I didn’t think it was possible to admire a division yet be frustrated by the standards at the same time. I love the hunter ring for it’s timeless elegance and nod to tradition. However I think it’s important as our sport evolves we make sure the hunter style is not left in the dust. I’ve pulled together a few examples of safe yet stylish ways to express yourself in the hunter ring to save you the worry of being penalized for breaking the dress code. I’m sorry to say you won’t be wearing that baby blue sport coat you’ve been coveting, but I’ve found a few other ways to help get excited when getting dressed up.
For Horses is an Italian based company. Their pieces are made from multi-stretch microfibers that are comfortable, functional and easy to care for. The attention to detail gives just the right amount of ‘a little something extra’ to make you feel special. Sometimes a little goes a long way, and For Horses has 100% found that perfect balance of adding the slightest touch of femininity to apparel that delivers both the look and performance the equestrian athlete covets.
The Bernie shirt is extremely lightweight, comfortable and flattering. My favorite details though are the snaps and single sparkle button closure at the top of the collar. It’s feminine without feeling dated. In fact, I think it’s just the opposite and helps breathe some life back into the history of starched collars and zero accents.
The breech equivalent of The Bernie shirt is The Pat breech. Tastefully cut, it’s flattering and conservative. However once you take off your show jacket you have a modern breech with black piping accents on the font and back pockets (covered by your show jacket when in the ring!), a stylish zipper front and asymmetrical belt loops – all giving it a modern look with a traditional foundation.
Bernie Show Shirt
If you’re looking to stick to the classics, ROMFH is for you! They’ve managed to capture the classic style of the traditionalist hunter rider but make their pieces completely modern, technical and extremely comfortable – something founder Laura Romfh saw missing from the equestrian apparel world. She developed the ROMFH CoolMax show shirt and the rest is history!
Their Sarafina euro seat breech and Lindsay show shirt offer the beautiful classic look of the traditional hunter ring riders but deliver the performance needed and expected with equestrian apparel today. The Lindsay show shirt comes in both a short and long sleeve option with fun prints on the inside of the collar, so you can leave it open when you’re not showing to add some flair to your #ROOTD. Zero exterior buttons or snaps give this shirt a clean, classic finish!The Serafina euro seat breech is a mid-rise height that looks super traditional but feels more like you just pulled on a pair of yoga pants. They’re super soft and very flattering. Subtle ROMFH branding makes them unique but low-key enough to wear in the hunter or equitation ring, but you may want to leave them on all day!
Lindsay Show Shirt
Show Coat: Equiline Hayley Hunter Jacket
Sarm Hippique is another Italian company that is becoming increasingly popular in the US. Their slim cut performance weight jackets and shirts come in an array of styles and colors. I have found that everything Sarm runs on the smaller side, so be sure to try before you buy.
The Sarm Hippique Dana show shirt is short sleeved with blue piping accents and small pearlescent buttons featuring a single rhinestone on each. It has a slight stretch and the fabric has a subtle sheen. The pop of blue (which is approved as a show coat color in the hunter ring) coordinates beautifully with a navy show coat. I think it’s a great way to give your outfit some personality and individuality!The Verbania show coat comes in a variety of colors and is one of their best sellers. It features alcantara suede collar, lapels and pocket trim which help make the coat more unique without demanding or distracting. Four buttons along with subtle zippers on the sleeves and pockets give it a more modern fit and feel. I love this coat because it’s breathable and I can throw it in the washing machine on the gentle cycle and hang to dry – if I hang it by itself there are hardly any wrinkles!
Dana Show Shirt
Verbania Show Coat
What’s better than getting something custom made? Nothing! ÉCE offers custom and off the rack styles, but the fact they can design pretty much any shirt to your heart’s desire is amazing. Featured here is their Hunt shirt, which offers clean, classic lines with zero visible snaps. The shirt is breathable and offers the perfect cuff length to complete your hunter look. The collar is a great width and doesn’t catch you under the chin when snapped up. Unsnapped, you’ve got a party going on with fun logo prints in different colors under the cuffs and collar.
I’m also loving their colored snap shirts. You can get them in grey, pink, navy… the list goes on. I would say you could 100% get away with pearl, grey or a light blue snap in the hunter ring… just maybe stick with their classic hunt shirt for any finals or bigger shows. Side note – they also make custom show coats! I can’t speak to the material or process but if they’re anything like their shirts (handmade in the garment district in NYC) I’m sure they’re great.
Women’s Hunt Shirt
Women’s Long Sleeved Show Shirt
As I continue to explore this topic I’ll post updates on new finds! What are your favorites?