen look like coach drivers.

    Rail against the changes in society if you like, but the thread might get moved.
  19. Gorgie boy

    Gorgie boy Member

    Fair point, but at least that means you might get the odd free meal at a motorway service station!!
  20. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    Hmm, not sure if that's a positive side effect, or a risk to ones life... meal at a motorway service station! :)

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