Horse and rider have a long history together. With that history, comes traditions that include the garb worn by riders. Though the styles have not changed dramatically through the years, today there are many options for traditional clothing that are far from dowdy and boring.
Wrap Collar Shirts
Different styles of riding demand different styles of acceptable clothing in the show ring. With a show shirt designed with a wrap collar, a rider can easily move from the jumper ring to show in the hunter ring without needing to take the extra time to add a choker. The collar of these shirts snaps neatly to give the look of a choker without the extra layer of material. This design helps to keep the rider cool during their classes. Available in light colors, such as blue and green, many styles also feature hidden, contrasting trim on the neckline and cuffs for an added depth to the look.
Contrasting Trim Shirts
Gone are the days when the only riding shirts that were acceptable in the show ring were white, long sleeve and button down. For the maximum comfort of the rider, even on the hottest days, without compromising the traditional style, comes a shirt with an attractive fitted silhouette. Made of a revolutionary fabric that quickly and effectively wicks moisture away from the body, riders can personalize their shirts. Choosing from a variety of different trims made of Italian silk, such as stripes and various patterns that are visible only when the cuffs are upturned or the collar is unbuttoned, provides a pleasing contrast that gives a luxurious appearance during those moments out of the ring.
Solid color polo shirts in a variety of hues are still a popular item in the equestrian world. For the fashion forward rider, however, an explosion of color, both subtle and bold, can be found today. For the rider who wants to add a dollop of color comes a polo shirt with a wide, diagonal swath of bold color. Reaching from the waistline to the opposite shoulder, there are an array of different colors from which to choose. For a bolder look, women can choose a color block shirt that features large sections, or blocks, of contrasting color. Eye catching and easy to coordinate with matching jodhpurs or schooling pants, these shirts make a fashion statement that is anything but boring.
Whether schooling prior to the show or while attending a clinic, the discerning equestrian rider can add a large dose of color and texture to a traditional white button down riding shirt. Topping such as shirt with a vest adds a layer of comfort and style. A fitted microsuede vest in a variety of different colors allows the rider to choose their favorites. By wearing a long sleeve polo shirt with coordinating colored piping at the neck and sleeves under the vest, the look is one of both polish and class.
Not just any pair of socks will do when it comes to wearing riding boots. Made of stiff leather with a hard and protective sole, riding boots often offer little flexibility. Therefore, comfort and protection from chafing are the primary goals when searching for a new pair of riding socks. This does not mean that the ideal socks can not be fun, though. Boot socks made of a blend of polyester and nylon help ensure protection for the feet against rubbing by the thick leather boots without uncomfortable bunching. Keeping the feet cool while wearing brightly patterned socks allows riders to show their fun sense of style during those moments in between classes or while they are taking an extended break without their boots.
Gloves for the equestrian come in many different designs. While gloves in neutral colors such as black and navy remain popular, for the rider who enjoys embracing fashion, the same great designs of riding gloves also come in contrasting colors. Pink, light blue and purple are just a few of the available colors that feature a contrasting palm in black. Riding gloves can also be found in fun patterns such as pink zebra print, horseshoes, peace signs and many more. Breathable materials help keep the hands dry and sweat free while the synthetic palm improves the rider’s grip.
Denim is a popular fabric now seen in riding breeches. Ideal for schooling, or for stylish wear during western shows, denim breeches effectively combine comfort with style that allows riders to move smoothly from the show ring to a night out without missing a beat. While the more traditional beige or white jodhpurs can now be dressed up with suede knee patches, other colors, such as gray, taupe and black allow a rider to add a bit of color to her outfit. A durable suede seat ensures long lasting performance while the technologically advanced materiel wicks moisture and keep it away from the skin for a cool and comfortable experience.
Today’s equestrian fashions allow riders to fully embrace their personalities and their sense of style, both in the show ring and out. Combining fashion forward designs and styles with innovative materials allows riders to dress in a stylish manner without giving up comfort.
Karen Velarde is an avid amateur equestrian. She especially enjoys writing about her hobby, as well as fashion. Learn more about Equestrian clothing UK, visit the link.