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BREECHES: front zip or side zip?

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  • BREECHES: front zip or side zip?

    Two questions for all you hunter/jumper riders out there...

    1. Do you prefer front or side zip breeches?
    2. Why?

    Looking forward to hearing from all you COTHers out there!

  • #2
    For jumpers- Front zip, I like the look, and they are more "edgy" and in style.
    For Equitation and Hunters- Side zip, it is more flattering on the horse and looks better under a coat.


    • #3
      I have both, I have a slight preference for side zip, as I think they are more flattering on my particular shape but both are correct although side zip has been the more traditional in the hunter/eq divisions. That is changing though and you are seeing more and more people wearing front zip in the hunters too. Wear whatever you like best, not what the rest of us like.


      • #4
        I prefer the side zip. They seem to fit me better. I no longer buy front zip they just aren't flattering on my (slightly rounder) body shape!


        • #5
          Front Zip. They are just all around easier and I think they are more comfy. No riding pants are every going to be flattering unless you are a stick


          • #6
            I think it depends on what looks better on you. I think either look fine for Hunters. Its all in preference. Personally, I think the Front Zip Euroseat looks best on me, especially the Pikeur Ciara ones.


            • #7
              I much prefer front zips. Yes, I recognize that for hunters the side zip is sort of the preferred look, but I find that front zips usually have a much more "athletic" fit. For the jumpers, no question I prefer front zips. And you didn't ask, but euroseat styling is very nice.

              Some side zips feel like uncomfortable dress pants. Oh, and I find that side zips are much more likely to have the fastener at the top of the zipper dig into your waist over the hip. Oh, and side zip pants, sometimes even expensive ones, can end up feeling or looking a little asymmetric. I hate having a little bunchy spot over one hip.

              Now if I could just find some nice winter h/j style breeches. Why are all decent winter breeches black full seats?


              • #8
                I think side zips look better when wearing a coat. A cleaner, less bulky appearance. And, if you have a little "poof" in the abdomen area, the side zip is more flattering.

                If you are planning on wearing a shad at any time, I'd definately go for the side zips.

                I will say it's easier to go pee with the front zips. At my age, that's very important.


                • #9
                  I have and wear both, but generally prefer side zips. I think they look better on my body shape, give a cleaner line in the saddle, and given my penchant for big blingy belts, I find that the belt buckle is less likely to uncomfortably dig into me.

                  Oh, and front zips usually have pockets made in such a fashion that they are unflattering to my shape. That's actually the reason I originally switched over to side zips.

                  But go with what fits you best and in what you are most comfortable. Because really, as much as I like to think that my way is the only right way, when it comes to you riding your horse, I'm not the one feeling any discomfort from less-than-ideally-fitted apparel.
                  If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
                  Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous


                  • #10
                    I think the side zip looks better on me, so I prefer those. I don't have a general preference though, I'd wear front zip if they were flattering.
                    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


                    • #11
                      Side zips – more flattering and comfortable. I too like the big blingy belts and much easier to wear the buckle to the side rather than it impale me over fences in the front. Just as easy to pee in side zips as front zips if your belt is also to the side.

                      Now – here is what I really want in a show breech. Side zip. Euro seat. WITH the curved side knee seam that comes in over the top of your knee (think TS royal or ariat pro circuit) vs. the seam that goes straight down the leg. Alas – this must be a feat in seamtressing because such a beast does not exist.

                      I am saying this JUST in case your user name (FITS) means you work for that company.


                      • #12
                        I have both, and they both have good and bad.

                        Side zip can dig into someone with a bony hipbone (like me!) Front zip pinches when you bend over if you don't have a shirt tucked in.


                        • #13
                          I like the look of the side zips and have all side zip breeches But I don't hate front zips. I have started seeing more front zip breeches I did see one that I really like.
                          "There are only two emotions that belong in the saddle; one is a sense of humor and the other is patience."


                          • #14
                            I'm short waisted and curvy, and I definitely prefer side zips. They look better on me and are also more comfortable without having a front clasp digging into me.
                            Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
                            Witherun Farm


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TrakeGirl View Post
                              Now – here is what I really want in a show breech. Side zip. Euro seat. WITH the curved side knee seam that comes in over the top of your knee (think TS royal or ariat pro circuit) vs. the seam that goes straight down the leg.
                              Yes, this exactly. But can we also add some variation of Ariat's calf fit system or English Riding Supply's comfort sock calf? I hate the velcro on TS!
                              If we have to nail on talent, it's not talent.
                              Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous


                              • #16
                                Side zip! I find it much more comfortable and flattering than front zip.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Rel6 View Post
                                  I have both, and they both have good and bad.

                                  Side zip can dig into someone with a bony hipbone (like me!) Front zip pinches when you bend over if you don't have a shirt tucked in.
                                  I was beginning to think I was the only one who had the problem of side zips digging into my hipbone!

                                  Granted, not all do, and most of my nice show breeches don't dig in and I prefer the look of the side zips in the show ring so those are what I wear.

                                  However, I hate my side zip schooling breeches. They become painful after a day of riding and teaching. Might be different if I was just riding one horse, but I need something that remains comfortable all day.
                                  A lovely horse is always an experience.... It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words. ~Beryl Markham


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by pattnic View Post
                                    Yes, this exactly. But can we also add some variation of Ariat's calf fit system or English Riding Supply's comfort sock calf? I hate the velcro on TS!
                                    YES!! Are you listening breeches makers???

                                    Side zip.
                                    Euro seat.
                                    Curved seam.
                                    Comfy calf.

                                    First one to produce it gets my $!


                                    • #19
                                      I prefer side zip. I think they look better and I find they are more comfortable.

                                      Also, am I the only one who doesn't hate the velcro on TS breeches?
                                      Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!


                                      • #20
                                        I've never owned any side-zip breeches :-( Am I a freak of nature??
                                        The Little Red Mare: French Curve

                                        and my non-horse blog: oh, rebecca!