Inside the Rider’s Closet: Modern Style for the Show Ring
For over 20 years, I have been an equestrian competitor on the hunter/jumper circuit. Over that time, I’ve watched equestrian fashion evolve—transitioning from purely traditional designs to performance styles made with fabrics created for athletics. We’ve come a long way from hot wool coats, iron-only show shirts with rat catchers (that I’d inevitably lose as a young rider), and tan breeches with non-machine washable suede patches. The new world of equestrian fashion offers riders the opportunity to express their individual style, while still maintaining the traditional aspects of elegance that make the sport so unique. And it’s never been more fun to navigate new styles than with Gina and Michelle at JODS.
One of my favorite aspects of shopping at JODS is the variety of brands offered. I can create an outfit that melds brands together to create a style that’s uniquely my own. I am a self-proclaimed traditionalist and don’t venture too far outside the realm of white, navy, black and tan when I am showing. However, there are so many options within that vein that I can create styles with my own flair while embodying the traditional, classic finesse of the equestrian sport. Here are some of my favorite items for the show circuit from my equestrian closet.
I love this show shirt from Equiline as a modern take on traditional style. The white wrap collar snaps easily in place to create a clean line around the neck. The pearlized buttons add a little flair and stop just where my show coat “V” begins. The short sleeves keep me cool and the fabric is both breathable and sweat wicking. Overall, this is a great option for a classic look.
When I want to wear something with a little more pizzazz and color, I opt for this show shirt from Le Fash. Buttoned up and under a show coat, it’s perfectly white and traditional. But off the horse, I can flair down the collar to reveal a colorful pattern. While JODS has many color options to choose from, my favorite is the navy and green plaid when paired with a navy show coat. The mesh sleeves keep you cool and also help me to avoid the dreaded farmers tan when I’m wandering around the show grounds or schooling. In addition, the collar is magnetic, making it easy to button up for the show ring even when I have gloves on.
Photo credit Winslow Equestrian LLC
There are so many varieties of RJ Classics show coats, but for me the victory show coat fits the best. I have a longer torso and long arms and so the four-button style works perfectly for me. The fabric is lightweight and stretchy, which I love because it doesn’t interfere at all with my range of motion while I’m riding. I have this coat in navy, which I love to pair with tan breeches, and the odyssey grey, which looks great with white breeches for jumper classics.
Photo credit Winslow Equestrian LLC
Traditional and functional, these breeches are my favorite to ride in. They feature the Animo Grip System on the knee patches that give you a secure feel in the saddle. They are a sturdy fabric that holds up well to the wear and tear of riding, while also flattering the athlete’s build and leg of a rider. They hit the waist at mid-rise, just below the belly button, and have wide belt loops that are perfect for thicker belts. The boot sock leg bottoms also tuck easily into my boots with no wrinkles or creases. I love these pants for showing and schooling.
The one place I like to add a little flair to my otherwise conventional style is with my belt. The leather belts from Tailored Sportsman work great with the thick loops of the Animo Naspre breeches. This snakeskin texture belt in beige color adds just enough shine and texture to complete my outfit and pairs well with tan breeches and a navy show coat. The belt buckle sits comfortably on my front zip breeches without weighing me down or bulging out beneath my show coat.
For carrying all my ringside equipment, I love this backpack from Maelort. It’s stylish and functional with lots of pockets to keep my spurs, towels, spare equipment and everything else organized. The front has a helmet cradle, and I also find that the central pocket is large enough to fit my helmet inside the pack, which is great for traveling. The leather-like straps hide magnetic closures making it easy to access all the things I carry around. This backpack is a great accessory to my show outfit.
Lucy is an avid equestrian on the hunter/jumper circuit. She is a freelance communications professional and lifestyle blogger as well as an outdoor activity enthusiast. You can find her blog at www.presencebylucy.com or connect with her on Instagram @huberlu.