Belles Bring the Bling

Heritage Belles debut new field uniform

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Photo by Sheila Pittman, Belles Mother

Showcasing their new uniforms, the Belles perform at the Gold Out game. However, the Belles’ director, Tiffany Richey, explained that the old uniforms are not gone forever. “We have enough [traditional uniforms] to wear if there’s a small group doing a special appearance,” Richey said. “We can pull them out to wear in public for special occasions.”

“I’m attached to the traditional [uniforms] just because I’ve worn it for all my years of high school, but I like the design of the new ones better,” Cagle said. ”

— Lynsey Cagle

After seven years of tradition, on Sept. 16, the Belles revealed a full new field uniform during their Gold Out halftime performance. 

Since their establishment in 2015, the Belles have sported the same uniform, commonly known as their traditional uniform. The only new piece that has been added is a jacket to their winter combination three years ago.

“We’ve had those uniforms for seven years, and they can’t be washed because of the sequins, so they were really nasty,” Belles’ director, Tiffany Richey, said.

The traditional uniforms come with a high price tag, though, and Richey knew a switch in vendors was the best financial decision to keep up with the exponential growth of the team. 

“We needed 10 new uniforms to be able to wear the complete set for this year’s team,” Richey said. “The cost to get…14 complete [traditional] uniforms [from the traditional uniform vendor] was the same price as getting a team set of 40 uniforms from another vendor that can get things out quicker.”

The new vendor in question was none other than Down Patt, who had previously made their winter jacket pieces. However, Deanna Patterson, owner of the company, describes how making these uniforms was a step up in difficulty from the jackets she completed three years before.

“There were three colors going on one [base] color. The base was red, but then you had blue, white, and silver going on it, so it was three things, and it was all that to trace,” Patterson said. “[Uniforms are] usually one color…but Heritage was three!”

Official production of the uniforms began in May 2022, but the idea and design process began long before that.

“[It’s been] two years of me looking for ideas,” Richey said. “I looked at thousands of pictures, and then I started drawing them.”

The sparkly tops and unique, a-line skirts were a combination of the numerous photos and drawings Richey went through, but the original inspiration for the new uniforms can be drawn back to two schools in particular.

“The skirts took inspiration from Baytown Lee [High School]… and the top is like John Tyler [High School], but we changed the design from there,” Patterson said.

After five months of tracing, cutting, sewing, assembling and more, the new uniform made its full debut during the Gold Out football game. The months of production and hard work made Patterson proud of the final product.

“I’m always leery or kind of worried because I never see it on a body, but once I saw pictures [of the uniform] on the girl, I was very pleased,” Patterson said.

As for the Belles, the change was different, but many of them, including senior member Lynsey Cagle, enjoy the new pieces. 

“I’m attached to the traditional [uniforms] just because I’ve worn it for all my years of high school, but I like the design of the new ones better,” Cagle said.

Although the team will only be seen in the new uniform combinations, the traditional uniforms haven’t made their final appearance.

“We have enough [traditional uniforms] to wear if there’s a small group doing a special appearance,” Richey said. “We can pull them out to wear in public for special occasions.”