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Help me dress for the Show Ring

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  • Help me dress for the Show Ring

    I'm going to be showing Horsemanship, Western Pleasure and Trail next year, and I need some help dressing myself

    I would like to wear a light coloured hat (Buckskin) because my skin is light and my black hat is really not flattering on me. BUT, I really don't want to wear light chaps. I would NEVER be able to keep them clean.

    My show shirt is a dark pink, my chaps are black and my horse is bay. I'm thinking I might not be able to pull off the lighter coloured hat without changing my shirt colour.

    Thoughts? I'm new to this and could really use some input.
    THANKS!

  • #2
    What breed are you showing and what level? Breed shows or open shows?

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Showing AQHA Novice Amateur

      Comment


      • #4
        Ultrasuede chaps are washable.

        Comment


        • #5
          Are you working with a trainer? In my experience they have lots of helpful opinions on what is appropriate for your level and age. I'd start there.

          Go to the Equine Chronicle website, and GoHorseShow.com. Look at their photo galleries and ads. You won't need to be as dazzling as those that have forked out the big bucks to advertise there, but you can see color combinations on a horse the same color as yours and gauge what looks best.

          Another idea is big color swatches or towels in the colors you like. Place them on your horse and stand way back and look. If the colors looks good on your horse that's pretty much all that matters. Only your tiny little face is out there compared to his big body. I hate earth tones, but they look fantastic on my sorrel horse. So I wear earth tones.

          Hobby Horse has a big discussion of color combinations on their website. It's good reading and very helpful, too.

          Comment


          • #6
            We all wear light hats with any color of shirt, anything from pink blue red black brown, then our chaps are whatever color as well. The black ghats are not flattering as they shadow your face, the light hats brighten up the pics.

            Comment


            • #7
              I would never show AQHA in a light hat and black chaps. Keep the pink shirt but get buckskin chaps to match the hat. They are actually easier to keep looking clean than the black chaps are if you are dealing with a dusty arena
              Lapeer ... a small drinking town with a farming problem.
              Proud Closet Canterer!

              Comment


              • #8
                I also would never wear a light hat with black chaps. I think it looks odd when hat and chaps do not match.

                Comment


                • #9
                  You can go either way with black hat/black chaps or black chaps/light hat. Horsemanship is the more "restrictive" in terms of outfits for you classes, and looking through the Congress photos, the majority of amateurs wore black/black with some color on their top. The best is to have your chaps and pants match, and the bodice of the shirt you are wearing also match to give a slimming look and keep you from looking like you have as much movement at your waist, then add some color to your top half. To me, Bays look great in blues/greens, and in general most bright colors (depending on the color of bay). If you want the more old school looke people are going with, get a nice tailored one colored shirt and a nice scarf that is tied around your neck, with nothing left flowing/moving. Personally, I would wear a black hat but I like top and bottom to match. But if you really wanted to, you could use a light colored hat. I actually wore a bright/darker pink fitted shirt with my black pants for western recently with a black hat and it looked very nice. I also think a lighter hat would have worked as well. Instead of a scarf, I used a string of thick chunky pearls.

                  I would not get a pair of sand or light colored chaps to go with a bay. Your leg would stand out too much against the horse for the classes, especially horsemanship.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A light hat is a great trick for adding light and color around your face... Coco Channel supposedly said "Black is for the very young and the dead" and when it comes to western hats, she might have been right... a black hat casts a dark shadow over your face that doesn't flatter...

                    Sometimes a black hat is the right thing though, like with really dressy black tops covered with stones... but if your top is less formal looking, or has some of the light hat shade in it, it is often a nice look to blend lighter as you go up, ie, black chaps blending into a black and something light top, with the light hat related to the light color in the top.

                    Easiest way to do this is get all dressed up and have someone take some pix with a light hat and a dark hat from some distance, as in the show ring. This usually lets you see what you'll really look like, and make a choice that way.

                    The old rule about hat always matching chaps really started to go out the window when lots of Ultrasuede chap colors came in about 20 years ago, because there simply (and fortunately) weren't chartreuse and fuchsia western hats... so people started wearing pale neutrals with a lot of colorful outfits.

                    The fashion police won't arrest you for any of this, but figure out what you think looks best, test it in a photo, and chances are you'll come up with a look you like and feel confident wearing.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Miss Motivation View Post
                      A light hat is a great trick for adding light and color around your face... Coco Channel supposedly said "Black is for the very young and the dead" and when it comes to western hats, she might have been right... a black hat casts a dark shadow over your face that doesn't flatter...

                      Sometimes a black hat is the right thing though, like with really dressy black tops covered with stones... but if your top is less formal looking, or has some of the light hat shade in it, it is often a nice look to blend lighter as you go up, ie, black chaps blending into a black and something light top, with the light hat related to the light color in the top.

                      Easiest way to do this is get all dressed up and have someone take some pix with a light hat and a dark hat from some distance, as in the show ring. This usually lets you see what you'll really look like, and make a choice that way.

                      The old rule about hat always matching chaps really started to go out the window when lots of Ultrasuede chap colors came in about 20 years ago, because there simply (and fortunately) weren't chartreuse and fuchsia western hats... so people started wearing pale neutrals with a lot of colorful outfits.

                      The fashion police won't arrest you for any of this, but figure out what you think looks best, test it in a photo, and chances are you'll come up with a look you like and feel confident wearing.

                      I agree! We show Morgans and some people try to do colored hats, yikes...not good. The majority wear light colored hats but you do still see black hats. No right or wrong answer, just personal preference. Though light hats to brighten up your face.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thanks

                        I never really thought about the washability (is that a word?) of ultrasuede chaps - that is a good point.

                        And, I have gone through so many magazines and most recently the Chronicle I picked up at Congress - the only people with light hats and dark chaps are typically wearing dark shirts or dark shirts with light bits that match the hat.

                        Sigh....I have so much to learn....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Black is a very common color, and you will probably be able to find some good deals in slightly used but high quality outfits. Plus, if you are "hard to fit," you will have many more options.

                          Pink and turquoise/aqua are very popular colors that go with either black or a light tan/sand/beige and easy to match with saddle pads, etc.

                          In defense of a lighter color, dust does not show up on light colors as much as it does with black, and if you are going to in the heat of the summer, you will look much cooler with a light base and your pink shirt than you would in black.
                          Man plans. God laughs.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Id agree with some of the others and go with the chaps in the same color to match your hat. Hobby horse use to have a color wheel in their magazine that was really helpful in picking colors to go with the rider and the horse and cordinating everything. Im not sure if they still have it in there or not but it might be something to look into. hehe I use to get their magazine to come up with ideas and then made my own show clothes.
                            ride like you have never ate the dirt

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              For horsemanship you want a monochromatic tailored look. It will make you seem more together, longer and leaner. A shirt that contrasts with your chaps cuts you in half and is not as pleasing

                              In pleasure and trail, rail jackets that might contrast with your chaps are acceptable

                              The hat should somehow tie in with your other colors

                              Black hats are the most common, any hat will leave a show on your face unless there is light reflecting up from the ground.
                              No light can filter through any color of a hat brim. Just pick a color that looks good on you and with your outfit.
                              Buckskin hats makes me look washed out, white or black do not, it just depends on your complexion

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Buckskin is a nice tan color (I wear one probably 50% of the time). But, I wouldn't suggest it with the color combo that you're suggesting. And on a bay horse.

                                Is your shirt a solid dark pink or does it have other colors? Often you can pick up other colors in the shirt with your hat. White is often a good accent color for outfits that use black chaps. But I suggest looking at show proofs on KC Montgomery's website to see what everyone is wearing and what the various color combos look like on other bay horses. There may also be show pictures on Go Horse Show or the Equine Chronicle website that you could check out. Also, if you don't think the black hat is very flattering (I'm with you on the super fair skin), make sure you have it shaped properly. That can make a huge difference. And when all else fails and I have to wear my black hat (I have a new bay mare), I use sunless tanner on my face! LOL!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  OK - I'm OLD. But I still think that nothing comes close to the ... elegance, if you will... of the monochromatic look. You're showing your HORSE in everything but eq & showmanship. A tasteful amount of silver on saddle & bridle - fine - (please read "TASTEFUL"). Can't tell you how many judges complimented me on my favorite brown/brown/brown/brown (boots to hat, although 'bodysuit' was a subtle pattern) - oh and brown gloves, too. But that's just a fossil talking.

                                  Carol
                                  www.ayliprod.com
                                  Equine Photography in the Northeast

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Tan & black are always in style and easy to interchange with other colors like Green or Violet later. Just go with the basic colors to build your show wardrobe and have fun!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Do you have pictures?
                                      We could all take a lesson from crayons some are sharp, some are beautiful, some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they still learn to live in the same box. Unknown.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I forgot to mention my favorite resource in my other post: the show proofs on KC Montgomery's website. You can see so many different color combinations and outfit styles, you're sure to be inspired!

                                        I'm on my upmteenth sorrel horse and a little uninspired for outfits. Perusing those photos definitely gave me some new ideas

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