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Show Attire

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  • Show Attire

    I'm looking at riding in my first dressage show ever in the next few weeks. (And my first horse show in, oh, 30 years.) We're talking Intro Level at a schooling show in Zone 1. I read the USEF rules for attire. The prize list for the particular show encourages coats except during hot weather, in which "riders are encouraged to show without coats in the interest of their health." The prize list also states that plain white riding shirts or polo style shirts with dark breeches are appropriate.

    I don't have a ton of money so I'd rather stay on the conservative side so I don't have to run out and replace my outfit every time I progress a level. Silly as it sounds, (white) breeches with a non-contrasting full seat are the norm, right? Do most people wear actual dressage boots or just all purpose dress boots? It would figure that I have pebble-textured brown field boots and nothing else ATM because they fit my "athletic" calves. So new boots are on the list. My interpretation of the USEF rules is that your shirt must have long sleeves if you're jacketless due to the heat. Is that correct? Are the show shirts with lace panels considered weird?
    Last edited by Wanderosa; May. 26, 2019, 09:41 AM.

  • #2
    White breeches, white shirt black jacket, black boots are the norm. The dressage jacket is cut a little differently from the hunt jacket but a hunt jacket or just a blazer from the thrift store would be fine. Field boots are fine at the lower levels. Frankly I wouldn't spend any extra money on clothes for schooling shows. You aren't being judged on turnout. If you have dark or beige breeches I'd say wear them to your first schooling show rather than spending money on whites.

    Around here people do seem to like those pre-tied fluffy or lacy "stock ties" that come on velcro collars. Once you have that filling in the neck of the jacket it doesn't matter what's underneath.

    Comment


    • #3
      Zone 7 here, and formality can vary a lot from one schooling show to another. Best to ask the organizer or see if there are pics from previous shows there.

      To answer your specific questions:
      (white) breeches with a non-contrasting full seat are the norm, right? - Yes, but light is allowed.
      Do most people wear actual dressage boots or just all purpose dress boots? - Regular dress boots totally fine at lower levels.
      My interpretation of the USEF rules is that your shirt must have long sleeves if you're jacketless due to the heat. Is that correct? - No, I believe it only requires shirt with sleeves. (can be short)
      Are the show shirts with lace panels considered weird? - Lol I'm not a fan personally, but wouldn't say they are weird.

      For very casual barn shows I usually wear a short sleeved polo shirt or long sleeved sunshirt, white or light breeches, black gloves, black helmet, black boots (dress boots now, but field boots up until recently). For more formal schooling shows I wear a black coat and white breeches. Horse may or may not be braided depending on the level of formality. Photos below both at schooling shows.
      Click image for larger version  Name:	20181006_133521.jpg Views:	1 Size:	8.5 KB ID:	10399464Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_6306.jpg Views:	2 Size:	22.9 KB ID:	10399463
      Last edited by Training Cupid; May. 24, 2019, 08:13 PM.
      http://trainingcupid.blogspot.com/

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
        White breeches, white shirt black jacket, black boots are the norm. The dressage jacket is cut a little differently from the hunt jacket but a hunt jacket or just a blazer from the thrift store would be fine. Field boots are fine at the lower levels. Frankly I wouldn't spend any extra money on clothes for schooling shows. You aren't being judged on turnout. If you have dark or beige breeches I'd say wear them to your first schooling show rather than spending money on whites.

        Around here people do seem to like those pre-tied fluffy or lacy "stock ties" that come on velcro collars. Once you have that filling in the neck of the jacket it doesn't matter what's underneath.
        Lol. I don't have anything remotely appropriate! I figured since I'll have to buy stuff, I might as well buy attire acceptable for both schooling and recognized shows. My only pair of riding pants at the moment are extremely ratty tan breeches with a rip on the seam that I've been pulling my shirt down over until I can get new ones. The updated USEF rules have examples of new style show shirts with the standup collars as acceptable up until 4th level. The examples have short sleeves. But those are going under jackets. I'm assuming that if jackets are waived for the heat that you'd want a long sleeved shirt, though.

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        • #5
          In my opinion, short or long sleeved shirt is fine. This is from a rated show where jackets were waived (Luckily for me because I was about 6 months pregnant and buttoning my jacket was a bit of a stretch. Also why I'm wearing the red belt in the photo above, I wouldn't normally do that but I was about 7.5 months at that point, and I got breeches in a bigger size but it didn't even occur to me that none of my black belts would fit!)
          Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_9183.jpg
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          http://trainingcupid.blogspot.com/

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          • #6
            Schooling shows! The ones I have been to are very relaxed. Polo shirt, breeches of any color, boots or even half chaps. Do not sweat the small stuff. If you are really concerned call the show secretary. Last weekend I saw brown field boots, black field boots, black half chaps and black dress boots. Breeches all the way from white to slate grey...lots of tan, beige, cream. Saddle pads of every hue, white, black and colors to match breeches or shirt. No neck wear without a coat. It was 90 degrees when I rode, no coat for me. Even for recognized shows they only require a collar and short sleeves and no neck wear. As we are getting to the point of HEAT and humidity do without the coat. At a show last year a rider passed out while warming up with her coat and stock tie on...scary.

            no sleeveless shirts or tee shirts.

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            • #7
              So, according to the prize list, you can wear a polo with just about any [conservative] color breeches. Even at a recognized show, your brown field boots would be all right at the lower levels. It sounds to me like you don't need to worry.
              "She is not fragile like a flower. She is fragile like a bomb."

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              • #8
                When coats are waived, short sleeve or long sleeve are fine, it needs to have a collar, worn open. No stock ties when jackets are waived.

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                • #9
                  https://www.usdf.org/docs/showflash/....19.pdf?v=2019

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                  • #10
                    I totally agree with Silly Horse.

                    Dont get too wrapped up in the dress code of rated convention or tradition vs schooling

                    If you add one thing I would add black gloves
                    _\\]
                    -- * > hoopoe
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                    Introverted Since 1957

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      yup. That's the doc I looked at.

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                      • #12
                        If you are going to buy a proper show shirt, go with short sleeves. I am also in zone 1 and when jackets are waived pretty much everyone wears short sleeves, even at recognized shows. And if jackets are not waived, no one will know or care how long your sleeves are. So do yourself a favor, and buy the short sleeved one.

                        I have the FITS shirt with the ruffles in the stock tie area, and I have worn it with a pencil skirt or fun pants in completely non-horsey contexts before and got loads of compliments on the outfit, so I think a shirt like that can have a place in any wardrobe and is worth the splurge.

                        As for breeches, I would buy a nice pair in a neutral color, but not necessarily white just yet. I think dove gray looks sharp, and can be made as fancy or casual as you would like depending on the occasion.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Wanderosa View Post

                          yup. That's the doc I looked at.
                          Just a few notes, you can wear half chaps up to and including first level, shirts do not have to be white or pale colored, panels ok, polk-a-dots, ok, just no "decoration" if coats are waived.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Like some others said, I wouldn’t invest much for your first schooling show.

                            You are already in dire need of regular everyday breeches since yours have holes in it.
                            Buy something you will want to wear afterward.
                            Darker colors look sharp paired with a white show shirt.

                            Get yourself a simple polo shirt. You’ll also be able to wear it during your lessons.

                            Get a pair of nice half chaps you will wear with your paddocks. Those will also be useful in lessons afterward.

                            Then, if you decide to keep up with the shows and all, take your time to invest in show clothes. With a little bit of chance, you can find good quality stuff at better prices than right before the show season.
                            ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                            Originally posted by LauraKY
                            I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
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                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Thanks, everyone! Good info. I was feeling a little awkward! I spend so much time watching hunter shows because of my daughter. I'm in touch with what's the style for casual showing for H/J. Haven't spent enough time at dressage shows to know what's the look. Will have a look around the tack stores tomorrow. It sounds weird, but I really wanted white breeches if I can find a nice pair at a decent price to feel "dressage-y". :/



                              Training Cupid, you look much more put together at 6 months pregnant than I ever did! I love seeing everyone's pictures.

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                              • #16
                                This sounds weird, but thanks to the advice of someone here I picked up a pair of TuffRider white breeches - love them, and love the $50 price point as well. White makes me anxious and not having the additional fear of ruining fancy breeches is also useful on show days. You’d never know they’re “cheap”.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  If you are going to buy nice breeches, make them a color you can wear every day. I've never seen anyone school in white breeches! Also it's always worth looking at local FB classified groups for second hand breeches. I've got some excellent deals from people who quit riding, had hung onto their gear for a few years, and just wanted it finally gone.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Natalie A View Post
                                    This sounds weird, but thanks to the advice of someone here I picked up a pair of TuffRider white breeches - love them, and love the $50 price point as well. White makes me anxious and not having the additional fear of ruining fancy breeches is also useful on show days. You’d never know they’re “cheap”.
                                    Not weird at all. My daughter showed for most of a season in a pair of TuffRider breeches that we picked up used at the consignment store. She had other, more $$$ show breeches but the TuffRiders were more comfy.

                                    I've ridden for the better part of 35 years and I suppose I've gotten picky in ways that don't make sense to other people. Strongly prefer tights for daily wear, but only ones that are substantial enough to be supportive. The Noble Balance tights are my favorites. And they were out of my size in tan last time I swung by the local tack store that stocks them. I refuse to part with my pair with the hole in them until tan XS are back in stock! Lol. After the birth of my younger daughter, I developed bad varicose veins. Have since had them treated but still get bruised something awful by the stirrup leathers if I wear half chaps. So, I've been wearing tall boots as my "daily riders" for the past 10 years. But they have to be soft enough to not chew my special snowflake calves to shreds. :/ My current boots are pretty decent - TriColore from DiNiro.

                                    $50 breeches for showing I could get on board with if they fit. I like to have a designated show pair and $50 is s good bit less than what I spend on my schooling tights. Sounds like I'm overthinking everything. People skew formal around here - like Tailored Sportsman breeches, sunshirt, and coordinating belt for lessons. The trainer and I are the only ones that seem to wear nice, fitted T-shirts at our barn. It's easy to worry too much about clothes.




                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Wanderosa View Post

                                      $50 breeches for showing I could get on board with if they fit. I like to have a designated show pair and $50 is s good bit less than what I spend on my schooling tights. Sounds like I'm overthinking everything. People skew formal around here - like Tailored Sportsman breeches, sunshirt, and coordinating belt for lessons. The trainer and I are the only ones that seem to wear nice, fitted T-shirts at our barn. It's easy to worry too much about clothes.
                                      Confession time... except for one pair of breeches that I got on sale for $70 all of my breeches were bought at the second hand shop for $35 or less. If I would have known about the second hand shop before I bought my first pair I never would have bought them. I only show in white because I got two pair of Tuff Riders cheap. They have black from the saddle but who cares, you can’t see that when I am on the horse. I like to try an match my saddle pad to my polo. At schooling shows I try and make it fun. Comfort is still number one.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Schooling shows really just require conservative, neat, clean attire. Field boots and brown boots are perfectly fine, as long as they're clean and polished. For a schooling show I have worn grey breeches with a white show shirt just to break up the "overstuffed marshmallow" look of all white, or white breeches with a dark colored polo. I like the Piper white breeches pretty well; they have the contrasting seat, which I like better than all white (you don't have to have white seats on breeches, I see plenty of grey and black seats at recognized shows). They wash up pretty well, which is good, because mine are inevitably covered in slobber and mimosa no matter what I do to try to keep them clean.

                                        If you get a white show shirt, I second the others who say to just get short-sleeved with the built-in wrap collar. You technically don't need a stock tie even for recognized shows as long as you have a shirt with the integrated collar done up, though most people still have stocks. If you show without a coat, you just open up the collar.
                                        "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

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