COLUMBIA — The 300 members of Marching Mizzou are shedding their old band uniforms and getting a more colorful, contemporary look.
Among the changes are an oversized gold letter "M" across the shoulder, the team logo on the hat and rhinestones on the jacket to catch the light.
Marching Mizzou director Brad Snow said he and the band staff have been putting a prototype together since mid-July.
“We basically play around with the design until we come to something we like,” Snow said.
The uniforms should be ready by the end of the semester and on campus for football season, he said.
Band members said they are ready for a change.
The average life expectancy of a band uniform is around eight years, and the current ones were purchased 10 years ago. Once white, many jackets have been discolored, and a number of uniforms smell like sweat and mildew.
“The old uniforms were disgusting, and they smelled horribly,” mellophone player Destiny Costley said. “Some even had moldy stains on them."
“The uniforms were good while they lasted, but they really needed to be replaced,” said Jessica Berry, another mellophone player.
The new uniform has been planned to keep traditional elements of the old uniform, such as the iconic MU Columns on the left sleeve.
Updates include the gold M extending from shoulder to sleeve, black pants with no stripe and a plume of feathers on a black hat.
“When you see 300 people dressed up in those uniforms and coming at you, it’s going to be intimidating,” Snow said.
The uniform was designed to make the members of the band look taller and slimmer, he said. He also wanted to eliminate the elements he thought were stereotypical for band uniforms, such as the gold sash and the cape.
Estimated cost for the uniforms is between $150,000 and $200,000. The band has been saving money collected by MU licensing and trademarks to put toward the expense.
Before submitting the design for bids, Snow said he wants to make a few changes — to make the M on the sleeve more Mizzou gold, finalize the hat and add more “bling” to the uniform.
“No other band in the country has a uniform like this,” he said.