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 –
Mixed-discipline for hacking around either Western or English.
For sunnier days: Custom Der Daus
Some other fun ideas:
So, whatever your preference, mix it up!
It’s pretty hard to find English equestrian clothing for boys. In a girl-dominated sport (at least in the younger years), our sons that love to ride English are forced to wear “unisex” (codeword for “girls”) jodphers and boring white oxfords or polos. I’ve spent some time searching out the best and coolest boys equestrian attire and everyday wear that can be worn stylishly on a jumper saddle, so you don’t have to.
We should start with the breech. I know that many kids wear jods, but the quality and style of a 4 pocket (two pockets in the back) create a definitively boys style breech. They can put on some half chaps to complete the look. The two that I found were at Dover Saddlery:
Ovation Boys 4 Pocket Breech $76.99 DoverSaddlery.com
Tuffrider 4 Pocket Breech $48.99 DoverSaddlery.com
Next essential is the show jacket. Often expensive, it’s best to buy something that can last more than one show. My son’s was a little long in the sleeve, so I had the tailor take them up an inch but only in a temporary manner. When he grows a little taller, the sleeves can be let down (he doesn’t show that much, however). Take a look at these:
J Crew Boy’s Blazer $158, JCrew.com
PoloWoolBrass-ButtonShowCoat $325 RalphLauren.com
Polo Ralph Lauren, Langley Sport Coat, $125 at RalphLauren.com
Now, on to the fun stuff! I’ve compiled a collage of my favorite, bright, happy and cool garments that your boy (or tomboy) can wear to the barn, hacking around, or to the store after their lesson.
These are all so adorable and cool; all the little girls at the barn will be swooning!
Fall this year is filled with red. I’m really feeling this trend because just about everyone looks amazing draped in this color. Valentino, Dior, Nina Ricci and Dolce and Gabbana all have fabulous frocks in crimson this fall, but who can afford such glamor? Not I, so I’ve been searching for items that are more affordable or perhaps just one featured red statement piece to carry me through the season. One beautiful red piece worn correctly will turn heads.
Dolce and Gabbana Fall 2013 Runway
Christian Dior Fall 2013
Antonio Marras Red Wine Riding Hat – $160
Banana Republic Graphic Stone Necklace – $79
Gap Cinnabar Red Leather Bag – $98
Hunter Red Bradwell Rubber Short Boots – $115
JCrew Cabernet Minni Pant – $118
Michael by Michael Kors Red Cowl Neck Dress
Red Ray Ban Aviators – $160
RGB Nail Polish in Classic Red – $18
Toms Pink Seasonal Slip Ons – $63
Uniqlo Natural Cella Birtwell T-Long Sleeve – $19
I still prefer mixing red with grey and camel colors, not necessarily black. You have to be quite careful mixing those two bold colors, done the wrong way, it’s just plain cheesy.
Also, pay attention to the undertones of the red you choose – some have more blue and some have more orange. Choose the wrong red undertones and you may wind up clashing with your skin tones. This is especially true for lipstick. For example, when I pick a more orangy-red, my teeth wind up looking more yellow. Ick.