Finding the right riding attire especially for your individual needs and preferences can be very difficult. There is such a wide range of equestrian apparel, suiting the wide variety of different riding sports and what they require in a dress sense. The emergence of technical fabrics have also transformed traditional riding wear and further broadened offerings in all categories. To help get an idea of how to sift through the vast range available and find the right clothing for you, continue reading below.
A lot of people need assistance when choosing sizes for their riding clothing, as there is no standardized sizing for equestrian apparel. Garment sizes will vary depending on the brand. It is best to go into a riding store and be prepared to try several different options in various sizes to find the right fit. You should bring along undergarments you would wear when riding to try the clothes with them on also.
It is a good idea to bring along your boots to see how they look and fit with breeches you try. Also don’t forget to check the Equestrian Federation Rule Book to ensure the garments you choose will be in line with the guidance rules for your sport.
There are different levels of ‘rise’ in breeches, referring to the distance between the center point of the crotch and the waist. However it is important to not let terminology define what breeches you choose, you should simply choose a style that feels right for you and comes at least to your hip bones when you put them on. You will know when the breech is right for you when it:
- Feels snug, but doesn’t pinch or bind
- lies smoothly against your body as you stand
- doesn’t wrinkle a lot at the thigh top and knee when you move
- resists gapping at the waist when you sit and move as you would in the saddle
- has knee patches that align with your knees
- is sufficiently long enough to tuck into the top of your tall boots
Trending breeches: Technical fabrics with some percentage of cotton combined with a fiber providing stretch.
There is a large variety in the different designs available in shirts for riding. Due to many competition shirts made of traditional fabrics becoming joined by those fashioned in technical fabrics shirts are now styled for more occasions than just the ring. Some have the casual look of a polo, others are dressier, also there are shirts that offer features popular in athletic wear. Getting the right fit for your shirts can be difficult, here are some tips:
- Sufficient length to be tucked into breeches and stay tucked in. Shirts with a drop-back hem often stay tucked in better.
- Have enough room in the shirt to ensure buttons dont have gaps between them.
- Cuffs that do not extend further than a half-inch beyond the sleeve of your show coat when your arms are at their sides.
- Check the fabric of your shirt and your show coat to ensure they will work together well while riding. For example cotton or synthetic under wool would work well but cotton under synthetic may not move as well as desired while in the saddle.
Trending shirts: Features such as wrap collars with hidden snap or magnetic closures, contrast stitching and subtle pleating with flat seaming have become popular recently.
The riders show coat is traditionally crafted from wool, however as wool can be hot and uncomfortable in warmer weather technically devised fabrics for riding have become popular.
Among the most popular are those made from types of soft shell. This is a woven technical fabric that stretches and breaths, retains shape, reduces moisture and resists wind and water. The styles of cut have been altered over time too, as show coats tend to be shorter and more form-fitting. To acquire a tailored appearance keep in mind the following:
- You should take your figure into consideration when deciding on a show coat. More traditional and longer coats may be more flattering for a triangular or hourglass figure, however a European design will enhance a more rectangular build with fewer curves.
- To ensure the coat fits across your shoulders well the fabric should lie flat across your back and should not pull. There should be no horizontal creases and no extreme restriction of movement.
- There should be no puckering or bagging around the waist and you should have freedom to move fluidly.
- The sleeve should reach just below the bump of the wrist.
- Look at how the fabric of the coat hangs when it is on your body. It should not be limp or sag. It should appear to have substance to have a crisp and elegant look.
Trending show coats: The style of coat currently popular is a combination of a kind being suitable for either jumper or dressage sports. These coats may have 3 buttons to suit jumpers or hunters or 4 buttons to suit dressage riders.