Take The Headache Out Of Uniform Ordering With These 3 Steps Check out the Complete Guide to Tips For Ordering Cheerleading Uniforms There is a lot to consider when choosing uniforms for your cheerleading team to wear during the season. No matter what kind of squad you are leading, you will probably feel some pressure to please everyone – the cheerleaders, their parents and your school or organization’s administration. The truth is, that might be nearly impossible! While input from these groups is important, having too many cooks in the kitchen can be confusing and may end up leaving you feeling overwhelmed. Setting clear boundaries, and sticking to them, will help keep the peace among the team (and inside your head!). Here is a plan of attack that will help you start, and manage, the different stages of the ordering process. How to Choose A Cheerleading Apparel Provider Do your research! Find a company that you are comfortable with, and that can meet your specific deadlines and requirements. When you are researching you should consider: Budget: Remember that your team will have to launch fundraising efforts, so keep the prices reasonable. Request that each company send you as accurate an estimate as possible (including shipping and taxes). Shopping around will also give you a sense of each company’s policies, including low price guarantees and shipping and delivery options. In-Stock: Just because a company carries your team’s colors, doesn’t mean that they have them in stock. Be sure to check on the availability, or get an idea of what kind of delivery delay you would face if the color is not in stock. Production Time: If you are going to have items that are custom fit or have customization, this will add days, or possibly weeks, to the production time of your order. When you are getting estimates, make sure you aren’t getting the ‘average’ production time. Have the representative you are working with give you a custom estimate that considers the size of your order, and ask for an expected delivery date (not a production period). You found a company that meets your requirements. Now what? How To Choose A Style When deciding on options for the style of your team’s uniform, always keep in mind the school or organization that you are representing and make sure that you are in line with their reputation and regulations (such as required skirt length). Don’t forget to check the rules for any competitions that you plan on entering too! Your team will be made up of girls that are different ages and sizes, so be sure to pick something that is appropriate for all of them. You also need to focus on the fabric of the uniforms. Consider your geography and the typical weather during cheerleading season. If you have a hot and humid season, make sure that you look for a fabric that can breathe. If you have a colder season, or cold evenings, get a thicker fabric that will keep your team warm. If your team does a lot of tumbling and stunting, make sure you get a uniform that is comfortable and flexible. It won’t do your team any justice to look stylish, but flub their moves because their uniforms are restricting. Before you get anyone else involved in the process, narrow down the potential uniform to a few choices (I suggest a minimum of 3 choices and a maximum of 5 choices). Your favorites are picked. What’s next? How To Stay In Charge Once you have your top options, get any administration approvals that are needed and then have a quick pow-wow with the team captain (not so she can pick her favorite, just to make sure you haven’t overlooked any important considerations). Since your cheerleaders will actually have to wear the uniforms, they should have a say in the decision. Brief your team on the options, including the benefits and costs of each. Then put the choices up for a team vote and commit to ordering whichever uniform wins the team vote. If you end up having a tie, let the captain break it (make it clear before the vote that the captain will have the final say if there is a tie). Check back every Wednesday this month for my ‘all about ordering’ series! Have your own first-hand experience words of wisdom? Comment below!