What about teal?

Photo courtesy of Darilyn Turnbull Prevedel of Piccola Rosa Show Clothing

What makes a rider stand out in an arena full of horses? What makes you look from far, when you see an exhibitor, and say: “Wow”? The answer is: colours. We already talked about black, red and there is no doubt about blue being THE colour of 2018. But what about teal? Teal is spreading around fast.

It is pretty difficult to find teal base jackets and vests. You will mostly see black, grey, blue and white bases with a lot of teal accents and airbrushing. But there are more riders showing in teal button down shirts.

Teal is not one of the “classic” colours you would expect to see in the show pen. It is a fresh, summer colour that recalls sea and tropical islands. It is “exotic”, but not too much. It can easily liven up a black outfit and can be worn by every rider, no matter the age or the level. Black pads with teal (and purple) patterns are also a must have!

  

Certainly teal will be part of my Ranch Riding colour palette this year, both for my pad and the shirts.

I love teal and I think we will see it a lot this show season! Do you also love it as much as I do?

Lace and sequins

Photo courtesy of Terry Lackore of Cowgirl Classics Custom Show Clothes

Who said you need stones to sparkle in the show pen? Bling bling can come also in other forms, that are not crystals. Sequins are perfect to sparkle! And they have also some advantages. First of all, they are way cheaper than crystals; so if you want to have a great amount of sparkle without breaking the bank, sequins (or laces embellished with sequins) are the ideal solution for you. If you want to add some extra sparkle more, you can ask your designer to add a limited amount of stones: you will for sure get a “wow effect”. What I like most about lace and sequins is their light weight. Normally richly embellished jackets, vests, or tops are pretty heavy. Many could say that if you want to look good you have to sacrifice comfort… Not always. Lace vests are an extraordinary example of how a light weight piece can make heads turn. As they are transparent, you just have to change the undershirt to get always a new, colourful, look. Moreover, in those really hot summer days, you can wear one of them if you think a button down shirt doesn’t have enough sparkle.

Terry Lackore, owner of Cowgirl Classics Custom Show Clothes, creates show apparel since ten years and she is sewing a lot of garments decorated with lace and sequins. She explained me why they are so popular and how to sew them.

 

We saw a lot of jackets and vests with lace overlays in the last years. Why do you think they are so popular?

Terry: I think the lace adds a delicate feminine touch, dimension and it’s so versatile.

 

What is the main advantage of sequins and lace applications compared to “normal” stones decorations?

Terry: I find some of my clients can get enough sparkle in the show pen with the lace and sequins to satisfy their taste without the huge price tag that crystals add to a budget.

 

Is it difficult to sew lace and sequins over fabric?

Terry: Lace can be tricky to work with as it is a very delicate fabric. You need to make sure it is attached securely as an overlay or appliqués and you need to finish the edges to prevent any fraying. Sequins can wreak havoc with a sewing machine and for whatever reason they tend to break needles. I recall breaking a minimum of 10 needles on a jacket with sequins, but it was beautiful when it was done.

 

Lace and sequins are enough or do you need to add some extra stones?

Terry: It’s all in a clients preference. I’ve done some with just the lace and then some I’ve used thousands of crystals in addition.

 

Lace vests are also very popular. Why?

Terry: I think the lace vests are so popular because you can put several different colored solid shirts under the same vest and get a whole new look. Versatility is great!

Thank you Terry, it has been a pleasure to talk to you!!

So what do you think? Do you like sequins and lace decorations?

Pad obsession

Photo courtesy of Avril Wilson of Collection 33

I have always been obsessed with saddle pads. Every outfit I wear must be coordinated with a pad. As a teenager, I was waiting for the free moments during a horse show to give a look at the stands and find my (next) dream pad. Getting older, and getting more involved in horse show fashion, I discovered that it was possible to create complete sets with a colour scheme. From that moment on, I was not only looking for nice colours, but for good quality pads. Good quality, oversize pads can change a rider´s presentation.

Avril Wilson, owner of Collection 33, was once an intern at April Salisbury´s lab. There, she had the opportunity to learn how to create world quality tops and to increase her passion for showclothes. Now she runs her business in England and she also creates a line of show pads. I asked her what she thinks about pads and the overall presentation of a rider in arena.

 

What are the characteristics of a good quality show pad?
Avril: The wool and the weave. The best pads have a high quality wool that is woven tightly. The tighter the weave the clearer the design. If the weave is loose then the design can sometimes look messy as the lines between colours blur. A tight weave also helps to keep the pad looking new for longer, as loose weaves can catch on things and the pad becomes damaged more quickly. The dye used also affects the clarity of the design, using vivid colours allows the pad to be seen clearly from across an arena. Dull colours merge into one when they are viewed from a distance and this can affect the look of the outfit as a whole.

Why is the show pad so important in the rider’s overall presentation?
Avril: A good saddle pad ties together the riders entire look, it can be used to bring out accenting colours in an outfit and like with changing the shirt you wear with a Vest a change of pad can really lift an outfit and highlight areas of a Jacket or Vest that you have never noticed before.

What are the most popular pad colours?
Avril: I don’t think there is a colour that I haven’t seen on a pad! Blue’s, Red’s and Purples always seem to be popular and of course Black and White is a classic combination that will never be off trend. I love the more unusual combinations such as Teal with Pink and Blue with Orange, but the classic combinations such as shades of Pink with White and Burgundy with Gold will always be popular as they suit many horse colours and offer the rider longevity of use.

And what are the most popular patterns?
Avril: Both in Europe and America we are seeing bold geometric outfit designs which frame the figure and create very dramatic looks. Saddle pads are also following this trend, there is a huge demand for geometric designs that use an assortment of shapes to create details mimicking that of the outfit they are designed to match.

Thank you Avril! It is always a pleasure to have so many wonderful designers collaborating with Fancy In The Sand!

Often riders don’t pay enough attention to their show pad; they focus only on the top and they neglect all the other elements of their outfit. But in the overall presentation every detail is important. A pad coordinated with the horse and the outfit we are wearing will certainly make a great first impression; and it will give you also confidence when you step in the arena.

Do you also think show pads are really important? What are your thoughts about it?

TBT – Bye bye bling bling

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

The popularity of button shirts is increasing more and more. Less is more, and wearing tops without blings became a way to stand out. As so many riders are in love with plain fitted shirts, I repost an article from 2016, when cotton shirts started to be popular. Enjoy it 😉

The idea to say bye (at least for one show) to my blingy vest came to my mind in a early afternoon in may 2016. I was watching Trail at the Bavarian Championship and I expected to see jackets and vests. But… no. Almost every girl was wearing a plain fitted cotton shirt. Some chose the classical total black look while others chose some vibrant colors like fuchsia and turquoise. I started to think about it. I continued to read articles about the importance of “keeping the judge’s eyes”… so what was going on ??

I took a look at some famous show clothing websites and they were offering a huge selections of plain fitted shirts.

So I decided, just for one show, to leave my fringed vest at home and to wear a plain fitted shirt for the Trail class. I normally match my chocolate chaps with a chocolate, fuchsia, gold and white pad. So I had three color options for my shirt: fuchsia, white and brown. I am not a fan of the white shirt. I think it looks wonderful on a man but, to me, it looks a bit banal on a woman. I didn’t want to wear my brown shirt too as I think that the “one-color block” is great for Horsemanship. So I chose a satin fuchsia shirt with some pink and brown details on the collar and cuffs. It was “shining” enough and the bright color was perfect for summer, but I was a bit sad cause I was not sparkling. I have to admit that wearing a simple shirt has some advantages. First of all it is really light. You can move your arms perfectly at the gate and it is really comfortable for the turns in the square. Moreover it feels good on the skin during a hot day.

I completed my outfit with a gold, brown and fuchsia scarf and a sand hat.

I thought that it would have been a boring outfit but… it was not at all! I had a look at the show photos and video and it looked pretty fancy.

In the past years we saw everything in the arena: spikes, chains, fringes, leather decorations, stones, crystals and so on.  A plain fitted shirt is a great (and cheap) opportunity to stand out in the pen. However, I wouldn’t wear it at a big show. I love my vest and I am going to wear it again.

Are you also a button down fan?

Pajamas party

Photo courtesy of Unique Horsewear

Fashion is not only for humans. Our four legged friends deserve also their part of popularity. In choosing the perfect sleep wear for our horses there are many aspects to take into considerations: fit, material, zip or not, and so on. A sleezy is not only a nice coloured item, but it is an essential garment at horse shows. To find out more about horses´ sleepwear, I talked to Sandra Lamprecht, owner and designer at Unique Horsewear. Sandra explained what characteristics should the perfect sleep wear have 😉

 

What are the functions of a sleezy? Does it only protect the horse from the dirt?

Sandra: Sleezys protect the horses head and neck from dust and dirt and make sure that the banded mane rests neatly and smoothly on the horse’s neck.

When should a horse wear a sleezy?

Sandra: Sleezys can be used for shows. We also have many customers who use our sleezys for their skin sensitive horses to protect them from itching because of flies and the associated scrubbing. Furthermore, sleezys and shoulderguards can generally be used to protect against chafing, for example from poorly fitting blankets. In cooperation with a veterinary clinic, we have also had very good experience in protecting bandages and wounds with our shoulderguards.

Which materials is it possible to use for a sleezy? 

Sandra: Suitable materials for sleezys are elastic fabrics. The special feature of our sleezys is that we only use high-quality cotton jersey with a thickness of 200 grams/m. This material is breathable, elastic, guarantees a very good fit and is very durable.

Which is the difference between them?

Sandra: The difference to other elastic fabrics is the variety of colors and patterns available in cotton jersey.

Do you use the same material for sleezys and Tailbags? If no, What is the difference between them and why do you use two different types?

Sandra: For our sleezys and regular tailbags we use cotton jersey. Due to being the same color and pattern they can be used as a matching set when going to the show. Our water-repellent tailbags, instead, are made out of soft shell fabric. This is due to the water-repellent effect of soft shell. Cotton jersey would not be suitable for this special type of tailbag.

Which is the practical difference between a sleezy with the zipper and one without?

Sandra: Our standard sleezys are to pull over the horse’s head. Due to the elastic material, this method is easy and fast to act. The DELUXXE version has a zipper on the underside of the horse’s neck. Which variant is preferred is a pure preference of the horse owners. However, the DELUXXE sleezy is less suitable for sensitive horses due to the zipper.

THANK YOU Sandra!! In my opinion, sleezys are a fundamental item at horse shows. And, why not, they represent a way to express our creativity and our personality. Not only they are good looking, but they maintain your horse clean and protected! What do you think? Do you also use sleezys for your horse?