Whether you are competing and looking for the right horse show clothing, or a casual rider in need of a great look, there are many factors to consider before you make your purchase. Choosing clothes in colors or patterns that compliment your horse and make a statement in the ring is critical. Creating a look that is uniquely yours by either buying custom outfits or working with designers that sell limited quantities of their products will also give you an edge when competing. Often overlooked, however, is the importance of purchasing clothes that fit properly.
When you go into a store you know the size you normally wear. You pull a size 8 off the rack because that's the size you always wear. Right? Wrong! When you shop for clothes you would normally try it on before you buy it because even though a size 8 is a "standard" size the fit will vary depending on the designer. The same is true when buying horse riding clothes.
In fact, it is even more important to find a good fit for your horse riding clothes. Clothes that are too loose may get in the way, be caught in the stirrups or otherwise make riding more difficult. Clothes that are too tight will limit your mobility on your horse. If you are competing in a horse show, clothes that are too loose or too tight will also be unflattering to the judge.
Many horse riding clothes can be bought in materials that will make a good fit easier. Buying a material that stretches when you move will allow you to have a tighter, more flattering fit depending on your body type. In some cases though, these materials may not come in a color or pattern that you like, or may simply not compliment your body type. Especially in these cases I would recommend working with a designer that can customize your clothes to fit you.
By giving a designer your specific measurements you can ensure a perfect fit. A great shirt will fit in the shoulders, bust, and waist. Pants should conform to your waist, hips, thighs, and length. Given that no two people will have the same measurements it is nearly impossible to find the perfect fit without some custom work. While this might not be necessary if you just plan to ride out on the trails, a custom fit is more comfortable and will help your form when riding.
A custom fit becomes more important if you are buying horse show clothing. When competing, your horse can feel if you are uncomfortable and this can hurt your performance. As mentioned above, clothes that fit properly are also more flattering.Whether riding for pleasure or competing, spend the time to find clothes that fit properly!