As I read some of these responses several issues jump out at me and there are several things I want to address. First, @kylehutson, You are correct in that our association doesn't technically require navy ballbags. Thus, I stand corrected and I thank you for bringing the specific regulations to my attention. However, I still stand by my original points. The KSHSAA still requires us to wear either an "NFHS approved navy blue or black pullover shirt." While different color ballbags are not specifically mentioned, I think we can all agree that ballbags need to match the hat color. Further, I find it interesting that the regulations don't mention anything about black hats. No one should wear navy hats with black shirts, that is just silly. Therefore, while the KSHSAA regulations are surprisingly vague, the spirit of the regs remains the same. (That is, we approve of umpires wearing either navy or black and for them to look the same.) Even though both navy and black are mentioned, my experience has indicated to me that navy is still the standard (if not in fact, in appearance.) There have been numerous times where I have worked with first-year umpires and many of them only have one color of shirt-------navy. Thus, navy is clearly still regarded as the standard and it furthers my point that those of us who work with many different partners, some of which prefer black, are still forced to buy navy hats and navy ballbags to keep our uniform jiving. I have also worked with many newer partners that only have one color of the hat....... making it more difficult to adhere to the regulation that we should be dressed the same. For example, I may email a partner and he tells me he only has one color of shirt (navy). Thus, I only pack navy on my way to the game and my partner shows up with a black hat. While it's not a huge deal, it still looks a little funny when we are standing together. We look mismatched, dysfunctional, and unorganized. That is one reason why I am advocating for just eliminating the navy from our repertoire altogether.
Next, we seem to be getting a little bit off topic with regards to the recruiting new umpires thing. I never said that updating the shirts would bring in new recruits by itself. like @kylehutson mentioned, his recruits cite different reasons and I agree with him. This, however, is tangential to my point where I argued that having to buy supporting accessories for navy constitutes a higher price tag for new officials. They must buy more hats, and preferably, more ballbags instead of just a one size fits all black hat and black ballbag. My association has rightly identified startup cost as a huge factor deterring new recruits from joining. Thus, I would think that taking a small step to reduce this cost would help.
Further, @LMSANS has used some faulty logic and faulty debate topics to support his points and refute mine. First, you seem to be raising the slippery slope issue with regards to updating shirts. (If we want to get more modern we change a shirt here and change a shirt there and pretty soon we are wearing street clothes and basketball shorts.) When dealing with a "where does it stop argument" my experience has taught me that the answer is always SOMEWHERE. It stops somewhere long before street clothes. No one is arguing for wearing Tshirts and street clothes, all that has been argued is that we update to a more modern style and color scheme. Therefore, the where does it stop argument doesn't really hold water under close scrutiny.
Second, when faced with the argument for updating shirts, you seem to be using the tactic that I call "what aboutisms" where your counterargument consists of "what about time limits, what about pay, what about XYZ." This tactic doesn't really accomplish anything other than deflecting blame and dancing around the main issue. No one asserts that time, pay and a myriad of other negative externalities don't exist that deter recruits. I am merely tying low recruiting number, high startup costs, and other issues to the issue of updating shirts with sound and reasonable logic.
Finally, I agree with @JSam21 about eliminating excuses and I think that if new standards were adequately codified, we could stop further issues. If associations, like mine, would put into writing a regulation detailing that navy blue is no longer an acceptable color, unless both partners agree to it and completely match, the "old geezers" would have no choice but to update. They wouldn't be able to tell you that they just have their one navy shirt from 1980 and that's it. The association standards could clearly oppose this by detailing that navy is not a standard shirt.
All-in-all, I still firmly believe that abandoning navy makes sense for reasons I've mentioned before. Additionally, most of us don't like the color. I still support updating our shirts out of the 80s and into the modern day. After all, perception can make all the difference. If we look good, we feel good, we get more respect. I still have not been convinced that any of the counterarguments hold any weight.