I always believe that one should dress for success. I’m not saying that image is everything, because to be successful in the show ring riders have to put in the best performance; it is, however, a big part. If you ride well, and are dressed stylishly, you will be noticed. And, as horse enthusiasts continue to gear up for regionals and nationals, now is a fitting time to seek out this years most on-trend designs and colors.
When designing this year’s outfit, why not go for one of the leading trends of 2013? Available in all shapes, scales and colors, fashionistas everywhere have been trading in their boring basics for something fiercer – animal prints. More popular than ever, animal prints have been seen all over this year’s catwalks as designers – including DvF, Burbury, and Roberto Cavalli – have put a new modern spin on this timeless trend.
In fact, according to the Chinese Zodiac, this year is the Year of the Snake, so it’s definitely not just coincidence that serpent-inspired fashion has slithered its way onto runways everywhere. From classic leopard to snakeskin – in both traditional and non-traditional colors – explore your own wild side and try wearing this trend in the show ring by incorporating printed or sequin animal print fabrics into your western outfit! Or, Show Season also offers stunning imprinted or laser created leathers that are simulated to look like snake, crocodile, lizard, etc.. Play with these beautiful fabrics and leathers – perhaps creating a bold animal print western shirt, or taking a more subtle approach by using an animal print as decoration on the trim of your chaps or saddle pad, or even wearing animal print boots. The potential for chic-ness is endless!
As fab as this trend is though, to avoid any fashion faux pas, only wear one piece of animal print clothing at a time, and never mix more than one of these prints. While animal print is chic when worn in moderation, one piece is enough to make a statement, and more than one will make a bad one. Likewise, do not mix too many colors while wearing these fierce prints. Instead, the key is to go with one animal print item and build around it.
Another posh fashion trend to embrace this year is emerald! Chosen as Pantone’s color of the year, emerald is “a lively, radiant, lush green… [that] enhances our sense of well-being further by inspiring insight, as well as promoting balance and harmony.” What better way to show off your stylish fashion sense this show season than by wearing this sophisticated and luxurious jewel tone.
Also for those western fashionistas, don’t forget the bling! Show attire is very masculine, and so for women it can really be transformed when feminine qualities are added to it. And, as emerald is most often associated with brilliant, precious gemstones, emerald and crystals are a match made in western heaven.
Try combining all these trends by wearing an emerald animal print fabric as Show Season has done! Using a green, snake themed fabric, Show Season fashioned this trendy slithering western shirt. And to make it sparkle, they embellished the shirt with hand sewn large Swarovski crystals and emerald stones, in addition gold chain outlining; topping the look off with a crystal chocker.
I asked fashionable rider Leah Marie Miller – who also recently combined both these trends when designing her own green snake skin western shirt – her take on these 2013 styles:
As an embracer of the snakeskin trend, did you know 2013 was the Year of the Snake when you decided on this print for your western shirt, or did you have some other inspiration?
Leah: I had no clue about that when I ordered the shirt! When pulling the fabric my main goal was to find a print I liked that revolved around emerald green… The fact that it was an animal print was just a bonus!
What will you be pairing your snakeskin shirt with?
Leah: I will pair it with black custom Show Season chaps that are trimmed in green and champagne gold with all kinds of crystals.
Would you consider investing in any other animal prints?
Leah: Absolutely. One of my very favorite show shirts is another animal print that’s cream, black, and brown, with TONS of crystals. I have been National Champion twice in that shirt!
Do you have any tips for how one should wear a trend like snakeskin in the show arena?
Leah: I think pulling off any trend whether you are in or out of the show ring is a combination of confidence and loving what you wear, combined with quality and craftsmanship in the clothing. For me, the more bling the better, and I tend to love feeling like a living disco ball!! I feel the most confident when I jog in the ring with a drape in my rein, and I am sparkling under the arena lights! But that is not the way all people love to dress. I think you just have to love what you are wearing and that is what enables people to pull off a look, whether it’s trendy or classic. I wear what “speaks” to me, as silly as that may sound, whether that’s something with animal print or crystals, or simply a crazy color choice. Wear what makes you feel like the best version of “you,” and pulling off a look like animal print is a breeze.
In your opinion, what does a piece of show clothing need to have design wise to really pop?
Leah: For me it’s about 2 things… Craftsmanship and crystals! A really well made piece of show clothing always stands out in the ring. I have been wearing only Show Season in the arena for over 20 years because of that. You can see the difference in quality as soon as someone enters the gate. And of course a lot of sparkle never hurts…
Fun and stylish, animal print and emerald are fashion trends that never go out of style, and, by wearing one (or both) in the show ring, you can make a bold and polished statement, as well as breathe life into dull outfits. Fashionable apparel that performs well, is comfortable, and fits great is what Show Season is all about; and with show stopping trends like these, which will continue to make a statement beyond spring and summer into fall and winter, they are worth investing in.