Jeffrey Dokken was so excited when he first laid eyes on the Washington Commanders Marching Band's new uniforms.
"I immediately loved them," said Dokken, the Marching Band's music director. "It's hard to get 50 of any group of people to agree on anything, especially musicians who are all very creative types, but to a person all of them are like, 'Dude, these are sick.'"
The Marching Band, which is one of just two marching bands in the NFL, will debut its chic new duds this Sunday when the Commanders take on the Packers. Co-Owner and Co-CEO Tanya Snyder was heavily involved in the design process throughout, and the result executes her vision for a modern and inclusive uniform that has a hint of military spirit and details that call back to classic looks.
From the beginning, Mrs. Snyder emphasized a few points to prioritize in the new marching band uniform design. Similar to the goal of so many other elements of the Commanders brand identity, she wanted this apparel "to fit a variety of shapes and body types" as Vice President of Guest Experience Joey Colby-Begovich relayed. That pursuit was one of many reasons the team opted to work with one of the best in the business, Stanbury Uniforms, which could customize the new swag to a tee. The inclusivity note inspired the addition of the jacket belt as well as the cut of the uniform.
Also mirroring the mission of the new Commanders era, Mrs. Snyder voiced the importance of melding classic and traditional style ideas with those that are modern and fashion-forward. With that desire to capture a timeless style, the Commanders and Stanbury Uniforms looked to one of country's most iconic institutions: the military. Features such as the hat, the braided details on the jacket and the cut are "Marine Corp band-esque" to use the words of Colby-Begovich.
When it came to adding some innovative pizzaz to the uniform, color sublimation was key. The team looked at gradation in a couple different ways but "the black gradating into burgundy just looked the sharpest," Colby-Begovich said. The jacket moving from black to burgundy then dictated that the pants would be black. The modern details along with the classic ones combine to create an outfit with a look that is truly unique.
"They're very evocative of a throwback band uniform while still looking really fresh," Dokken said. "And I think for me, mostly that has to do with like the gradation of the colors, which is really neat."
To make this uniform undeniably Washington, gold accents were splashed throughout on the shoes, the "W" logo, the seams and more. With the final touches put in place, there was a voila moment upon reveal.
"The end result achieved everything we were looking for," Colby-Begovich observed.
Though they have yet to be worn on a gameday, the new uniforms are already generating buzz among the Marching Band.
"I am a firm believer in 'look good, play good,'" said band director Brittney Lynn. "In marching band, we always call our uniforms 'superman suits,' and I really see them elevating our level as a group."
Dokken has already felt signs of that effect at rehearsal and is eager to see how the new look amplifies the band's performance this weekend and beyond.
"Even just putting them on for rehearsal purposes, everybody walks a little bit taller, because you feel cool, right? And it's like, 'yeah, these are ours!'" Dokken said. "We'll see how it goes during the game, but I 100% expect there to be that little bit of a boost."
Fans can see the Marching Band for the first time in their new uniforms before the game at the Washington Legends parade at FedExField starting at 10:30 a.m. this Sunday.