The RJ Classics Show Coat Guide
We're here to help you navigate the ins and outs of buying a new RJ Classics show coat. We will walk you through sizing, fabric weight, and styles.
We'll start with two of our favorites, the RJ Classics Victory and Monterey. Part of the "orange label" collection, these show coats are made from lightweight, stretchy fabric. Unlike an old fashioned wool coat, you have complete mobility in this jacket. They are unstructured jackets with no shoulder pads. The orange label jackets are probably the lightest weight jackets on the market apart from mesh styles.
Between the two styles, the Monterey is a more traditional looking jacket with three buttons and flap pockets. The Victory has 4 buttons and slash zipper pockets. Both styles are widely accepted in both hunters and jumpers. Some trainers may prefer the Monterey for equitation classes (although we're here to tell you the best jacket is one that fits you well--judges are NOT counting your buttons).
RJ Classics does a wonderful job accommodating a large range of body types and sizes. They come in short, regular, and long length, from 0-16. The Victory fits longer and slimmer, so we recommend it for taller riders and those with long torsos. The Monterey is perfect for shorter riders as well as those who carry a bit more weight in their mid section. Many riders look good in both styles, but may take a smaller size in the Monterey, or perhaps will wear a regular length in Victory but need a long length in the Monterey.
The Monterey and Victory are machine washable on cold, hang to dry. They hold up well and are reasonably priced compared to the competition, ranging from $539-$569, and come in a variety of colors. This same fabric is also available in girls sizes as the Shore, which is a 3 button, slim fit jacket.
Next up, we have the RJ Classics Harmony and Melody show coats. This new style has been wildly popular in hot climates, as it's extreme breathability is a total game changer. They are made of a stretch mesh fabric that is completely transparent at very close range. When viewed while riding, it's very difficult to differentiate these mesh RJ coats from a traditional show coat. They have an Italian jersey fabric panel on the front of the coat, giving it a more traditional look than a full mesh jacket.
These jackets are extremely stretchy, which allows for some riders to take a smaller size than normal. The fit is average otherwise (longer than Monterey and shorter than Victory), but they do run a bit long in the sleeves. The Harmony is the more popular style, with 3 buttons and a large range of colors. The Melody is a new addition, which is only available in black and has 4 interchangeable buttons. The buttons are on a keyring that allows you to easily swap between black and silver.
We recommend the Melody and Harmony coats for hunters and jumpers. We also think the dark colors are suitable for the equitation ring on scorching days; you will ride better if you are comfortable. The Melody runs slightly longer than the Harmony, and the additional button makes it a little slimmer fitting at the hips. These coats are easy to care for, and hold up well by washing on cold and hanging to dry. They are also very well priced from $259-$269. They do makes a girls version, the Harmony Junior.
Finally, we come to the RJ Classics Nora. This show coat has a more traditional look, with shoulder pads and a heavier fabric. This a perfect jacket for conservative trainers who prefer a classic look. Because of the structured fabric, the overall look is less fitted. Well priced at $240. Also available for girls as the Ellie.