Typically, the standardized outfit that cheerleaders wear during cheer events is called the cheerleading uniform, which is usually adorned with the official colors and mascots of the team or school they are supposed to be cheering for. So needless to say, that a cheerleader doesn’t have just one cheerleading costume.
What fabric is used for cheer uniforms? Usually spandex or polyester type material is the best for a cheerleader uniform. The need for stretchable and breathable features makes spandex the usual choice. However there are some caveats to this. Read more to know the other options.
It is an attire with its own unique history from back in the 1900s when this sport was first played, and it has evolved gracefully with time to become the familiar garment that we know today.
The fabric with which a cheer uniform is made is the single-most-important factor as it has a major impact on the cheerleader’s level of comfort and ease of movement.
This is why one needs to pay special attention to the fabric when buying or making a cheer uniform, instead of just focusing on style and colors.
Essential features of a cheer uniform
First and foremost the cheer uniform needs to be stretchable. With the proper stretchable fabric, a cheerleader will most often feel uncomfortable while performing. Also, the fabric needs to be breathable, i.e. the fabric must be able to allow proper air circulation to keep the cheerleader cool.
If you are anything like me when I first started cheerleading, you must be baffled regarding cheerleading uniforms, what fabrics they are made out of and which is the right choice for you, as there seems to be an array of options to choose from.
Well, do not be so rattled as you will find your way just like I found mine back in the day, and in this article, I will help you out in this matter, the best I can.
After much experience and internet research, I have managed to develop this perfect guide for enlightening you on what fabric is used for cheer uniforms.
But before we get into that, let us take a brief look at some other commonly asked questions on this subject which might be on your mind as well.
How Do You Dress Like a Cheerleader?
This is for all of you out there who want to achieve that classic cheerleader look. A cheerleader’s costume is usually associated with a preppy, fresh and young vibe. Cheer uniforms usually include bodyliners, vests, full/halter shells, crop tops, skirts, socks, cheer shoes and ribbons.
But of course you cannot just go out wearing a straight-up cheer uniform in daily life whether you really are a cheerleader or not. I mean, you sure can try but I can’t promise that you won’t get a few weird looks on the street.
You can have a look at a popular cheerleading costume on Amazon using this link.
Jokes aside, let us take a brief look into some key components that you can integrate into your day to day wardrobe to get that cheerleader aesthetic going for you.
- Plaid or pleated skirts with crop tops or tank tops, paired with sneakers create a typical cheerleader look.
- Blazers and sundresses are a great alternative as well. Choose something short that shows off your legs.
- Adding ribbons to your hair and accessorizing with small backpacks and socks are a great idea.
- Use minimal make-up to achieve that natural look.
- Tying up your hair in a ponytail really completes the look.
What is the Costume of Cheerdance?
If you aren’t new to cheerleading you would know that cheerleading and cheerdancing are two different aspects of the sport. More often than not, a cheer team would have specific members who specialize in cheerdance. Cheerdances are often performed by cheer teams during half-times, sidelines and touchdowns as it provides a unique entertainment factor for spectators.
It is safe to say that the roles of cheerleaders and cheerdancers are very different as they encompass varied skills and body movements. Hence it follows, that cheerdance would have its own specific costume that is different from a typical cheer costume.
Cheerdance costume usually includes some variation from the basic cheer costume of the entire team, in terms of length of tops and bottoms, color scheme and placement as well as style. Depending on the specific team, dancers could be required to wear special undergarments and shoes that protect the body and feet during dances. In addition, pompoms can be an added accessory in pompom dancing, which won’t be used in other kinds of cheer dances.
What Goes Under Cheerleading Skirts?
As an up and coming cheerleader it is only natural to wonder what to wear under your cheer uniform. Underwear can be a make or break factor in cheer uniforms since the right undergarment can make you feel secure and comfortable which helps you deliver your best performance.
Cheerleaders need to wear shorts under their skirts known as cheer briefs. These are generally black or colored briefs made out of spandex or polyester often called spankies. Spankies go under cheerleading skirts to prevent any accidental flashing or injuries.
Read more here: What Do Cheerleaders Wear Under Their Spankies? Demystified
How Do You Stretch Out a Cheerleading Uniform?
The feeling of wearing a brand new cheer uniform straight out of the package can be quite heavenly. There is truly nothing quite like it. However, uniforms that are a little too tight can be quite a nightmare for a practising cheerleader.
Apart from the discomfort, it can also cause serious issues like hindering blood circulation, causing bruises, excessive heat retention and multiple other issues that affect your performance. Hence, this is a problem that needs to be solved immediately.
There can be two reasons why a cheer uniform is too tight – it is either smaller than your actual size or it is your size but needs a little bit of wearing in. Let us take a look at some simple fixes to both of these issues.
- If the cheer uniform you have ordered is too small for you and there is no way of returning it and getting the correct size, it is advisable to send it for manual alteration to your nearest tailor.
- If the size is correct but it is still too tight that means it needs wearing in. You can bear the discomfort and try practicing in it for a few days to stretch it out. Or alternatively, as a last resort you can carefully use an iron on the lowest heat setting on the areas that require stretching. Heat is useful in stretching out any fabric a little, but must be used with caution since it can also burn, discolor and hamper the longevity of your uniform.
Caution – Do not put you cheer uniform in the dryer as they will inevitably shrink.
Fabrics Used For Cheerleading Uniforms
Now let us get to the main question which we have been leading up to so far. “What Fabric is Used for Cheer Uniforms?” – is a common question asked by people interested in this sport.
The style and color and everything else associated with a cheer uniform are the visual aspects, but the fabric is what you would feel on your body. The importance of the choice of fabric cannot be highlighted any more than that.
So let us take a brief look at each type of fabric used in cheer uniforms and what their utility is.
- Polyester – This is a synthetic fabric used in cheer uniforms mainly for its resiliency. It has great resistance to wear and tear and doesn’t fade much with time. It is perfect for cheer outfit since its holds its shape and doesn’t shrink.
- Flexstretch/Flexform – This is a specially made synthetic fabric for cheer uniform and other sports uniforms, known for the flexibility, tailored fit, moisture management and stain resistance it provides.
- SpiritFlex – This is a stretchy, matte, two-way polyester/spandex rib knit material used for the bold designs and lettering on cheer uniforms.
- Power Mesh – It is a sheer and breathable fabric used in various designs of cheer uniforms. This is a special mesh fabric which won’t tear easily in sports.
- Spandex/Lycra/Elastane – This is again a synthetic fiber known for its extraordinary elasticity that makes for a great fabric for cheer uniforms when blended with cotton.
Apart from these, there are a variety of other fabrics manufactured for specific parts of a cheer uniform such as twill, twinkle, sequin, velvet and fashion fabrics. However, they are mainly part of the decorations and are never used to make an entire uniform.
You can check out this page on Amazon dedicated to Cheerleading uniforms of the right material for your needs.
With that we have come to a close. I hope all your questions regarding cheerleading costumes and the fabrics associated with them have been answered.
The gravity of choosing a good fabric for your cheer uniform doesn’t need to be underlined any more than it already has been. You are always the best judge.
I hope this article has managed to provide the insight that you were seeking in this regard.