So, I'm told that the black and blue thing is just an attempt to set standards. A "uniform" in the strictest sense. Makes sense to me.
But I like the standard set in New School Aikido:
Shodan: The hakama must be black.
Nidan and higher: If you are an instructor, you may wear navy blue, otherwise, black.
Sandan and higher: If you are dojocho, all bets are off, any color you want, be creative (it's actually encouraged). Otherwise, see the rules for Nidan.
So, officially I'm a dojocho, though I don't actually conform to the rules in a lot of other ways. Strictly speaking I can't be *really* recognized as dojocho until I get my sandan.
After reading this thread, I have lots of great ideas for my new hakama when I get my sandan. I like the hawaiian print (I spent most of my childhood in Hawaii and started my training there). But, I think, I'm going to see about getting a photographic print done. Something with Zatoichi (Shintaro Katsu) on it. Or maybe Luke Skywalker.
Oh! Oh! Oh! One
leg Zatoichi, the other
Luke Skywalker! Perfect!
...Maybe I should have The Powerpuff girls on it somewhere as well...