For me, the end of Youth Nationals signifies the realization and excited anticipation that U.S. Nationals is just around the corner.
This means to get out to the barn for practice, practice and more practice so that I am at my best and ready for Nationals.
And while it’s important not to wait until the last minute to polish up on your riding, it is just as important to not wait until the last minute to make sure your show clothes are just as polished and ready as you and your horse.
With Nationals only a couple months away NOW is that time! Ask yourself, is your outfit clean and in good condition? Does it fit properly? Do the colors compliment you and your horse? Is the style and are the colors current with fashion and with what’s being worn in the show arena?
If your outfit passes all these tests, then you have a good one, but garments that are too big, small or just fit poorly, can make you appear careless, messy and/or inexperienced. By obscuring the lines of your body, these garments can also make you look like you have poor riding posture. This is why you should be trying on your show outfits now to make sure they still fit how they should.
Bottom line: You always want to make your clothing work for you. An outfit that is the right fit, style and colors is able to highlight your best qualities and work to conceal those that are weaker.
Outside of making sure your current outfit(s) fits how it should, if it doesn’t look as sharp or distinctive as you would like, try to determine why that is. Minor issues such as a baggy shirt or a pair of jods are able to be resolved with a simple visit to Show Season.
Issues such as a show outfit that combines too many colors, or colors that don’t really look great together (which can cause an outfit to take on a tacky quality) can also be resolved. By removing or replacing a color you can significantly improve the outfit and even give it a whole new look and feel. On the other hand, if you are not able to determine the issue, the entire outfit might need replacing.
Even if there is nothing “wrong” with your outfit, sometimes it is fun to change the color of your shirt or vest to give it a fresh new vibe. Or you could even pick out a different color pair of jods and go for a day coat look!
When picking out new colors for a fresh look it’s always important to do so with lots of care and consideration, as the color can have a large impact on the overall look and impression of you and your horse. (Your horse can’t look sleek and well turned out if you don’t!)
The colors you chose can also enhance or dull the colors in your horse’s coat, as well as reinforce a harmonious look between the two of you. On the contrary, poorly chosen colors make it look like you are just sitting there on top of your horse, rather than being in tune with them. And depending on your color choices, they can make you appear more pale or tan, fat or slim, and bold or conservative.
If you are planning on getting a new vest, shirt, tie, chaps, or totally new suit for Nationals, then it’s a great idea to look ahead to fall fashion color report from authorities on color like Pantone.
According to Pantone, as the colder months set in, the in-trend greens from spring evolve and develop. Versatile Emerald continues to shine and captivate, adding richness and sophistication to the fall color spectrum, while yellow-tined Linden Green adds a lightness and brightness to darker colors of the season. Try wearing both these hues with Mykonos Blue – a bold, radiant blue – for a timeless fall look.
Mysterious Acai adds luxuriousness and exoticism to the palette, and is able to be paired with the other fall shades to create a multitude of strong looks. Wear this chic hue of purple with Emerald for a very regal look, or with energetic Samba Red for a dramatic and striking show outfit.
Koi – a decorative orange – and Vivacious – an energetic deep fuchsia – are fabulous statement colors that serve as perfect pick-me-ups for your show suit. I especially like Vivacious. Consider pairing it with lush Deep Lichen Green for a dynamic juxtaposition that encapsulates both ends of the seasonal palette.
Rounding out fall’s pillar colors, Turbulence – a dark, mercurial gray – and Carafe – a warm, glamorous brown – offer more interesting and posh options to the black basics typically worn in the colder months (and in the show arena). Both staple neutrals pair elegantly with the more statement colors of the season, like Samba, Koi and Vivacious.
In this way, just as the leaves change in autumn, we can enjoy the ability to change our ‘look.’ What’s important is to be tasteful and tidy. Don’t wait until the last minute when it is already too late. This is the time to check on the fit, update, and make sure your show outfit is the right color combinations for you and your horse!