My Spring 2018 Equestrian Style

If y’all don’t realize by now that I LOVE CLOTHES, I might consider you illiterate. And as the seasons change, so do the styles. While I am obsessed with the Gucci FW 2018 collection, it’s not practical for riding (I am not being totally ironic here — I really am obsessed with it and I think the collection and its inspiration are pure, badass art).

But there are some ready-to-wear picks for this spring that I’ve had my eyes on — not all are necessarily “new” for spring but I wouldn’t mind if any of these wound up in my riding wardrobe between now and June.

I do not wear riding tights. I haven’t seen very many that I would be willing to wear, either, until I picked up on Botori via Instagram and the look left me wanting a pair. Tights with actual knee patches and a phone pocket? Yes! I can definitely see myself wearing these.

Okay, but back to breeches … I have, over the years, struggled with how the calves of breeches fit me. Either they are too short or too baggy. I have been on the hunt for a pair of tan breeches that fit my waist, AND my calf, aren’t too thick, and don’t raid my wallet. I may take a chance on these Equine Couture Beatta breeches. Review forthcoming? Perhaps …

But we can’t go topless on a horse. At least, I can’t. More like I won’t, really. I have been impressed lately with how RJ Classics has really stepped up their style game. Couple that with my love of pattern, and I am lusting after the Lane shirt. This pattern is definitely my favorite and so tasteful.

So this next one … if you are even remotely active on social media and you have an ex-racehorse, you are probably obsessed with this shirt that Mango Bay Design posted yesterday. If you want my world view on a t-shirt, this would be it.

Now that we are almost completely dressed, on to the accessories! Belt purses are a thing, have you noticed? This is one of those items that I have been on the fence about for a long time because I am not sure I really need one, but it would be nice to have my phone with me even while riding yet not shoved into a breeches pocket where it can (and does) bounce out and fly into the arena footing. I haven’t ever really seen one that calls to me until I saw this one from Asmar. I might be a convert.

We can’t ride without helmets. I love my GPA First Lady. I love sparkly things. What do you think comes next?


Last … is it possible to get excited about socks? For me, yes. Usually about socks with a cute pattern or print on them. Those are not the socks I am talking about today. Again, I ran across these on Instagram and these seem like the most well-thought-out socks ever designed for riders. The Achilles pad is especially appealing to me. Sometimes I am in tall boots for hours at a stretch, and my Achilles is the first thing to get ouchy from that. I think these socks could fix that issue.

What do y’all have your eyes on for adding to your riding attire collection?

Summer Riding Attire: 2017 Edition

Riding in the summer in Texas … not gonna lie, I sometimes skip riding in August altogether. Otherwise, Texans are the experts in hot-weather riding. Most often during the summer, I ride in the Kastel Denmark or EIS sun shirts and have found the Romfh Sarafina breeches to be THE BEST for summer riding in Texas. However, options abound and there are a few things I’ve got my eye on for withstanding the more mellow heat of the evenings (because everything melts in the middle of the day here).

Fior da Liso makes some of the nicest shirts available, anywhere. The ones I have (that I bought on super duper ebay overseas sale–these shirts are too expensive to pay retail), I wear to work. And some of the prints on the S/S 2017 collection are too cute for words, like the Paula shirt.

But what to wear to show for the summer? I won’t be showing this summer because I would die of heat exhaustion, but the Horseware Sara long-sleeve show shirt has a nice lace detail in the back that might provide a little extra air circulation.

Admittedly, I have no idea what kind of sports bra to wear with it! A nude one, I guess? Does anybody have this shirt?

Now, you can never have too many tee-shirts that say stuff on them. I found a few from EQUO that sum up my feelings exactly. Both are cover-ups that you can wear over a show shirt, and they can be taken off while wearing a helmet because of the extra-wide neck line. I love targeted design considerations like that.

There is nothing more accurate.

And while we are browsing the EQUO website, may I point out their schooling breeches? These look like yoga pants, but with sticky knees … unfortunately the price tag puts them well out of my comfort zone for buying just for schooling. I will merely admire them from afar.

But we all know by now how much I love the Romfh Sarafina breeches — thanks again to Carey! So when the Gabriella breeches came out, I knew I’d need them. Yes, need.

I got them in White Sand, so I can show in them, too, just in case, ya know?

They are low-rise, and have sticky knees, both pluses in my book. Can’t wait to see these in more colors!

So, as you can see in the above picture, I like cute socks. While browsing “funky socks” online, and narrowing it a bit to equestrian vendors, I ran across Inkstable socks. Corgi Inkstable socks, to be clear.

Um. I know some people that might need these. Any chance there will be a dachshund version?

Just one more accessory to go, people, and a bonus item that I really normally would never write about …

The accessory? A belt.

Ruespari belts look like the summer must-have equestrian belt from where I’m standing. They seem a bit pricey for being elastic, but that’s not unheard of in the equestrian world. The equestrian-style closures are really cute, though, so I couldn’t overlook these. I would happily accept one as a gift. *hint* (Actually, no, don’t spend like that. Very irresponsible. Said the horse owner.)

Okay. If you have made it this far, I have one last item to recommend for summer riding, and that item is underwear. Not something I feel very strongly about, except for this particular pair …

These Ex-Officio Sport Mesh briefs are pretty much my go-to for riding when it’s hot and humid out. Zero chafing. Quick-drying. Lightweight, and comfortable. More than I would normally pay for one pair of underwear, but I don’t regret having a couple pairs tucked away in a drawer for when I need them. These are worth the investment.

I shamelessly took pictures from vendors for this post. Happy shopping, right?!

 

 

Spring 2017 Equestrian Style Wish List

I’m trying to stay on a stricter budget this year but clothes don’t last forever. Inevitably, a new pair of breeches or a new shirt become a necessity as older clothes start to fall apart. I try to buy quality stuff that lasts, but every once in a while I try a new-to-me brand that doesn’t live up to expectations, or simply falters under the daily wear-and-tear of riding. With all this in mind, a handful of brands have proved their worth to me and always come out with new and cute stuff seasonally. So here are my Spring 2017 picks!

Romfh Sarafina Breeches in Lake Blue

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I recently sold a few pairs of breeches that fit me weirdly. Sell 2, buy 1, kind of like that whole promulgate one rule, repeal two … or something. I love both the Lake Blue and Periwinkle color for Romfh’s Spring 2017 collection, but ultimately decided my closet jives with Lake Blue the best. (Super curious about the new Gabriella style, too — anybody tried them?)

Asmar Equestrian Devon Technical Show Shirt

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I don’t need another show shirt, but if I were in the market, this would be my first pick. The few Asmar things I have are outstandingly crafted and have worn very well. Plus look at the back design! C’est chic.

EGO7 Orion Boots in Chocolate Brown

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What color looks great with lake blue? Yep, these exist now. I have been nothing but impressed with my current pair and my brown Ariats are basically dead (after merely a year!). These are an economical choice, too, when compared to custom.

Build-Your-Own GPA First Lady

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You can do this now. Go do it. (Admittedly, I only just now found this option but maybe it’s already been around a while?) Seriously, no, I do not need another helmet. My hope is that when I do in a few years, the First Lady designs are still around because the shape fits my head the best.

Summer Riding Attire: 2016 Edition

My first recommendation for riding during the summer is protect your skin from the sun, duh! Start with a wide-brim helmet or visor to keep the sun off your face. I ride in a GPA First Lady (I do not have the 2X) that has a wide brim. This helmet shades my eyes very well, although the brim is not so wide as to offer complete protection from the sun. I am looking at adding a visor to the mix for extra sun protection–I am leaning toward a Soless visor, but also considering a jute Equivisor.

I’ve thrown together a few outfits that are typical of my summer riding attire, all intended to help me stay cool. Or, at least, less hot.

Outfit #1

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Romfh Sarafina Euro Seat Breeches & EIS COOL Shirt

Finding the right balance of staying cool, or really just not too hot at this point, and sun protection is the key to summer riding attire. Lightweight, synthetic-blend Icefil fabric tops absolutely rule the roost of equestrian summer shirts. I have two favorites, Equi In Style and Kastel Denmark, and I have almost an embarrassing number of tops in each brand. EIS features bright colors and stiff collars that stay upright, and a straight fit that works for my body. While retail can seem steep, I have frequently found these shirts on sale, or at a store that accepts coupon codes on EIS shirts. I’ve never actually paid $96 for one. The Tack Room Online periodically sends out generous coupon codes, and a few of my EIS shirts have come from them. I definitely suggest subscribing to their email list.

Romfh Sarafina breeches are new-to-me and I just picked up a pair in Sea Glass. I LOVE this perfectly peacock shade and they look great with my brown Ariats. I have been hunting for a reasonably-priced alternative to Tailored Sportsman Trophy Hunters–haven’t we all–and these are superior to Trophy Hunters in a few ways. The first is the price–retail around $150 and well under the Trophy Hunter price tag of $190. The second is the fabric. Stretchy, soft, sporty, wicks sweat to an extent, conforms to my shape without clinging, conforms to my waist without gapping, and smooth sock bottoms instead of Velcro … so many features about this fabric make me prefer it to the Trophy Hunter fabric. The cut of these breeches suits the hunter/jumper aesthetic, and the color offerings will satisfy both those who prefer traditional palettes and riders who like brighter colors that pop. The fit is even a bit generous, so if you are in between sizes, size down instead of up. The white and tan are show-worthy, and this will not be my only pair of Sarafinas for very long.

Outfit #2

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Goode Rider Legacy Knee Patch Breeches & Kastel Denmark Short Sleeve Polo

I have already reviewed the Goode Rider Legacy breeches, and my feelings for them run deep. The styling, fabric, and fit suit me, and they transition from schooling to showing easily. Please make them in white, Goode Rider! They are a great summer-weight breech and I highly recommend them. I purchased two pair from Adams Horse and Pet Supply, a fantastic tack shop in Maine with excellent customer service and a great selection. I want to visit Maine solely for the purpose of visiting this place in person.

For my birthday, I got a couple of the Kastel Denmark short sleeve polos. While they do not offer the same sun protection as their long sleeve shirts, the fabric is the same–that wonderful Icefil. The fabric is silkier than the EIS fabric (not all Icefils are equal) and the collars are less stiff. The fit of Kastel shirts is contoured and extremely figure-flattering, so if you are shapelier than I am these might be the way to go for you. Their color palette is extensive and sophisticated. The vibrant purple they came out with recently looks great with grey, taupe, or blue breeches. And it makes me happy. The power of color is real, y’all.

Outfit #3

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One Horse Threads Tank & Tailored Sportsman Trophy Hunter Breeches

Ugh. Y’all. I have a very Brokeback relationship with Trophy Hunters. We are all familiar with them, so I’ll just leave it at that.

What I CAN get excited about are the tank tops from One Horse Threads. For those of you sun worshippers who fear no tans, One Horse Threads tanks tops need to get in your closet. If I know I will be riding when the sun is low enough on the horizon to be less oppressive, I forgo the Icefil and throw on a tank top like the one above.

One last piece that has quickly become a staple for my summer riding is the Asmar Equestrian Logo Long Sleeve Tee.

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I have a kelly green one, and I just saw a plum color that is not on the website yet, but I WANT IT. You want one of these shirts, too, if you live in a hot climate. This thing wicks sweat like you wouldn’t believe. The humidity here was Houston% recently, and this shirt kept me dry dry dry. Not kidding. My only regret is that I didn’t believe Amanda–I should have got one of these a long time ago.

Other great products appearing in this post are:

Spur Belt, purchased from Equestri Lifestyle, Baseball hat from Luxe Eq, & Ariat Heritage Contour Field Boots

What do you wear while riding in the summer? Does anyone have any good over-the-counter face sunscreen recommendations for people with sensitive and temperamental skin?

 

 

Mane Jane Spur Straps Review

I’ve been wearing spurs regularly for years on just about any horse, and more recently have been riding Eli in the roller ball spurs every ride. Basic black leather spur straps, while ever so utilitarian, just weren’t cutting it for me any more.

I follow the Styled Equestrian on Instagram and discovered Mane Jane through her account. While I had seen spur straps with fancy silver buckles or rhinestones here and there, these colored spur straps with cute little creatures and motifs on the keepers absolutely blew my mind. Where have these been all my life??? I bought a pair for myself, and also a pair for a friend as a Christmas present, so I have been sitting on these a while, not posting about them until after Christmas to keep the surprise for my friend.

foxdetail First of all, trying to decide which ones I wanted was quite a chore, because they were all so cute, and the possibilities endless with customization available. I decided for my first pair to go a little conservative and get brown straps with a little fox face on the keepers.

I received the straps within days of my order in some really cute packaging, with peppermints and a branded seamless hot pink hair tie thrown in–Mane Jane knows what horse chicks like for sure! We never have enough hair ties or peppermints. Admittedly, I wasn’t sure what the leather quality would be like. It’s hard to tell from a picture, and sometimes brightly colored leather can come off looking a bit plastic-y. This is absolutely not the case with Mane Jane spur straps. The straps I ordered were soft, supple, and even had a subtle gold glitter throughout the brown. I have now been wearing them for weeks, and they have held up beautifully, without cracking, and they clean as easily as any other equestrian strap goods.

twotoneObviously, I’m going to need another set of straps! Now I just have to decide which ones … this could take a while …