The cutest clothes on earth

Photo courtesy of Brittanie Herrnstein of Brittz Glitz

Kids are the future of our industry. The small fry of today is the World Champion of tomorrow. Moreover, they add cuteness to every horse show! It is always really sweet to watch the lead line class and see so many kids enthusiast about their four legged friends.

But how important is fashion for children? Is it difficult to make them happy when it is about show clothes? To find out more about it, I interviewed Brittanie Herrnstein of Brittz Glitz. Brittanie is specialized in creating clothes for the little ones and she explained me how it is to work with them. Do you want to find out more? Than go on reading 😉

 

What is appropriate to wear for a kid?

Brittanie: In my opinion ANYTHING with lots of sparkle and color. I’m a big fan of a ton of color on the kids clothing. I also love the classic black, but you have to add a big pop of color, kids are only little once so I believe we need to embrace the youthful look as long as we can!

Normally mums choose clothes for their kids. How much want kids to choose their own outfit?

Brittanie: I have been blessed with amazing clients, where mom and child work together. Moms usually pick the main color and we let the kids choose the fun parts of the designs. I had a little girl last year that was obsessed with unicorns, so I made sure that she had sparkly unicorns on her vest.

Kids change their minds quite fast, how do you manage to create an outfit that is always “super” for them?

Brittanie: I like to get the kids really excited about their outfit. I add a ton of texture to the majority of my outfits and it’s always fun to watch them find all of the new pieces that they hadn’t seen the first few times they wore their garment. It’s almost like an I spy book that they wear!

What are the main differences in creating outfits for children instead than for adults?

Brittanie: The main difference in creating kids clothing is that I’m able to have a little more fun with color, and to be honest it makes me feel younger. Kids are so creative and so much fun to work with. I like to include them as much as possible through the process of design.

Do you want to add something?

Brittanie: I would like to add that I’m beyond blessed with how far my business has come in such a short amount of time, I have the most amazing clients anyone could ask for. I want to thank my family for everything they do to help Brittz Glitz. I’m excited to see what the future holds!

 

Thanks Brittanie! It was such a pleasure to make this fun and interesting interview to you!

Color is the key word when we talk about kids clothes. Fashion is a fundamental part of showing horses, no matter the age. Little girls dream to look like princesses, and wearing show clothes can make this dream come true. Covered of stones and enlighten with fun colors, they can be stars at every horse show. Because, at the end, we all dream to be princesses 😉

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?

Passion red

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

What is the first thing you think when you hear the word “red”? I think to lipstick. Immediately, red lipstick makes me think to passion. And passion has a direct link with horses.

Friday was day one at the Silver Dollar Circuit and I was watching the live stream “hunting” cool outfits. The color palette was dominated by black and blue but… There were some wonderful red outfits. In a black sea, red jackets were standing like a lighthouse in a dark, rainy night.

After black and blue, red is probably one of the most worn color in the pen. It is also one of the “untraditional” color most used for complete outfits (hat, chaps, top, boots and pad). It is a color with personality, with a lot of allure. Fire red it is also the color of haute couture, cat walks and, of course, red carpets. There is no doubt it is connected with high quality fashion.

These could be some reasons why it is so popular in the show pen. Moreover, especially in Western Pleasure, it catches the eyes of the judges without being too eccentric. If you think a complete fire red set is too much for you, you can just choose a black or grey top with some red touches: a classy eye-catcher!

What do you think about red outfits? Do you like them?

The bloggers exchange: differences and similarities between US and European Fashion

Photo courtesy of Cat Guenther of Behind The Bit

Fashion is passion. A passion that unite equestrians from all over the world. From the US till Europe, horse show clothing, make up and fancy tack make riders´ eyes shine. Everybody, at least once, dreamed to wear a jacket sawn at a big show or on a internet website. But how does horse show fashion change from one country to an another? Is there an exchange of trends and inspirations? Cat Guenther, fashion blogger at Behind The Bit, and I discussed about similarities and differences between horse show clothes in the two continents. Check out what she had to say 😉

 

How much, in your opinion, does European Horse show fashion influence outfits in the US?

Cat: European and US fashion have a lot in common. I think both influence one another every show season for the better. Examples of this are bolero vests, satin button-ups, and jackets with fringe.

What is going to be “in” this year in the US?

Cat: We will probably see exhibitors going for a “simpler” look. The industry is focusing less on the amount of bling on a jacket and more on the horse and rider’s abilities in the show pen. Whether the shirt has no crystals or thousands of crystals, a professional first impression is always “in”. This means making sure your clothes fit well and are clean. First impressions are everything!

What are, from your point of view, the main differences between fashion in the US and in Europe?

Cat: Color schemes. I feel that there are more “vibrant” colors in the US. Whereas in Europe, exhibitors remain a little more “traditional” with color. I feel for the most part, the styles are similar. Exhibitors in both the US and Europe have very polished, stunning fashion choices. For example, I’ve seen a lot of boleros and fitted button-ups which both look amazing in the pen!

Do you think that black will still be the “king color” in the US this year? Or are there any colors coming up?

Cat: Personally, I think black will still be the dominant color within the show pen this year. Black is very versatile and complimentary in the show pen. I have seen some stunning colored outfits though in colors such as grey, rust, etc. The darker colors or shades seem to be most popular.  Although, I think exhibitors may embrace brighter colored button-ups with matching pads this year. With small fry’s, I’ve seen adorable outfits with bright blues, purples, etc. though.

 Apart from Boleros vests, is there any new trend?

Cat: I’ve observed that button-up shirts have become popular in the show pen because they are affordable and look professional. Above all, it is becoming more and more of a trend to be “different”. By this, I mean that people are expressing their personality through their outfits. Whether this be a button-up, a classy suit, or a fancy whip stitched hat (hats with whipstitch are a favorite of mine!).  I love seeing these current trends because they create more self-expression and individuality in the show pen!

 

Would you like to add something?

Cat: The most crucial aspect of horse show fashion, no matter the continent or level of showing, is to express yourself through your style!

Thank you Cat, it was a pleasure to work with you!! Cat, owner of Behind The Bit Show Clothing, started her horse show fashion blog at the beginning of this year following her passion for horses and for writing.

So what do you think? What are, in your opinion, the main differences in fashion between Europe and the US?

Which is the best top under the vest?

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

How do we choose what to wear under a vest? Is it a matter of fit or of fashion? Some riders like to wear a Horsemanship top under a vest, some others prefer a button down shirt. The question is: which one is better? Let’s see the advantages and the disadvantages of both.

The Horsemanship top.

From an aesthetic point of view, the Horsemanship top wins. Your arms sparkle and, if you wear a bolero, you have some sparkle also in the waist zone. Moreover, from far, the vest/Horsemanship top combination looks like a jacket. It is also really practical for All Around riders! You can show in Trail, Western Riding and Pleasure with your vest on and than, when it is Horsemanship time, you just put away your vest and you are ready to walk to the cone! In my opinion, the only disadvantage is the excessive weight. If the vest and the top are richly decorated, they weight way too much and you have no room for movement in your arms. Many designers are now offering vest sets featuring “light” Horsemanship tops with just a few decorations. If you want to be comfortable but you want to keep the sparkle on your arms, this is the solution for you.

The button down shirt.

Plain fitted shirts are queens of elegance. If you wear one of them under a vest you will have a clean and professional look. You can’t be wrong and it won’t be “too much”. They are really light weight and you can move your arms easily. Moreover, during hot summer days, you will avoid the “oven effect”.

If you think that a button down shirt is not enough decorated and you want a little bit more sparkle, you can choose one with decorated cuffs and collar.

There are two main differences between these two kinds of tops: A Horsemanship top is more sparkly than a plain fitted shirt, but it is also heavier.

So, if you want to be a “bling queen”, you have to sacrifice comfort.

What do you like to wear under a vest? A Horsemanship top or a plain fitted shirt?

Show me your shoulders

Photo courtesy of Ashley Peterson of Signature Styles by Ashley

How do you combine the elegance and the sparkle of a Horsemanship top with the comfort and the light weight of a plain fitted shirt? I think this is a problem a lot of riders struggle with. We want to shine bright and have a top richly decorated but, on the other side, we want to wear something comfortable and not too heavy.

While I was watching  photos of some big shows, I noticed some riders who were wearing “classical” button down shirts with decorations over the shoulders and on the collar. I made a little jump on my chair and I thought: “Here it is the solution: light weight and bling bling!”. The dream combination.

As I got curious about those garments, I interviewed Ashley Peterson of Signature Style by Ashley. Ashley started her business in 2013 and she creates a limited number of custom pieces per month; some of them are “classical” shirts with decorations over the shoulder. Let’s see what she had to say about them 😉

In your opinion, which are the main advantages these kind of shirts have compared to classic Horsemanship tops?

Ashley: I think the main advantage of these tops compared to classic Horsemanship tops is their versatility. They are appropriate for all levels of showing. You can wear them at the local level all the way up to the national/world level. Most people are looking for something in black and these tops offer such classic elegance. With adding embellishment to the shoulders, collar and front, clients can easily add their own signature to them while working within budget constraints. Maybe they want a little pop of color to match a saddle pad or maybe they want something edgy without going too far out of their comfort zone. This is the perfect avenue for that!

 

How are these shirts constructed? Are they plain fitted shirts or they have a back zipper? And which kind of fabric is possible to use for them?

Ashley: These tops are constructed with a structured 4 way stretch lycra with a back zipper. The fabric is so comfortable and has the perfect amount of stretch without losing it’s shape or draping poorly. I stick to using the 4 way stretch lycra so it has a similar look to a traditional horsemanship top and also isn’t too loose or too tight. This fabric also holds up well to embellishments and won’t pull with heavier stones.

How did you come to the idea to create this kind of shirts?

Ashley: Button down blouses are so popular so I wanted to take that one step further and create something that would be fancier than a button down but would be less of an investment than the typical Horsemanship top. I knew it needed to create a square shoulder, have clean lines and be comfortable to ride in allowing for freedom of movement. I also wanted them affordable, easy to customize and appropriate for any age exhibitor. It was important for me to provide a top that fits in the middle range budget. There is a gap in the market for mid-range pieces that are trendsetting, high quality and unique. I want those with a lower budget to have access to stunning pieces that can be worn at any level.

 

Which kind of decorations is possible to add to them?

Ashley: You can add pretty much any kind of embellishments to them! Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

I would like to thank Ashley for explaining us the features of this particular kind of shirts. Thank you!!

As she said, these tops have many advantages: they are fancy, affordable and they are suitable for any level of show. I particularly like the fact that they are light weight but they have a great amount of bling bling.

What do you think? Would you wear this kind of shirts?