Legend says Napoleon padded his army’s shoulders with batting to make them more intimidating, and then sewed buttons on the cuffs to prevent them from blowing their noses there.
Even military bands, invented for morale on the battlefield, wore outfits with features similar to the military uniforms of their time: box-shaped, heavy wool, weighty interfacings, horsehair canvas, and flimsy linings which twisted and torqued. Pinched collars contained sharp edges and large metal hooks. Buttons either were sewn-on or pierced the fabric with rusting rings and washers. Suspendered trousers had lumpy zippers at the waist. Heavily-ornamented Civil War and Circus Band Uniforms were hot, heavy, badly ventilated, and uncomfortable, fitting the clothes hanger and musician alike, with an emphasis on maintaining a rigid and unforgiving shape. Amazingly, after WWII, these old-fashioned suits remained largely stagnant; inflexible patterns copied with no consideration for wearer comfort or easy care, even as the style and number of America’s Bands and Drum and Bugle Corps expanded.
Unfortunately, most attempts at a new type of suit ended as stripped-down versions or ill-fitting blouses with elastic waists. Shapeless “unstructured wash-and-wear” became dead-on-arrival fad; an unwanted stepchild of an industry disinclined toward change or experimentation.
But here’s the next chapter. The revolutionary “Cesario™” uniform, exclusively from FJM, became the industry innovator by defying all categorization. Striking good looks and expert craftsmanship combined to make a durable uniform that moves as modern bands do.
And you can put that in your washer and dryer.
Starting in 1983, a completely new uniform began to take shape. Revolutionary in materials, design, and construction, it took nothing for granted, and literally started from a “blank page”. Tested by The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps and the Phantom Regiment those first years, the new uniforms took incredible punishment. With sweltering sixty-day bus-and-truck tours across the US, they were “ridden hard and put away wet”, literally. Word leaked out that a Broadway Costume Designer from “inside” the pageantry had actually invented a whole new way to build uniforms that would be strong, washable, and still look great on TV. Finally, FJM, Inc., announced this innovation publicly, and put it into national production, becoming “The Company That Changed Everything™”
Today, the standard-setting “Cesario™ “ uniform is worn by more Bands of America and Drum Corps International semi-finalists and finalists than all the other companies combined. It has become the preference of forward-looking University Bands as well, making FJM the fastest growing band uniform manufacturer in America. The trademark fit and finish is built directly into the tailored uniform itself, utilizing a proprietary combination of textile architecture and patternmaking, combined with the latest Visa System 3 fabrics.
“Cesario™” designs are uniquely distinctive, able to convey the traditions and aspirations of each group, resisting any labels, and actually creating a visual brand for the contemporary band.