I’ve been stuck between riding disciplines for as long as I’ve been riding. I can’t decide whether or not I prefer the close contact, two hand reins and traditionally preppy attire of the English style, or the saddle security, freedom of having one hand free, and easy to wear (in the barn and after) Western style.
Why choose? I’m not one for limitations, so I like to get a good western trail ride on Cuervo (my cute little leased quarter horse who was Western broke) when I can, and then on other days, when I feel like posting a proper trot, I throw on my little jump saddle and practice patterns in the ring.
I’m pretty much the same when it comes to clothing. Some winter days, I want the clean polished (uptown) look of my non-riding black “breeches” with a slimming black cashmere sweater, black knee high suede boots and small stud earrings. Other days, I throw on my Haute Hippie long horn t-shirt, a pair of embellished skinny jeans, my Tony Lamas and a warm wool southwestern poncho. With regards to actual riding attire, I remember I wore my cowboy boots and jeans with my English tack and it looked equally as awkward as when I wore my tall boots in a western saddle – got lots of looks, but who cares? Cuervo could care less what I’m wearing :).
My pick for a cute hybrid outfit. Maybe this will be my Christmas outfit from Santa –
Kerrits Painted Pony Tee
Inverni Cashmere Pom Pom Beanie $285
SheInside.com Bat Wing Sweater
JBrand Mid Rise Skinny Jeans (#485)
Donald J Pliner Tall Stretch Back Roz Boot $298
Intaglia Stretch Skull Bracelet Silver and Pewter
Ralph Lauren Large Fringed Bag
Mixed-discipline for hacking around either Western or English.
Wear with Jeans or English Breeches: Animo Paola Riding Shirt
Pikeur Talita Waterproof Parka
Wear with cowboy or field boots: Animo Geo USA Jean Breeches
Many of you have heard of the eye-wear brand Warby Parker, but if you have not, I invite you to check them out. A company with a conscience, the founders began with the problem of not being able to afford quality eye glasses:
Every idea starts with a problem. Ours was simple: glasses are too expensive. We were students when one of us lost his glasses on a backpacking trip. The cost of replacing them was so high that he spent the first semester of grad school without them, squinting and complaining. (We don’t recommend this.) ….Where were the options?
It turns out there was a simple explanation. The eyewear industry is dominated by a single company that has been able to keep prices artificially high while reaping huge profits from consumers who have no other options.
We started Warby Parker to create an alternative.
By circumventing traditional channels , designing glasses in-house, and engaging with customers directly, we’re able to provide higher-quality, better-looking prescription eyewear at a fraction of the going price….Almost one billion people worldwide lack access to glasses, which means that 15% of the world’s population cannot effectively learn or work. To help address this problem, Warby Parker partners with non-profits like VisionSpring to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.”
Pretty cool, right? They have some pretty fun frames, my personal favorite is the Laurel in Tea Rose Fade at $95 (for single-vision, $295 for progressives). You can use your web cam and try them on virtually from the comfort of your home. For many styles, you can order a sample pair to be sent directly to you for a test wear. These would look adorably preppy for a schooling ride, and then stylish when reading the latest Georgina Bloomberg novel, watching the Real Housewives with friends, or simply going out for a drink and being able to actually read the cocktail menu. If they fall off and get trampled by your equine buddy (let’s hope this doesn’t happen), you won’t need sell your first born to replace them.
My style suggestion:
Tory Burch Lidia Polo $125
Asmar Breeches $218
Barbour Betty Interactive Liner $99
Ariat Challenge Contour Brown $399
DNTX Belt from ETSY.com $89
If out cubbing – this is a nice optional top: Foxy Cubbing Jacket $395
Inverni Cashmere Pom Pom Beanie $285
Tiffany Picasso Double Wrap Bracelet $325
They also have may wonderful sun shade options. In fact, they just launched a new line, called “Ghostly”, which is stylish and can be worn in the ring and out. Perfect for a man or a woman; one part Tom Cruise and one part Audrey Hepburn. I don’t have a final price on the Ghostly line, but their other shades go from $95 non-prescription to $350 progressives. Not bad, considering a pair of designer shades can go up to $500 w/o a prescription.
We’re all excited for the launch of the Ghostly, although how fun would it have been to have launched them on Halloween (hmmm…maybe too cliche). Anyway, try them out and give someone who can’t afford to purchase their own, the opportunity to have clear vision. It’s all about the shades. 😉 They can be purchased at http://www.WarbyParker.com.
You know what I meant…those old black things that covered Grandpa’s shoes in the rain!! 😉
Anyway, Since the recent renaissance of Hunter, wellington boots have taken over the ubiquitous UGG boot for casually fashionable women, it girls and oh yeah, practical women’s rain gear. I love my Hunter boots, but I think it’s time for a migration to something different this year. The good old rubber boot has had some fun incarnations over the past couple of seasons, and this fall proves to be no different.
A wonderfully waterproof boot, with leather buckle details, it has space for a spur and a heel, so it has been approved for riding. Versatile, you can get them in navy or brown. A must have wellington boot for riders; great for a muck or a buck. Wear warm wellie socks and you don’t need much else for the colder weather until it’s really sub zero time.
Ariat Storm Stoppers Riding Wellington
Specialized sole of the Ariat Storm Stoppers
Built for comfort
Ariat also has the MUD BUSTER Tall Boot for a nice wellington option but not as saddle ready. There is room for a spur, but the tred isn’t as advanced as the Storm Stopper. It’s a more traditional wellington option, available for men and women and in hunter green, black and navy. $129.99
For the more stylish wellie-lovers, I have to introduce the MoovBoot!
Not for heavy duty stall mucking, these are the Porches of the wellingtons. Shipped from Australia (orders over $150USD ship free), they come in a number of styles and heights. For those colder late fall days, they have a line of boots lined with 100%Australian merino. YUM. Sure to keep your feet warm and dry on even the dampest and slushiest of days. Great for you city girls looking for this year’s everyday boot trend.
MoovBoot Arena Luxe lined in 100% Austrialian Merino Sheepskin
MoovBoot Geo Classic – unlined
MoovBoot Snow Leopard – lined with 100% Austrialian Merino Sheepskin
MoovBoot Geo in Sunset – lined with 100% Austrialian Merino Sheepskin
For those of you looking for a regular wellington (not meant for riding), Joules makes some of the cutest around. Fun designs and different heights, they’ll be sure to have one that you or your little one will love.
Joules Horse Wellington
Joules Horse Wellington
Whichever one you select, you are sure to be happy!
Hi-end online retailer Net-a-Porter.com, understands that fashion and sport often go hand in hand. In this vein, they recently launched “Net-a-Sporter” (clever), featuring different sports and their appropriate attire. They included an Equestrian section, so they have not forsaken the horsey fashion-set, but they do need to expand their catalog. Currently, they carry some Ariat items, which are beautiful, but more of a selection would be great. This being said, they have some fun items in their “Apres” sport category, as well as some unique finds in their “Yoga and Dance”, “Golf” and “Tennis” areas, some of which are great for layering.
Equestrian Items –
Ariat Challenge Contour Cognac Field Boots
Ariat Olympia Jodphers
Ariat Navy Polo
Other Net-a-Sporter Selections –
Monreal London Mesh Peneled Stretch Jersey Playsuit
Ballet Beautiful Leather Ballet Flats
Ballet Beautiful Stretch Nylon Leotard
Markus Lupfer Merino Wool Blend Track Pants
L’Etoile Sport Argyle Knit Cotton Cashmere Blend Polo Dress
L’Etoile Sport Drop Waist Pique Dress
Current Elliott Slim Vintage Printed Cotton Track Pants
Adidas by Stella McCartney Stretch Jersey Sneakers
What makes Net-a-Porter.com really wonderful, is their friendly customer service, fast shipping and easy returns. If you live in NYC (or surrounding areas), there is a same-day delivery service, for a $25 fee. Fabulous :).