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Custom Plumes

Add towering height and visual excitement to your Shakos, Aussie Hats, Busbies, and Helmets with custom plumes in a range of sizes and colors to perfectly match your marching uniform. Fluorescent colors are available in all Upright and French Upright plumes. Have something special in mind? Talk to our Sales Team and have them help you create the perfect plume for your group or performance, including specialty options like double-dipped plumes, tip-dyed plumes, half-and-half plumes, and more.

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The history of marching band shako plumes goes back to the Middle Ages when musicians joined feudal armies. Like the soldiers in these armies, musicians wore feathers and colors to show their loyalty to a lord. In the 17th to 19th centuries, national armies began wearing standardized uniforms, many of which included design elements and embellishments, including plumes, shakos and helmets, trims, buttons, and epaulets – bands were no exception.

While uniform designs have dramatically changed since the Middle Ages, they retain many military influences, adapting to fit school colors and show themes of America’s marching bands and drum corps. Today, heavy wool fabrics have been replaced with polyesters and spandex blends for comfort and movement, but the plume still endures. Once there to indicate nationality or rank, today, plumes still serve a purpose: to add drama and to help audiences “connect the dots” during field formations. Full feather plumes also help bands and corps convey a story, adding height and drama to performers and giving them a larger-than-life feel.

How to measure Marching Band Plumes

The following are the general directions for measuring Marching Band Plumes; plumes are sized by even numbers and in increments of two inches.

Fountain, Drooping, Upright, and Stickup style plumes: Measure the total length of the plume. Stand the plume on a flat surface, stand a ruler next to the plume, place your finger on the top of the plume wire, and measure. The plume may measure an increment past the inch scale. If this is the case, your finger may not be touching the tip of the wire because the feathers are in the way. Example: A plume that measures 8.25 inches is an 8-inch plume.

Phantom, Cavalier, Aussie, and Ostrich feather-style plumes: Measure the length of the wire or stem, not including the Shako or Tri-wire. Remember to measure carefully; plumes cannot be altered after manufacturing. If there is uncertainty, please send a plume for specification evaluation or request a sample for comparison. Custom plumes are nonreturnable.

Need some help before you order? Contact our Sales Team at (800)457-3501 or by email at sales@bandshoppe.com with any questions, and they will be happy to assist you.

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