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Choir uniform suggestions, from the wise S&B MNers, please!

(41 Posts)

I'm in a small chamber choir (roughly 22 members, 6 men, 16 women). Our current uniform is black, open necked shirt and trousers for the men, and black trousers with black top (long or three-quarter length sleeves) for the women.

We recently did a consultation exercise and one of the issues that came up was the choir's uniform - some of the women feel that it is too dull and drab, and would like some sort of change - sadly none of them have given us any actual suggestions.

We are going to discuss this at the upcoming AGM, and I was wondering if any of you had any inspiration you could share with me. We have thought of keeping the uniform but adding an accessory - a scarf or corsage etc - but that gets pooh-poohed by some of the committee, and there are concerns about choosing a different colour top (what if we all have slightly different shades - shock horror) - and I have no decent ideas at all.


puglife15 Fri 02-Sep-16 13:07:37

White shirts on top?

Or how about cassock and surplus ;)

puglife15 Fri 02-Sep-16 13:08:56

Honestly though I'd ignore them and stick with black. It's classic and this is coming from someone who looks awful in black

PitchFork Fri 02-Sep-16 13:09:36

red and grey look great as 'uniform'
a red shirt and grey trousers or floor length skirts

Thank you!

JamieLannistersFuckButler Fri 02-Sep-16 14:31:59

What puglife15 said - well the white shirts for the ladies suggestion.

Neutral and doesn't distract from the music.

InTheDessert Fri 02-Sep-16 14:53:02

We always had black and white as a uniform.
What about sticking with what you've got, but with an optional accent colour for a scarf or tie??

I thought of optional colour accent - I suggested the choir buys a selection of scarves in different colours - to ensure a bit of consistency - and Mrs DifficultCommitteeMember pooh poohed that - apparently every other choir has scarves.

To be honest, I am not sure anything is going to please them. <<sighs>>

Mind you - it has helped me make up my mind that, under no circumstances will I be standing as committee chair this year - or any year!

flowery Fri 02-Sep-16 15:31:36

You can't have coloured tops unless they are all exactly the same. It needs to be black or white, if people will be providing their own.

ChickyDuck Fri 02-Sep-16 15:53:36

My choir the women wear all black with pearls (some priceless, some a little bit more Clare's accessories...)! When I was first told I was a bit hmm but actually they look really smart and quite glamorous en masse

InTheDessert Fri 02-Sep-16 15:55:47

I played for an orchestra who has waistcoats. The provided a load of (quirky) ones, or you could provide your own. The brighter the better. Would that be an alternative??? Sizing can be interesting - tho I guess you loose the arm movement requirement if your not bowing etc

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Fri 02-Sep-16 15:57:30

I like all black. At schoole we used to have chiffon scarves around our waists to indicate which choir (junior/middle/senior) we were part if, which looked nice.

Wellthatsit Fri 02-Sep-16 16:13:28

Choir uniform discussions are always a total NIGHTMARE! Yes, a lot of choirs do go for scarves and it can be tricky - does everyone tie them the same?, should we do our own thing?, what colour? etc etc .

I think the best solution for a mixed choir is for the men to have a tie and the woman to have a corsage in the same colour.

If you want to look really tidy, have identical ties and corsages, if you like free form, just specify the colour and everyone gets their own.

Even more relaxed is to say black with a splash of (whatever) colour - tie, belt, jewellery, tights, or whatever else.....

Purple looks classy.

Yellow looks zany.

Red is strong.

Turquoise is always popular for some reason.

Definitely not jackets - there are whole companies that produce revolting choir uniforms (sorry for any offense caused to choir members with jackets!)

But it will be very difficult to get everyone to agree. You might have to go for a vote and use a PR system grin

OlennasWimple Fri 02-Sep-16 16:18:30

There's a reason why "everyone" has the scarves - they are effective, particularly en masse; easy to find; as cheap or expensive as you want; and inoffensive for the majority.

i love the idea of pearls, but not sure how men would work those...

bluebellation Fri 02-Sep-16 16:30:01

Yes, black IS dull and boring, but people have come to hear you sing, not see how attractive you all look! That's why most choirs choose it.

If you were a gospel choir, or sang pop type stuff you could go bright, but as a chamber choir, I'd suggest if you do choose a colour, keep it muted (Purple? Claret? Bottle green?) and make sure everyone has the same shade.

ChickyDuck Fri 02-Sep-16 16:30:52

The men don't wear pearls! But somehow just the women wearing them and everyone in black looks very smart

OlennasWimple Fri 02-Sep-16 16:40:29

I guess sparkly jewelery would have a similar effect - can be large diamonds or Claire's imitation. Men can have cufflinks or tie clips if they want

CrotchetQuaverMinim Fri 02-Sep-16 16:46:29

Black all the way.

Coloured scarves and corsages etc just end up looking really amateurish and try-hard, too me. Either standard tops/dresses that are provided, if you really want a uniform, or all black. Or at a real push, something like different bright coloured versions of the same top - need to have some consistency. And even then you have to make sure that the colours are evenly represented - I was once in a choir that said bright coloured tops, and everyone happened to choose red/pink/orange shades for one concert, except one person in bright blue.

Katisha Fri 02-Sep-16 17:04:14

Trouble with identical dresses/tops is that it really shows up how they suit certain members of the choir and not others. Even Vivienne Westwood's jackets for the Monteverdi Choir do this.
I'd go with black and white.

IrenetheQuaint Fri 02-Sep-16 17:11:46

Absolutely not white shirts, we had them once in a choir I sang in and we all looked like waitresses, it was grim. We finally rebelled and went all black - much better.

I'd definitely allow a dress/skirt option (also in black). And maybe allow carefully selected colours for more informal concerts?

SpuriouserAndSpuriouser Fri 02-Sep-16 17:13:17

Oh god OP, I am on the board of my choir and this comes up at even general members meeting and causes so many arguments.

Our uniform is similar to yours, all black. We had an "accessory of choice" in red, but people got annoyed and wanted matching accessories. Then there were arguments about what kind of accessory, and what colour. Power points were made, votes were collected. Then the head of the "fashion committee" (NB she invented this title and gave it to herself) disagreed with the results of the vote and took it upon herself to bulk order these weird frilly neck ties for the women and bow ties for the men. Then she asked the choir to refund the cost, because it was a choir expense.

Anyway no one liked them and we wore them for one concert and then they got put in a cardboard box in someone's loft and there they lie to this day. And still the argument rumbles on at every members meeting. So basically, in conclusion, I have no idea what a nice uniform entails but I wish you luck and wine

AnyTheWiser Fri 02-Sep-16 17:24:23

It's a minefield, isn't it?
When everyone has different colourings, and everyone is a different shape and size... you can see why so many stick to black! Plus you don't tend to get the issues of different shades then, either.

Jewel colours look nice, even on pale people, if there's a choice over the colours- say deep red, deep purple, teal?
The problem is that a choir is an ensemble, and you're looking for harmony together, not multiple clashing styles and colours. Perhaps deep blue?

Or choose something that suits no-one, such as maroon or brown and primrose yellow? grin

Men can have a tie in whichever colour is chosen.

FauxFox Fri 02-Sep-16 17:24:58

What about kimono type jackets for the ladies and co-ord ties for the chaps? More than a scarf, fits/suits anyone, can be worn over existing uniform...
red kimono
floral kimono
paisley mono
biba fringed

MardyBra Fri 02-Sep-16 17:25:39

Choir dress codes I've come across:

All black - don't mind.

Black with a coloured corsage - quite like this

Black skirt with white top. I hate this. White really drains me.

Black skirt with a plain coloured top. OK, but ultimately there were lots of different styles of top, so it could look a bit messy.

Black and white. Works quite well, but need to make sure that only big block colours are worn. Black and white small prints don't really work.

Floor length evening wear in plain colour, My favourite, but only works for certain types of concert.

Black evening wear. for a requiem.

I've never been asked to wear a scarf, but have seen several choirs with them, and think they look a bit frumpy.
I wouldn't join Rock Choir anyway, but would be put off by their T shirts which would do nothing for my fat belly apple shape.

Gents tend to be plain trousers with white shirt, coloured shirt, DJ if we're doing evening wear.

flowery Fri 02-Sep-16 17:55:11

"I wouldn't join Rock Choir anyway, but would be put off by their T shirts which would do nothing for my fat belly apple shape"

Not for your benefit as you wouldn't join anyway, but for the benefit of anyone who is considering it, RC uniform is either RC t shirt or own choice of plain black top.

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