Cheerleading is not just all about the outfit, as some would believe, but picking the right accessories is really what ties together the look. I would say poms are, arguably, the most important and striking accessory that are flaunted by a cheer squad. These flashy and eye-catching embellishments add flair to the whole personality of a cheerleader, and makes for a standout performance. These accessories establish a complementary look for the whole squad, and are quite visually appealing as well.

Poms can be purchased as either custom-made or in-stock items, chosen from a variety of designs and colors of Plastic, Wet Look, Metallic, Holographic, Mixed, or even (my personal favorite) Crystal Holographic Poms. You get to choose the colors, handle style, pom design, between matching and non-matching sets, either adult or youth sizes, and whether you want a solid color, 2-color mix, or 3-color mix poms. With so many options to choose from, picking or creating the perfect pom for your squad can prove to be rather difficult–as well as exhausting–to say the least. So, whether you’re leaning towards custom or in-stock poms, here are some of my personal tips and guidelines that I’ve put together to make your decision-making and ordering process a little easier.

If budget or time constraints are making ordering your cheerleading poms difficult, in-stock poms may be your best option. In-stock poms come in a wide selection of colors–and both solid and mixed color combinations can feature a variety of handles, too. Everything from dowel to baton handles, as well as youth and adult options, can typically ship out to you within 24-48 hours! They are available in single and two-color options that range from plastic, metallic, flash, holographic, and crystal holographic materials. One of the best parts about ordering in-stock poms is how affordable they can be: with prices starting as low as $5.25 a pom, who wouldn’t want to take advantage of that kind of a deal?! Now, we all know that in-stock poms are ideal for events such as school related football and basketball games, or even pep rallies and other school functions. But, what if your squad is looking for something a little more unusual and lightweight? That’s where custom poms come into play.

Custom poms are perfect for the cheerleader or squad that is looking for, let’s say, a 2-color, Wet Look, Neon Lime Pom with Metallic Silver Flash that’s 4” in length, and has a 3/4" plastic/1/4" Flash streamer width, with a show handle–now that’s a mouthful–but they aren’t finding what they need as an in-stock item? That’s where creating your own personalized custom pom may be your best route. You get to customize everything from the color, streamer length and width, handle style, and even pom style. Just make sure you don’t procrastinate when it comes to placing your order, because custom poms typically take up to 3-4 weeks for production! Custom poms are ideal for competitive cheer, fast-paced choreographed routines, and even special occasions or uses. Don’t forget that regardless of whether you’re ordering in-stock or custom, make sure you’re ordering the correct size; adult poms are approximately 1,400 streamers, whereas youth poms typically consist of just 800 streamers with a dowel handle. Also, keep in mind that poms are traditionally ordered as identical and matching sets for a more clean and polished look, but if you’re looking for a great eye-catcher, going with two different color poms may be your best bet.

So, which do you prefer? Tell us about your favorite kind of poms in the comments below, as well as how you use them!