In days gone by, you really did have to get changed out of your unflattering breeches, oversized fleeces and boxy waxed jackets before even dreaming of venturing anywhere ‘non-horsey’. Not only because the majority of the time, the functionality of the clothing was pretty poor (so waterproof was more drizzle proof and after a few washes and wear, the clothing was even baggier than before), but also because it just didn’t really look that great either!
Don’t get me wrong, there were good equestrian wear brands out there, but finding decent clothing that did the job and looked respectable was more difficult than trying to pick a day during the winter months when it wasn’t raining to go for a ride (Especially important, given the poor waterproof properties of said clothing)!
As a fashion stylist at the time, I remember thinking that what felt ‘passable’ on the yard certainly didn’t feel great for popping to the shops or pub afterwards… but thankfully, times have changed and the bridge between fashion and equestrian wear has narrowed; and looking respectable in the supermarket, town, or en route home from the yard is actually achievable (minus the stench of horse).
The realisation from equestrian designers that making boxy fleeces with horizontal stripes wasn’t exactly ‘fashion forward’ was slow, but the influence from the catwalk and also from European equestrian brands have all finally made an impact on clothing we see and wear for riding here in the UK and I’m now more than happy to trot off to Sainsbury’s in my riding clobber after a ride!
What I particularly love these days is the cross over which country, fashion and equestrian wear has. I can wear my gorgeous tan leather riding boots with jeans, my Timothy Foxx tweed Poncho and my Hermès bag for work, my Freddie Parker shirt with my breeches for riding and for T-shirts in the summer, you can’t go wrong with Primark!
I love this eclectic way of combining all my favourite pieces and because fashion has no set rules, mix and match really does apply when it comes to my wardrobe!