Tailored Sportsman IceFil Zip Top Review

but do I have enough sun protection?

Somehow, I have yet to review a sun shirt on the pages of this blog. I wear them frequently because I live in Texas. I have gravitated toward both EIS and Kastel, and think they are both excellent options.

stiff collar!

And then I bought a Tailored Sportsman sun shirt. (I know some people have serious reservations about the brand because of the owner’s reputation.) And now they are my favorite. They are priced very competitively at $65 each. The sleeves are long enough for my ridiculously long arms.

They come in pretty colors, and new colors are introduced each season. They don’t have any prominent branding on them. They are SOFT. They are cut slim, and are long enough to stay tucked in. They have collars that stay standing up, even without the zipper halfway or all the way zipped. They are durable, and the ones I have have never snagged or caught on anything. They wash easily and dry quickly. They don’t pill, and the mesh of the sleeves doesn’t pill, snag, or start pulling apart. And I didn’t just buy one a week ago — I have been wearing them all year.

I might just use this picture for tomorrow, too

That’s my review. I can’t find a thing wrong with them, physically. I mean, it’d be cool if they were $25 instead of $65, but that’s unlikely in riding attire. The Tailored Sportsman IceFil zip top is my sun shirt of choice.

Choosing a Lesson Outfit

Let me just stop any of you who don’t care about clothes right here: don’t bother reading this post.

Okay, now that we’ve weeded out the party-poopers, let’s all of us fashion hounds talk about choosing what to wear for a lesson. When I feel well-dressed, it really influences how much confidence I have, in no matter what I am doing. Again, if you can’t relate to that, you may not get much out of this post.

I really like to dress at least somewhat professionally for a lesson — not quite show attire obviously, but just as I would select a totally traditional, no-nonsense outfit for riding in a clinic, I like to be dressed tidily for a lesson, but with my own twist — yep, you guessed it, it’s that tiny, crazy, 87-year-old-lady inside my head telling me what to wear, balanced with my own modest sense of decorum. I’ll let y’all sort out for yourselves which pieces were picked by the metaphorical 87-year-old.

Riding clothes have to be comfortable and practical, of course. Affordable is another good attribute, so you won’t find me wearing $400 shirts to ride in. Durability is especially important for the tall boots, and protective goes without saying for the helmet. Working within those parameters, I give you a typical outfit that I’d wear to ride, such as the one I wore during schooling over fences on last Friday.

First, I wore a Tailored Sportsman IceFil zip top. I won’t say too much about it here, because I plan to post a full review later this week. Can’t go wrong with black, as long as it’s not a million degrees outside (the weather was quite nice).

I paired this with Equine Couture Beatta Breeches in Safari, a beigey tan color that goes with everything. Sometimes I wear boring pants. I actually really like these breeches, but can’t remember when or where I picked up this pair, but breeches.com has them. I have had these for about two years and they seem to hold up over time very well. I have found that with Equine Couture, I typically go up a size for the breeches to fit — I wear a 28 in Trophy Hunters, and these Beatta breeches are a size 30. They are also very easy care, and can be tossed in the dryer on low, even.

Next, I wore my new Trauma Void helmet — again, not going to say much here, as I plan to post a review of the helmet this week, too. One word preview: Love.

Tall boots are one of the things to spend on and not skimp. That doesn’t mean you can’t look for a good deal, as I found these DeNiro boots new-in-box on eBay for less than retail. Provided the company keeps on keeping on, I plan to stay a DeNiro boots customer for life. They are comfortable and have worn incredibly well so far. I can, and have, wear these all day without any discomfort.

Now for the wacky accessories. The first one is a belt I got during a sale at Luxe Eq. It’s a little metallic, in black, red, and gold. If you haven’t splurged on a Duftler spur belt yet, you are missing out. The leather is so supple, which I was not expecting given the metallic coloring, and the craftsmanship is excellent. I cannot possibly justify buying another one, though. Yet. Maybe. I also wore an Equivisor, which given the Texas sunlight, is eminently practical. The one I am wearing, I got on sale for like $17 or something ridiculous like that. Would I recommend black? Yes. Is the one I wear black? No. But it protects my face from the sun and leopard print totally acts like a neutral and goes with everything. I kind of want a jute one, actually.

The Asmar Crocodile Belt Purse: Unexpected Benefit

Most equestrians like to keep their phones on them while riding, and there are a lot of ways to do that, some more desirable that others. I pretty much stuffed my phone in my breeches’ pocket, a super not secure place for it. Sitting trot? Bye, phone. Half the time I’d stop and stick my phone on a jump standard so it wouldn’t bounce right out of my pocket and get stepped on.

But there are other ways … for one, my Botori pants have mesh thigh pockets and I am a little disappointed that every single pair of my breeches doesn’t have this feature, because how easy can it get? There are also mobile device carriers you can strap to your arm or leg, but my enthusiasm for those is nonexistent.

I have had it narrowed down to belt purse for a while … but how to pick which one? I knew I didn’t want fabric, and solid colors only. The belt loops had to be wide enough for my widest belts, and otherwise just my phone had to fit. This left me at a crossroads: Black Knight Accessories or Asmar?

 

I am already very familiar with Asmar and the brand’s high quality. Black Knight Accessories is all over Instagram, and one day the company offered its belt purses for $60 instead of $75 … perhaps now was the time to buy? Except I could not get the site to load. Uh. No.

The Asmar belt purses are considerably more expensive, but I also prefer their styling to anything else I’ve considered. There are definitely some evenings when I want my phone on me for sure while riding, such as when I am the only person up in the arena and it’s cold and dark and there are coyotes howling … see how I can convince myself this is a safety issue? It really is though. So I ordered the Asmar Crocodile belt purse in cognac.

One belt purse later I encountered a significant drawback — my phone only fits in the Asmar one if its Otterbox is not on it. Naked phone … mildly terrifying at a barn. BUT, I figure, it’s in a case that is secured to me so I don’t mind too much. (I have a Samsung Galaxy 8, maybe? Not sure on the generation.)

But I discovered this one other amazing thing that surprised me. This little belt purse liberates me from my phone. I didn’t even realize how often I absentmindedly checked my phone for no apparent reason, even at the barn. While I am less likely to constantly scroll through fodder on my phone while I am interacting with my horse, I still did do it some. For whatever reason, with my phone tucked away and securely clasped into the Asmar clutch, I didn’t look at it even once. I knew I had it if I needed it, but I guess since it was out of sight, it was also out of mind. So even if you don’t want to spend a fortune on a belt purse, consider getting any brand of one anyway, just to experience this wild phenomenon!

Okay, that was awkward to admit, so moving on … I really do love this thing. I wore it first with my GHM rust breeches, my brown boots, a blue tee, and my Trauma Void with — yes — a leopard print Equivisor. All kinds of 70s and old lady kitsch going on there. But I am hooked. If I am at the barn wearing a belt, I’ll be wearing this Asmar belt purse, too, with my phone out of mind.

Bold Reds

I am talking shades of wine today; varietals of the sartorial kind. If you haven’t picked up on deep, rich, cabernet-colored reds for fall equestrian styles, you must not have the internet and you most certainly aren’t reading this. All of my favorite brands have wine-inspired shades going on in their fall palettes. It may not be the only hot color for cooler temperatures, but it is definitely my favorite!

Um …. you’ve seen this, right? Asmar Equestrian has pulled together a special edition All Weather Rider in a bold tempranillo hue WITH ELBOW PATCHES! Need I say more?

The color goes beyond rain gear into show attire. Shades of red are getting pretty popular for show jackets and close as they may be to the traditional pinque, they are running more toward deeper wine shades or warmer rusty tones. Like this Equine Couture Danvers show coatΒ — but it comes in navy and black, too! Can’t beat the price, either, coming in under $100.

Considering my oft-impulsive spending on breeches, I couldn’t miss these Romfh Sarafina breeches with silicone knee grips. This might be my dream breech!

And last, I have this belt. I love this belt. It’s in my daily rotation of riding attire. The Duftler quality is outstanding, too! Well worth the expense for a piece that can be worn for years with so many options. I picked it up during a Luxe Eq sale, and I have zero regrets.

While I wouldn’t pull together a monochromatic claret-colored riding outfit, using a pop of such a bold color paired with neutrals will get you through the autumn breezes in fine form.

Knee Status & Buy Some Breeches

Eli’s left knee looked pretty good last night. The swelling had almost completely subsided. Even better, he felt 100% under saddle. Leading up to last night, I had primarily been walking under saddle, as getting Eli moving around seemed to help with dispelling the swelling in his left knee. I’d ask for a trot, and it just didn’t feel all that great, that is until last night. We even cantered a little! It’s funny — I must have subconsciously avoided the spot where we faceplanted at the canter while cantering last night — I realized it once we went back to a walk. I guess I might have a little lite-ptsd? Anyway, I am cautiously optimistic Eli’s knee is better, but I think I will hold off on jumping him until after he sees the chiropractor. I plan to continue icing his knee after rides for at least a few more days.

In more exciting news, the custom color patch Botori Taylor pants came, and I LOVE the knee patch color! If you haven’t bought a pair of these riding pants yet, you are missing out! I think Botori can do custom patch color on large orders–can’t hurt to check with them if your barn wants to go in together on a barn color order!

If any of you are in the market for a pair of Trophy Hunters, size 28R in French blue with the tan patches, let me know — I have a pair in great condition and I’ll be willing to part with them for less than my asking price for blog readers.

I also have to mention, Eli has been on Thia-Cal, the daily liquid vitamin B1 supplement, for a week. All week, since Eli hasn’t been doing much, I expected him to be edgy and sassy about being ridden, and thought he would at the very least toss his head around in upward transitions. Except he hasn’t. He’s been quite relaxed and attentive. Is it the Thia-Cal? Maybe? I can’t say for sure. I am sure its effectiveness will truly be tested at some point this winter. It is much easier to administer than the oral paste, that much is certain. Now I don’t have to guess when to give Eli the Quia-Cal, because he gets the same ingredients daily with his lunch.

One last thing, Breeches.com is having free shipping on all orders from the US today. The company is also participating in International Helmet Awareness Day, too!

 

Can’t Stop Scrolling

Admittedly, I am an Instagram addict. I find all kinds of worthwhile things via Instagram. Some of what’s caught my eye this week …

 

An all navy Palo Alto long sleeve top? Um. Yes. This post even makes me want to wear white breeches just for fun. Weird.

I avidly follow Scott Brash. He even posts endearingly cute barn videos of his horses playing with muck rakes and such. But I have a conundrum … I like Scott Brash but I dislike clowns and he just used the clown emoji so now I’m conflicted.

I haven’t googled the hashtag and I have no idea why this picture exists but I think my life is markedly better for it. And I know I have said this before, but Leonardo DiCaprio is literally trying to save the world. His foundation’s Instagram is pretty badass, too.

It’s weird to me, how much I enjoy Elon Musk’s Instagram posts. He comes off as a regular guy who is just really into his job. His job being the future.

Holy beaded belt.

And last, if you haven’t ordered from breeches.com yet, you get 15% off your first order with coupon code SAS15P!

Botori Riding Pants Review

I don’t wear riding tights or leggings — I never have, even as a kid. It’s always been jeans or breeches. (French saddles pretty much got everyone out of jeans and into breeches.)

Maybe that’s still true since these are called “pants“?

My friend convinced me I needed these pants! P.S. How cute is her pony???

I picked up on the Botori equestrian brand via Instagram, like many people. I liked the styling of these pants but wasn’t sure I’d really need a winter-weight pair and that was what came out first. But then Botori released new designs for summer. I couldn’t get them out of my mind. A friend said she had ordered a pair and I told her to tell me if she liked them or not. The next time I saw her, she was wearing them and I KNEW I needed a pair.

These are the most comfortable pair of pants I own. I have a pair of Patagonia yoga pants that I love, and up until now had been my most comfortable pair of pants, but not any more. I wore these pants in the heat and humidity all day on Sunday and every time a slight breeze picked up, it felt like these pants were made of the icefil material of sun shirts.

They even have mesh cuffs at the bottom … genius

They are also extremely comfortable to ride in. I wondered how it would feel in the saddle, but I didn’t feel any less secure. The pants’ wide waistband kept them in place during my ride in them. It was easy to keep my smartphone on me during my ride in one of the mesh thigh pockets.

Barn kitty approved

Really, I am just so impressed with these pants! I could sleep in them, they are so soft and cool and comfortable. When I first opened the package with them (which shipped within an hour of me placing my order — how is that for customer service!) I held them up and was like … whoa … these are tiny.

Botoris double as excellent dog walking pants

Are these the right size? They were, and they have so much stretch in them. They fit beautifully once I pulled them on and I knew I had ordered and received the right size.

Work outside all day in complete comfort

I definitely need another pair. Maybe two more pairs … these will see a ton of use this summer!

GHM Add Back Breeches Review

I got a few pairs of the GHM Add Back breeches for my birthday back in May, and I am loving them for summer riding.

I love the wine color. Possibly because I love wine …

Style:
First, the styling of these breeches is in keeping with current trends in breeches design — things we’ve come to expect now such as smooth sock bottoms, a wide waist, and sticky silicone knee patches. An added detail about the Add Backs that really caught my eye is the suede piping at the slant pockets. It’s a nice, luxurious touch that makes these breeches a good candidate for showing as well as schooling. They have the ever-popular and flattering Euro seat style, but even better? The color options. Safari is the show-appropriate color, but I also have the graphite and wine and the colors are very rich, with a slight sheen giving a jewel-toned effect. The wide waist means I can pair them with my beloved Duftler spur belts.

You can see a peek of the suede detail and pocket embroidery here.

Fit:
The fit of the GHM Add Back breeches seems to run slim. For me, that’s a good thing. The waist is snug enough that I don’t have a problem with the breeches sinking lower and lower as I wear a pair throughout the day. Additionally, I have slim calves, and sometimes it’s a struggle to find breeches that aren’t baggy in the calf–these breeches are not baggy around my calf at all. These breeches also have a longer inseam that most of my other breeches, and almost cover my ankle bone. This all being said, the material is pretty stretchy. I measured the inseam on one of my pairs, and it runs 27″ long. For reference, I wear a 28 and the size chart runs pretty true-to-size — the size chart indicates the inseam is 26 1/2″ so that’s pretty close.

Safari color pictured.

Function:
A really popular feature right now on breeches is a silicone knee patch or seat. When riding, the silicone offers a more secure, grippy feeling in the saddle. These breeches have that extra grip for sure! That’s just one functional feature on these breeches out of many. The material is also very thin and lightweight without being see-through. It’s a great material for summer — I was able to wear a pair all day at a show in the heat (got up to like 102F at the show!) and the material kept me cool (relatively speaking), dry, and comfortable. You might think thin material would be flimsy or too stretchy and would lose it’s shape, but these breeches held their shape very well in such hot and humid conditions. They wash up well and like many other breeches, I line dry these. A dryer is not a good thing for athletic material or silicone.

2″ wide belt accommodated

I am so pleasantly surprised by just how much I love these breeches — finding a pair of breeches for under $100 that look great and actually perform well when I’ve thrown heat and horses and dust and water at them has been difficult, but these breeches live up to all of that and more, offering an affordable option without sacrificing athletic details that are must-haves on modern breeches.

You can find this style and others from the George H Morris Collection at Breeches.com. And during Breeches.com Father’s Day sale, use code FDS18 now through 6/17 for 15% off your order, or get 15% off your first order any time with code SAS15P.

Show Outfit Details

One of my favorite parts of showing is picking an outfit. This show was no different.

I should really do a proper review of the AA Motion Lite because it is an outstanding show jacket for the price. I pulled it out of the closet again for Saturday because I knew even the morning would be uncomfortably warm. I’m am never wearing a wool coat again, and I want a navy Motion Lite now. Just waiting on another Riding Warehouse sale …

I chose a Le Fash shirt to wear under my jacket, perhaps bucking the white trend a little. I periodically check in on the Le Fash sale section of the website for good deals, and got this shirt that way.

There are so many options for show breeches now, it can be hard trying to decide which ones to pick. For this show, I wore the George H Morris Add Back breeches from the George H Morris CollectionΒ and I LOVE them. I stayed comfortable and dry in them all day and it was 100F in the afternoon. I was done showing, but felt no need to change out of these breeches because of how comfortable they are. And y’all … these breeches look great but they are under $100. How many breeches do you have that you can say that about?

 

A show outfit is not complete without a belt, and while it would be most traditional to wear a black belt with black boots, I thought a fabric Mango Bay belt would be more comfortable on such a hot day. And I am into mixing prints, so art nouveau print with plaid? Yes.

I showed in my Ego 7 boots again this time — you can see my reviews on them here and here.