Within the equestrian world there are several types of apparel styles. From the flashy, sequined outfits of Western show riders to the bright-red coats of fox hunters and the U.S. Nation's Cup team, riders are always well dressed. Some might go so far as to say that equestrians are fashion forward, even inspiring designers’ chic breeches and tall boots for everyday wear. To help you stay looking your best in the saddle in 2015, here are some of the latest equestrian apparel trends:
Trend 1: Practicality reigns queen. Whether a rider is mucking out stalls, grooming a horse or getting ready to walk the course, she will always be wearing something practical. Practicality has made its way into all facets of 2015 equestrian apparel. A few great features include:
- Rain jackets and windbreakers include hoods that are sized to accommodate helmets.
- Two-way zippers are being used, so that riders can more comfortably sit in the saddle without fabric bunching at the pommel.
- Stretch fleeces are being incorporated into fall, winter and early spring jackets.
- Barn muck boots have become more fashion forward, while still keeping feet dry and socks clean.
Trend 2: English show clothes are getting a color face-lift. Traditionally speaking, English show clothes are usually a bit on the conservative side. Hunter show jackets tend to be brown, gray or navy blue; while in the jumper world, classic-day show wear is starting to incorporate splashes of color. Designers are adding two lapels to many jackets, so that one lapel can represent your barn colors. In addition to a splash of color on the jacket, designers have also added colorful liners to the jackets, which can be seen when riders are soaring over 1.30- meter fences.
When it comes to wearing acceptable show ring breeches, these general rules still apply:
- Tan breeches in the hunter, equitation and jumper rings.
- White breeches for jumper classics, grand prixes and anything dubbed "formal wear”
However, designers have started to add a little color and some extra "bling" to breeches. Now, we are seeing riders with breeches that have colored belt loops or small rhinestone embellishments. While the latter breeches shouldn't be worn in the hunter or equitation rings, they are making appearances in the daring jumper arenas.
Trend 3: Riding Helmets must meet the SEI/ASTM safety standards. Riding helmets tend to come and go depending on what the most popular riders are wearing. However, all riding helmets must meet the American Society for Testing and Materials/Safety Equipment Institute (SEI/ASTM) safety standards, with the exception of hunt caps and top hats. With this in mind, there are a few practical trends that are being incorporated into the riding helmet design:
- Easy-to-clean materials are being used.
- Additional ventilation is being added to helmets.
- Lower profiles are creating sleeker looks.
- Charles Owen GR8 and the Ayr8 continue to lead the way as two of the most popular helmets.
- The GPA line is planning on introducing two new helmets in 2015.
- The majority of helmets are black or charcoal gray, however navy blue and brown helmets are becoming popular.
- Small children still love the pastel-colored schooling helmets.
Trend 4: Say goodbye to the boxy, short show coats in the hunter-jumper world. Throughout the past few years the shape and style of English show coats has continued to evolve. In 2015, coats are beginning to lean toward a combination of jumper and dressage styles. Four button single-breasted fronts and double-vent backs are making their way into the jumper rings. Riders are also favoring the slightly longer coat, which still fits nicely and helps to lengthen their overall silhouette.
Trend 5: Technology rules king in show shirts and breeches. Practicality may reign queen in 2015 equestrian apparel trends, but technology is king. From show shirts to breeches, we are seeing new technologies embraced to the benefit of riders everywhere. Show shirts are now made from technically advanced fabrics that work to block harmful UV rays. Breathable and sweat-wicking fabrics are keeping riders cool during summer. The classic white show shirt still remains the most popular choice, however, children in the pony ring can be seen wearing soft pink or pale blue.
High-tech fabrics are now being used in both schooling and show breeches. There are several styles that are designed for seasonal wear: warm fleece-lined breeches in the winter and cool, ventilated breeches in the summer. Several advances have also been made on the seat grip technology, to the benefit of many riders.. The two most popular advances are anti-slip and extreme grip.
With the 2015 spring and summer seasons underway, these top five fashion trends will help you to stay stylish inside and outside of the show ring.
Ashly Snell works for the digital marketing department at Dover Saddlery. While they are known for their equestrian equipment, high-quality tack and other supplies that are available through their website and catalog, they also have a chain of Dover Saddlery Retail Stores.