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How to Select the Perfect Choir Robe

by Dominic Chandler
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Selecting the perfect choir robes for your formal performance as a choir is entirely dependent on the individuals within the group and with the variations of colour, style and fabric material, it’s important to understand all the different parts to make the best choice for you and your choir members so that everyone is comfortable and looking their best. 

Choosing the Best Choir Robe Material

One of the first things you should consider when it comes to selecting your perfect choir robe is the type of fabric for the choir robe to be made out of. 

Polyester, cotton and wool choir robes are always popular choices as they are easily found and aren’t too pricey. These choir robes are durable and long-lasting meaning your choir can keep them and wear them for years as they will retain their quality. 

Some of these popular fabric types include Seville, a polyester material that’s easy to clean of stains and doesn’t get wrinkled easily and Tissue Faille which is completely made of polyester and has a silky sheen that lends itself perfectly to the showman formality of your performing choir. 

Tissue Faille is lightweight as well, meaning it won’t weigh heavy on your choir members shoulders on long days of performing. 

Choosing the Style of Your Choir Robe

Choir robes also come in different styles and having the robes for your choir come in the same style helps to create a sense of unity and harmony for your group so the focus is never on any one individual. This allows the music of your choir to be the focus for your singers while also being the most important thing an audience notices. 

Many styles of choir robes come from the Roman traditions, using classic and plain cassocks and cottas. There’s never anything too showy in a choir robe, allowing the music of the choir to shine brighter. 

Underneath the choir robe, you should wear plain black formal clothing and slacks. The robe itself will commonly be either a regular fluted robe or a traditional full-fluted robe as well as the potential of coming in a pleated style or a gathered style. 

There are also different styles of choir robe based on what kind of choir is performing. These include a traditional choral gown, an Old English choral gown as well as gowns for symphony choirs, melody choirs or rhythm choirs. 

Choosing the Right Colour for Your Choir Robes

Choir robes often come in the traditional black or white but there are many colours for you to choose from that can help you to find the perfect fit that suits all members of your choir. That colour can be rooted in tradition, symbolism or simply the aesthetic choice of the choir. 

A black robe will often signify humility and simplicity, a good colour to choose to keep the music at the forefront of the performance. White meanwhile symbolises purity and hope in Western tradition. 

Other common popular colours for choir robes include purple, famously a colour associated with royalty and nobility that helps to link the choir robes to its historic and traditional roots. 

You can also have red robes, a colour often seen in church and used to symbolise passion and vitality, injecting spiritual meaning into your performance. Blue, gold and silver robes are also used for choirs, with the same regal meaning as purple, symbolising the wealth and value of the church in relation to its close ties to royalty. 

Whatever colour you choose, make sure it’s the right one for both your choir members and the values and traditions you want your choir to uphold. 

Ultimately, the perfect choir robe is down to yours and your choir’s personal preference. So long as the choir feels comfortable on stage in the selected robes, they will give the performance of a lifetime. 

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