Shake Up Your Show Wardrobe!By Renee Spurge March 9, 2012
Whether or not you buy into 2012 being our last year of existence, we hope that you take this year as an opportunity to live in the moment, think outside of the box, and finally go all out when it comes to your personal equestrian style. The world may not be ending, but it’s definitely time for all of us to make some changes, and what better way to start than with getting rid of our antiquated show clothes and spoiling ourselves with today’s hottest equestrian fashion trends!
First order of business: replacing your old school, thick and shapeless breeches! You know the ones I speak of, the ones with the dark stains on the bottom that make you look 10 pounds heavier. We know that you have grown quite attached to your decade-old Tailored Sportsman or Ariat green-beige breeches, but both companies have new and fabulous choices for you to try.
For Ariat lovers we recommend the Olympia breech, and for the diehard Tailored Sportsman fans, the Trophy Hunter cut is one of the best- fitting riding pants on the market. Both come in show colors, front or side zip, and feature the flattering Euro-Seat design to eliminate saggy bottom syndrome.
If you have shopped for new show shirts in the past 14 months then you may already be aware that ratcatcher collars are a thing of the past. It’s all about wrap-snap collars and contrasting collar-and-cuff material for that pop of color and flash. One of our favorite new wrap-collar shirts is from a small Canadian company, Cheval Fashions, which has produced the most elegant and form flattering shirts we’ve seen in years.
The designer uses 100% high quality cotton with 100% thread count, a refreshing change to the myriad of Coolmax fabrics that sometimes look a bit boxy (and can leave you a bit stinky!).
The cotton is crisp, has some stretch to it, holds its shape, and is very breathable. The contrast fabrics have a high fashion flair, and you can fold and button up the cuffs to show them off. They are also a little bit longer than the average show shirt, ensuring that they don’t come untucked in the saddle.
For the show jumper, or even everyday riding, we really love the Cool Shirts from Equi in Style. Made in the USA (yeah!), Cool Shirts are great for SoCal girls, as they have a built in SPF 50 as well as a cooling factor embedded in the fabric that reduces body temperature by five degrees!
Finally, for the centerpiece of your new show attire: the hunt and dressage coat. The trend has already been moving away from the traditional thick and restrictive wool fabrics, and rightly so. The lightweight and breathable stretch fabrics make better sense for the active competitor. Not only can you move more freely in these coats, they also look fantastic when fit properly.
Another bold move into the future for hunters: they now come in a variety of styles, shapes and colors (and, for the truly adventuresome, even include options to bling them out!). Animo and Grand Prix have our favorite cuts and styles for a stretch hunt coat, but most of the equestrian brands today are offering tech fabrics.
Dressage riders are also getting on board with these sporty coats, and are adding a little color into their show outfits. Expect to see some pretty browns, grays, and even burgundy at the next dressage show. However, if you are more traditional in your tastes, and still have an affinity for wool-blend coats, then spice up that classic look with colored suede accents, some piping or ― what’s really in this year ― contrast stitching details and crystal buttons. The
Pessoa classic wool jacket is one of our personal picks for a modern twist on a traditional coat. But however you decide to update your wardrobe, just remember to have fun with it!
Tabitha Knaub and Renee Spurge are the owners of LA Saddlery at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. Visit them at www.LAsaddlery.com.
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