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Frivolous tailor-related hunt coat question

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  • Frivolous tailor-related hunt coat question

    So our hunt specifies black coats for the formal season, and my hunt coat from back in my eq days is green. I do, however, have a gorgeous black dressage coat (for the lower levels; not a shadbelly) that has been hanging unused in all its pricey glory (dressage mare is laid up w/ tendon injury).

    I know that the cut of a dressage coat as-is is entirely wrong for hunting, including the four buttons, etc. (Plus I'm brand new to this hunt specifically and hunting in general, so swanning about in what is essentially a frock coat is not exactly the respectful-beginner air I'm going for ). But I have an excellent tailor in my neighborhood, so my question is this: which would make more sense, having the tailor re-work the dressage coat a bit to be hunt-appropriate, or just buying a new hunt coat?

    Thanks for indulging me--I know this is not exactly an earth-shattering performance-related question!

  • #2
    I suggest that you talk to the MFH about the coat question. Frequently, the hunt will want the new rider to come out and participate more than insist on all the new regalia at one time.

    I've worn my event show coat that was frock cut. Actually, the MFH's have been fine with it over many years. But, I always ask when I am going to another hunt. You may want different weights and fabrics for different temperatures, which will give you a choice of coats.
    Intermediate Riding Skills

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    • #3
      I don't hunt myself (although I desperately want to!) but a lot of the eventers in my area who do a TON of hunting wear their dressage coats, and it's totally acceptable (around here, anyways).
      Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.

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      • #4
        Hmmm. Interesting question. I guess I would say, first of all, that if you are 'new' to it as in just testing the waters, I would ask, MFH would be fine with your wearing the coat as is. If you are 'new' as in your mind is made up that we foxhunters are right and it is the best sport on the planet and you are in hook line and sinker, then the question becomes: will you have further need for dressage coat as is when horse recovers? If so, if it were me, I'd go get a new 3 button coat for hunting. If not, and I had a good tailor, I'd probably go ahead and rework what's 'mostly' paid for pending tailor's bill.

        I can tell you what worked for me, purchasing a used (as in, made in Ireland in the year I was born) 5 button MFH red/scarlet/pink coat and needing to make it a 4 button whipper-in coat merely involved removing the top button and doing a bit of creative ironing on the lapels. No one ever noticed.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Beverley View Post

          I can tell you what worked for me, purchasing a used (as in, made in Ireland in the year I was born) 5 button MFH red/scarlet/pink coat and needing to make it a 4 button whipper-in coat merely involved removing the top button and doing a bit of creative ironing on the lapels. No one ever noticed.
          I was thinking of having something similar done--replacing the shiny silver buttons with more conservative ones, having one button removed and the lapel re-pressed, possibly shortening the coat an inch or so. Though, having gestated a nearly-10-pound baby, I'll really take all the lower-midsection coverage I can get away with.

          The dressage coat will probably not see a dressage arena in the foreseeable future either way, as I am really just not much of a horse show person these days. So if I don't have it tweaked for hunting, it will most likely go to the consignment tack shop. I just wasn't sure if tweaking it would really work, or if it would have to be more of a massive overhaul that wouldn't be worth the trouble.

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          • #6
            A good seamstress can work wonders. Before you go to any trouble - just talk with the Master. He/she might even give you a referral to a good seamstress/tailor.

            Though if you live where it gets cold in the winter, you're eventually going to freeze your butt off. If you don't have a thick hunt coat by then, try UnderArmour. Not bulky and it really insulates against the cold.

            Welcome to the world of foxhunting!
            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
            -Rudyard Kipling

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            • #7
              I'd swap the buttons for plain black and leave it at that. Try hunting, see how it goes, and you'll probably want to invest in a second coat of a different weight before you invest into tailoring something you technically can wear already.

              I have two melton coats, one heavy and one medium, and a dressage cut frock coat for my lightweight. I honestly can't remember how many buttons it has, but everyone comments on how lovely it is. I think people notice the fit and the overall picture more than the number of buttons, so have your hair up neatly, clean britches, polish your boots and no one will count your buttons

              Now my biggest complaint about my dressage cut coat is that the pockets are too small for my flask. That is the only reason it has an upcoming date with a tailor, although I may just buy a narrower flask...priorities!

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