In a Western competition, your primary goal should be to catch the eye of the judge. What you select for western show clothes might make the difference between first and second place in a close competition. Before you begin shopping, consider the look you are trying to achieve. You should aim for a look that will stand out from the crowd of competitors, but not for the wrong reasons. You don't want to stand out so much that the judge won't see you and your horse as a cohesive unit. What colors, fabrics and accessories will best get you that look?
To achieve the perfect presentation there are several things to consider.
First, and possibly most important, you should be comfortable in the clothes you choose. If your clothes don't fit right and you're uncomfortable in the saddle your horse will feel this change. The judges will also be able to tell. Select clothing that fits well and that moves with you as you move.
Next on the list is color. Almost 3/4 of competitors select black as the base color for their western show clothes. The reason for this is simple. Black is extremely versatile and is easy to coordinate. Pair a blouse with some black in it with black show pants, a black hat and boots and you are done! It's also true that black looks sharp in the ring, and never goes out of style. If you're the conservative type then selecting a black base will ease some of the stress of picking your clothes. To stand out you may want to select colors that are a little harder to coordinate such as browns, blues, greens or other natural tones. The extra effort may be worth it when you are next to your competitors.
Finally, accessorize! Make sure your outfit has something that sparkles. You don't need to go overboard selecting crystals for everything you purchase, but if you have something that will catch the sun while you're in the ring the judge will likely notice. Use crystals sparingly if you are on a tight budget, but don't take them off the list entirely.
Most importantly, realize that spending more on a show outfit does not necessarily equate to a Blue Ribbon. Well-coordinated, eye-catching western show clothes will catch the eye of the judge, but you won't win on looks alone. It will take countless hours practicing with your horse to actually achieve your goal!