Many sides (48%) describe what they wear when performing as having a ‘traditional design’. For example, many Cotswold and Rapper sides wear britches and many North West sides wear dresses with aprons. However, 36% of sides describe having a more contemporary design (either to when the side was formed, or to now), for example, moving to trousers instead of britches, or more modern styles of clothes. This is consistent with findings that tradition is less important to modern morris.
The most popular colours used by morris sides in their kit, along with white and black, are red and blue. Other popular colours are green and yellow, with purple, brown and orange less favoured colours. Some sides (13%) have no particular set of colours as part of the team identity. For example, most Appalachian and Mumming sides have no particular set of colours, though there may be a particular style.
Two-thirds of Border sides incorporate black into their kit, compared to half of sides on average. Many Border sides have a particular association with a ‘dark’ and pagan theme. This is linked to the use of black face paint, common in Border and Molly sides.
Morris Census data shows that the vast majority of morris sides do not paint their faces at all: just 20% of sides use face paint in any form. Face paint is particularly associated with only a few styles of morris: 68% of Border sides and 70% of Molly sides use face paint. Only half of the sides that use face paint use all black face paint: 32% use non-black coloured face paint and 17% use face paint that is a mixture of black and other colours. Overall, ten per cent of morris sides use black face paint, which equates to around 80 sides.