Thursday, July 31, 2008

Equestrian Apparel – Combining Function and Style

Horseback Riding

Equestrian Apparel – Combining Function and Style By J. Foley

f you are into serious riding or you just want to have the equestrian look, then equestrian apparel is for you.

In choosing what clothing to use, the criteria are functionality and style. The rider must feel both elegant and comfortable at the same time. It is also important that the fabrics used are both light and hard-wearing at the same time.

To start of, choose a cool fabric that allows ease of movement. The more common kinds of fabric used for equestrian clothing is cotton and Lycra.

Choose also a fabric that acts as a moisture wick. This type of fabric works well in both hot and cold temperatures. During hot months, the fabric keeps you cool by allowing you to sweat. In cold months the fabric keeps you warm by moving sweat away from your body, keeping your skin dry. Since moisture does not penetrate the fabric weave, it evaporates quickly, causing the fabric to dry quickly as well.

As an added bonus, you can choose fabrics and fabric weaves that reduce moisture absorption, repel UV rays and insects.

What are the pieces of clothing that make up equestrian apparel? The basic piece is a shirt, usually made of cotton or wool crepe, and is usually white. Then you can add a waistcoat or vest to match.

For the lower body, breeches and jodhpurs are the more popular pieces. While others prefer full-seat riding breeches, there are still others who like jeans and jodhpurs. Make sure that the piece fits well. Also, choose one that can protect you from heavy rains and winds.

While tall riding boots look perfect for shows and competitions, short boots with trouser socks are a wise alternative during training or ordinary days.

To complete the look is a riding jacket. Choose one made of luxurious fabrics like tweed. Take note of details like silk lining or double satin piping, buttons and trims.

Do not forget your riding gloves.

As for the head gear, choose one that fits perfectly. The usual piece is a helmet, although there are others who like to wear black top hats. Helmets have now incorporated easy-fit systems, so it is safe to use. Some riders like to customize their helmets by putting decals or crystals.

What are the trends and forecasts in equestrian apparel? As for the colors, the trend is softer, more subtle pastel tones of blue, green, pink and purple. The same goes for show breeches. Light tans are also in for breeches, although white continues to be popular. Show coats and dressage coats can be in any color, although the trend is towards darker navys and black instead of the more common light shades of brown and khaki. You can also see stripes and patterns in the coats instead of the plain, solid-colored ones.

As for accessories, you will see glittery accessories like stock pins and jewelry. Swarovski crystals in belt buckles, spurs, helmets and everything else are also becoming popular.

Tall leather boots with zippers are the more popular footwear for shows. Back zippers make the boots easy to take off. For those who are into serious training, half chaps and paddock boots are still in because of their durability.

Equestrian apparel is all about fashion and ease. With the many styles and designs available, finding one that suits you perfectly should be no problem at all.

Article Written By J. Foley

No comments: