Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Guarding the World: Costumes

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Unlike other roles, in which your costume is determined by where are you are working, lifeguard costumes are universal.  Whether you are on the lazy river at Typhoon Lagoon or the Hippy Dippy pool at Pop Century, you will be wearing the same thing.

Funny story, when I went through my orientation at the Contemporary, the recreation coordinator of training was not present. I don't know why she was not, and I didn't really care when they told me that because I had no idea what that role was or how they had any effect on my life on that very day. Instead the facilitator of our class and the really nice people in costuming tried to help me and my cohort when it came to picking out our costumes. They were helpful, except for some really little details...

For example I got home without a lifeguard hat. So when my roommate asked me later about what kind of hat I got, I realized that I would be making a stop back before my first day of training. It's a good thing I had to make that stop already because I shortly realized the other thing that I made it out of orientation without acquiring.

A single swimsuit.

Let us use that fun experience as a nice segue to get to the meat of this post. Because apparently I have a LOT to say about lifeguard costumes. Here we go.

Yes, ladies. They really reuse the swimsuits. Sorry boutcha.

There are two designs of the ladies swim suit. One is a little tighter than the other. I usually got the looser design, but I always wore a bra with my swimsuit. I still don't know the consensus on wearing a bra underneath or not. I saw some sports bras and saw some coworkers that never added an extra layer underneath. I wore a purple bra which could only be seen when I was not wearing my polo, and I was never told that I was out of Disney Look. Too many informations? Probably.
Besides the attractive swimsuit, you get to wear your shorts. There are actually female and male shorts. The male shorts have a liner, but some girls ripped the liners out the male shorts and then wore them. So sometimes even though I chose shorts from costuming with no liner, it would still be the male design. I did not have many issues with the shorts. I usually went a size up just to keep them extra comfy.

The shirts are polos which read Walt disney world resort. They come in short sleeve and long sleeve.  I usually picked a small or x-small. And so does everyone else! Once you've gotten the small size you like, you might want to hold onto it or it'll be a while before you see them at costuming again. I was a big fan of the long sleeve shirts. They aren't that hot, and they keep your arms protected from the sun. Some people wear them all year long because they have tattoos to cover. 
When it gets cold, bring on the winter gear! Probably my favorite parts of the costume. There are ski pants, black gloves and a beanie!

There were several jacket selections. There's a fleece. My first one was really old and used, but they have some that are fluffy and new and really fun to lounge in! So look for that one. The fleece is awesome, especially for chilly mornings and evenings. There is also a thinner jacket, that I suppose is for rain in the summer. I never used it because it was too thin to keep me warm and not good enough to keep me dry. You can get the clear rain pancho to keep dry, but I imagine you would just roast in there. The last jacket is the heavy duty winter jacket. I absolutely loved that jacket. I had to use an XL size because I could never find a smaller size. That jacket just enveloped me whole. But it was great when you were cold (especially paired with the fleece underneath---for desperate days) and it was waterproof AND had a hood. Could I have anymore good things to say about this jacket?!

A bit of advice when it comes to your winter gear... You will likely have to jump in on days when it's freezing and costuming is either too far or closed. Only wear one jacket at a time (unless it is an aforementioned desperate day), that way you can take one of and still have a dry one in your locker for later.  

Bring extra costumes. If you work somewhere where you can just walk through costuming on your break (like the contemporary) it's no issue. But it feels so good to put on a dry costume. If I could, I would just leave my costumes in my trunk. At Art of Animation it was really easy to just grab an extra jacket out of my trunk. During winter I would usually come in wearing my shorts with pants on top, a shirt, with my fleece and winter jacket on top. Once I got my stuff away in my locker, I'd usually put the winter jacket away. I would take my pants off at the second or third stand.

Last but not least, there are some accessories I haven't even touched on! During your lifeguard class you will receive your whistle and your guard pack. You will also get the privilege of wearing adorable black shoes or white sneakers of your choice. I bought crocs at a clearance outlet. If I had stayed as a lifeguard any longer, I would have bought white tennis shoes because my feet get so cold. Your very last piece of costume is your hat. I always wore the baseball hat. There is also a beanie which I mentioned as winter gear. I only wore the beanie one day and I got a horrible sunglasses tan line, since it doesn't block the sun at all. But it is warm! There is also a floppy hat or bucket hat, which is actually an awesome idea because it will give you so much shade!

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