When cold Winter winds give way to warm Spring breezes, it’s time to put away that dark Winter wardrobe and delight in the vibrant, fresh color of Spring styles. Fashion trends in the equestrian world take their cues from the regular style markets, with some unique style features taken from the historical traditions of the sport.
The array of lively colors of Spring bring a welcome break from the dark dulcet tones of Winter and this season’s color trends are no exception. This season offers subtle warm hues with soft, cool colors to create a refreshing color palate that evokes the essence of the tropics. Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute® notes that the “Color choices follow the same minimalistic, ‘en plein air’ theme, taking a cue from nature…to create a soothing escape from the everyday hustle and bustle.” In the equestrian market, this translates to an array of cool pastels with pops of color in tangerine, pink and blue.
Favoring form with function, equestrian styles are designed to allow the rider to perform at their best, while flattering the figure and enhancing the silhouette in the saddle.
- High-rise breeches with wide waistbands: although low-rise breeches are still king, high-rise breeches are seeing a definite comeback with their easy wear and figure-flattering design.
- Breathability: Look for more products to have increased ventilation, among them shirts and even show jackets with mesh panels that are designed to allow increased air flow, keeping the rider cooling during intense exercise or heat.
- Crossover styling: More designers are creating apparel items for the equestrian market that can easily be worn during other activities, either as athletic apparel or as street fashion wear.
- Brown is in: Once seen mainly in the fox-hunting field, brown field boots are seeing a surge in popularity with several models now available off the rack.
During the warmer months, technical fabrics are amongst the most popular and for good reason. The technical properties of fabrics only continues to grow and now fabrics offer now only breathability and stretch, but can also be moisture-wicking, anti-bacterial, offer sun and UV protection, and even make the wearer’s skin feel several degrees cooler. Although the use of technical fabrics started in shirts, the use of these fabrics is spreading into other aspects of riding apparel including breeches, gloves, half chaps and show jackets.
In breeches there are two real trends to look for in fabrics. The first is new fabric finishes that create stain and water resistance; no longer will you need to worry about last-minute horse kisses before you head into the show ring in your white breeches. Interested? Look for Schoeller Prestige fabric with NanoSphere® technology. The second trend to look out for is the silicon knee patch or full seat design. Offering greater stick without bulk, silicon prints are becoming increasingly popular, and are a great choice for warmer temperatures.
Show coats have seen the greatest change from years past. Wool show coats, once a staple of the show ring have largely given way to new technical, softshell fabric show coats. These new show coats are truly athletic apparel, with stretch and breathability. Many show coat designers are adding additional features such as snaps designed to look like buttons and hidden zipper closures. Other elements to look out for are hidden mesh panels for added air-circulation. Most of these modern show coats are also water-resistant and machine washable, a valuable, time-saving feature.
If you think show shirts must be plain white and boring, think again. Although plain white show shirts maintain their traditional appeal, new trends feature colors and accents which are hidden once a show coat is worn, allowing for a professional appearance in the show ring. Just as the wrap collar show shirt has made the rat catcher style almost disappear, technical fabrics have largely replaced plain cotton shirts. Show shirts featuring CoolMax® and IceFil® are becoming commonplace, along with shirts that feature mesh vents hidden under the sleeves.
In accessories, you can also look forward to more ventilation and breathability. Look for socks that feature moisture-wicking abilities and padded footbeds for increased comfort without added bulk under tall boots. In gloves synthetics are becoming increasingly popular with full mesh backs for Summer schooling, or more hidden vents for show gloves.
Have we missed your favorite new fashion trend? Add it in the comments below.