Why are black outfits so popular?

Photo courtesy of The Equine Chronicle http://www.equinechronicle.com

Black outfits are everywhere around us. No matter if it is Showmanship, Horsemanship, Western Pleasure or Trail, most of the riders wear black. Some of them choose total black outfits, some others prefer to wear black chaps, a black hat, and a black base jacket/vest/bolero with some bright decorations.

In my opinion, there are four reasons why black is so popular.


Nobody can deny that black is elegant. It is appropriate for every event, from a local show to the World Show, for every rider, no matter if a beginner or a Congress Champion, and for any age, from Youth to Select. Moreover black helps to hide some imperfections of our body.


Black pairs with every horse colour. If you show multiple horses or you are a trainer, black is a smart choice. You can ask your designer to apply decorations in every colour. You could choose white, gold and silver if you want to look like a princess, some bright colours (fuchsia, orange, lime green, yellow) if you want to have a fun and fresh look, or purple and grey if you like a rock/ punk style.


Black is a “safe” colour. You can’t go wrong with it. I think this is the reason why a lot of girls wear it. Many riders could be afraid of other people opinion: “What if I am too old or not good enough to wear bright colours?”. As I said many times, you should wear what you like. Wear black only if you go crazy for it, not because of what others may think of you!

A timeless investment.

A black outfit is an investment that will last many years. An adult rider can purchase a black hat or black chaps and use them for ten years. Black will never be out of fashion. If you decide to buy a black jacket, you can show in it for several show seasons. I bought my first pair of black chaps and the first high quality black show jacket in 2011 and I am still wearing them at the shows! I take great care of them and they still look brand new. When I want to wear something classy and not “out of the scheme”, I just pick up my “little black jacket” and I fell really good in the pen.

These are the reasons why, in my opinion, black is such a “hit” in the show pen. What do you think about it?

How to find the perfect outfit. A guide for beginners

Photo courtesy of The Equine Chronicle http://www.equinechronicle.com

It happened to everyone of us. That special moment when you have to buy your first show outfit. You saw all those beautiful creations on internet or at the stands at the shows, dreaming to wear one of them in the arena. Now the time is up and you may feel a lil bit in panic. But don’t worry, that’s normal. With just a few tips you can find the perfect outfit for you.

What do you need?

First of all you should find out what do you really need. If you show in Horsemanship you don’t want to wear a jacket with fringes, as you probably won’t choose a vest if you need something for Showmanship. If you need multiple pieces and you want to save money, you can think to a “combination”. For example, you could choose a bolero or a vest with a plain fitted shirt. You will be able to use the vest/bolero for the rail classes and the shirt for Horsemanship.

Set your budget.

Setting a budget is fundamental. When you start your shopping you’ll better have in mind how much you want to spend. It doesn’t make sense to try a jacket that is too expensive. Moreover you can ask a designer to create a garment that fits your budget in order to have your dream outfit without breaking the bank.

Have realistic expectations.

Once you’ve set your budget, you must set your expectations too. As I wrote above, many designers can create a jacket that will fit your budget. An another solution is to check for a used outfit. There are many groups on the Social Networks dedicated to selling and buying used show clothes. That could be a nice idea if you want to wear a world quality top without spending too much.

Take your time.

If you want to buy an outfit, no matter if new or used, you should take into considerations that it will take weeks or months. You should organize your time: if you need an outfit for the upcoming season you should start to contact a designer a few months before. If you are in a hurry you can look for ready to wear pieces. Normally you can find several of them at show clothing stands directly at the shows.

Set your goals.

Being “overdressed” is not a problem for me. I think a rider should wear what he/she wants, when he/she wants. If you want to wear a jacket loaded in stones at a regional or local show, it is fine! But some people could feel uncomfortable to be overdressed. If you feel so, choose something “sober” if you take part to a small show. Maybe you could wear a plain fitted shirt with decorated cuffs and collars.

Don’t be afraid to ask.

It is normal to be confused if you are a beginner. Don’t be afraid to ask! If you don’t know which style would fit you, you can ask a designer or you can get some help from the social networks. Just post your questions and somebody will help you. Don’t be embarrassed, we have all been there 😉

If you are a beginner it is not easy to survive the “horse-show-clothing-jungle”. There is nothing to worry about, time will pass and you will be become a show apparel expert. Happy shopping 😉



One day in the designer´s studio: ekedie Show Clothing

Photo courtesy of Mel Loebel

Here we are, the last article of One day in the designer’s studio. Today we are going to read the interview of Mel Loebel, who in 2004 founded ekedie (written with the small “e”) Show Clothing.

(You can see a detail of a jacket made by Mel for Tina Ullbrich)

Mel can design show clothes only during her free time as she works as a creative director for fashion magazines and tv. She plans and realizes photo- and film shootings for companies and labels, so she can use all this for her work as a show clothing designer. Moreover she takes inspirations from Berlin fashion week and Paris fashion week, which she joins. Berlin, with its clubs, music and fashion, is an inspiration itself. Mel’s outfits take between 4 and 6 weeks to come to life.

(Mel at work)

How does a garment created by ekedie come to life? After talking with the client about her needs (Reining, Pleasure, Horsemanship or Trail), they choose the cut, colours, details and ideas. Then Mel creates some layouts with the computer: she layouts different designs and/ or colours that will match the client and her horse.

(Some layouts created with the computer)

She always wants to know for who she is designing: who is the client, how is her style, her character and her horse. For example, a bubbly person won’t be too happy with a black and brown outfit, as a serious type won’t feel comfortable in gold and/or pink… The outfit has to match the customer and her personality. That is what will make the customer feel and look good.

If the clients approves, Mel will go on and get the leathers and fabrics. She has over 500 colours of leather in stock and almost everything is possible. If she doesn’t have something, she can get it from her long term wholesalers.

(A small selection of Mel´s leather chart)

After doing the pattern, she will cut the leather and start sewing. Pattern making is a big deal to her because it is not easy, but so important. She also tries to find new shapes, new collars and ideas, which have never been worn before. Mel always wants to be innovative, as she come from the art/fashion world.

Two girls, Barbara and Dörte, help Mel with the leather cutting. All the creating process, except sewing, is made by hand.

(Here you can see some leather cuts)

ekedie creates also chaps in all kinds of shapes, leather and colours and they are mostly custom made.

(Mel´s dog Lilli checking a pair of chaps)

She offers also the possibility to purchase a custom made pad which matches perfectly the outfit.

Once the creating process is completed, the label will be sewn in and it will be shipped to the customer. And hopefully it will make her happy.

(And here there is a finished jacket)

Thank you Mel! Your work is amazing and I would like to thank you for your time, your nice words and for all the photos you sent me!


This was the last article of One day in the designer’s studio. We had the possibility to discover how five fantastic artists work to create the outfits of our dreams. They all work in different ways but they are all united by two factors: an unconditional love for horses and the desire to create something beautiful and unique that will make a competitor look and feel like a princess.


I would like to thank you all for your work and for dedicating me your time, you are all amazing designers!

One day in the designer´s studio: Piccola Rosa Show Clothing

Photo Courtesy of Darilyn Turnbull Prevedel

The protagonist of the fourth article of One day in the designer ´s studio is Darilyn Turnbull Prevedel, owner of Piccola Rosa Show Clothing. Darilyn runs her business in San Quirino, in Italy, together with her co-worker Valentina.

Everyday there are many activities to do at the lab: they have to take orders, keep the contacts with the customers, manage the social networks and the website, arrange the advertisement, making the accounting and, of course, create the outfits.

(This a photo from a photo-shooting for the website)

Darilyn and Valentina are multitasking but they divide their work between each other: Darilyng draws the design, she takes the oders and she gets in contact with the customers; Valentina, instead, paints the outfits with the airbrushing and she sews them.

(Here there is a draw of a jacket made by Darilyn with the computer)

(Here you can see a work in progress of a jacket)

Twice a week a seamstress helps them and, during the year, some interns from the Fashion School of Pordenone come to Darilyn´s studio.

Darilyn´s customers can order a complete outfit: Piccola Rosa offers also a selections of custom made pads.

(Here you can see an example of a custom made pad)

That´s not all! Piccola Rosa takes also part to horse shows; sometimes, mostly at Reining competition, she has a stand where she can exhibit her jackets. She also goes to the shows to speak with her customers about the designs, for taking measurements and for taking new orders.

(One of Piccola Rosa´s stand at a  Reining show )


Also today we had the possibility to discover the world an internationally famous designer. I would like to thank Darilyng for her kindness, her time and for fulfilling all my requests.

That was the fourth article of One day in the designer´s studio … Don´t miss the last one 😉