How do I know what breeches to wear?

2 Nov
Fashion trends come and go in riding as with any other aspect of life. However, you always want to be sure you look the part! There’s nothing worse than showing up to a function and being eliminated for not having the correct attire. We want to help you prevent that! Though minor details may change, here is a basic overview of what to expect in each discipline!

There are loads of different breeches out there to choose from.  Sometimes it can be hard to know where to start in picking out the right pair of breeches for you.  Your level of involvement and competition in our beloved sport will give you a bit of a baseline as to what breeches to decide on.

Which Breeches are Appropriate for Rated or Recognized Competitions

If you are going to a recognized or rated competition you are going to want to make sure that you are dressed the part.  The USEF has laid of specific guidelines for what you are required to wear in their rule book.  We know that those rule books can sometimes feel a little overwhelming so let us break it down for you and give you a few options that you can choose to make sure you’re walking into that show ring with the right breeches!

Dressage

The breeches that you wear for your Dressage competitions are going to be pretty similar throughout most of the levels but there are some slight differences as you start to get to the higher and higher levels.

If we boil it down to the most simple rule, wear white breeches.  If you wear a nice pair of white breeches you can guarantee that you will be ok headed to any dressage show!! Dressage Breeches

For competitions training level through fourth level white or light colored breeches or jodhpurs may be worn with tall boots or paddock boots. However,  jodhpurs and paddock boots are typically only worn by very young riders.  So, keep that in mind as you’re picking out your dressage show clothes.

If you do choose to wear paddocks boots, its important to remember that half chaps are only permitted through First Level at competitions and the MUST match your boots in either black or brown, may not have any sort of flashy decorations or fringes and must be made of a leather or leather like material.

For tests fifth level and above, light colored breeches and tall boots must be worn. Again, color is not specified, but white or light cream/champagne are popular choices. When in doubt, wear plain white.

Knee patch breeches can be worn at any level, but full seats are often the most popular with dressage riders because they offer the most grip for sitting the trot and performing various movements.

Here are a few of our favorite breeches for halting at x!

-FITS Free Flex Full Seat: The Free Flex Full Seat offers the FITS usual FIT Flex Full Seatexceptional grip and performance, yoga-pant comfort and anti-fatigue muscle compression, but with the clean long lines of a traditional full seat with a gorgeous back yoke and euro seat styling.

As with all FITS breeches, it features their unique patented leather-free stretch gusseted crotch to allow you to sit deep in the saddle with full freedom to move your body without binding. The legendary PerforMAX All Season compression fabric, cooling powermesh on the lower leg for a sleek look and feel under boots and tummy smoothing panel finish this stunning-and stunningly comfortable-breech. Exclusive to FITS, new Flex-Leather synthetic looks and grips like leather, but is machine washable and dryable.

-FITS Performax Front Zip Full Seat: FITS All Season fabric in white for the FITS Performax Full Seatsmooth, formal look that riders prefer, with the support and body sculpting features only available from FITS PerforMAX line. Fully lined in light weight, opaque microfibre. More formal, front ease and a rise that works with classic dressage coats or shadbellys.

FITS Full Seat Breeches optimize riding performance through functional design, featuring segmented deerskin panels to allow maximum range of motion for a deeper, more secure position in the saddle. Tiny perforations in the leather create more surface resistance for a much better grip, increase stretch capacity for freedom of motion and allow for significantly better leather breathability than any breech on the market today. Our athletic gusseted crotch is leather-free and seamless, eliminating bulk and pulling.

This all-season breech features micro-poly yarns next to your skin which wick moisture in hot weather and trap air for insulating and warming in cold weather. The outer face of the fabric is micro-nylon which takes color beautifully and is extremely abrasion resistant. Our lycra-blend fabric camouflages cellulite while while comfortably supporting and shaping your legs and body.

FITS body sculpting technology goes even further with our hidden power net “ab” panel which gives subtle, effective body core support and smooth, flattering lines to your tummy and hips. Power net is also used to increase your boot comfort.

-Sarafina Full Seat Breech by Romfh is fit for a queen. The fit of this comfy mid-rise breech is outstanding. Flattering contoured waistband, strategically placed back yoke and wide non-binding fit allows your waist, hip and other assets to look their best! Features the Soft-touch micro-PU fabric for the softest, most comfortable technical breech in the marketplace and the Sarafina features vertical stretch suede-just like the European brands to keep you comfortable all ride long. Machine wash.

-Kerrit Grip Tek Full Seat Breech is for those riders who want to be “tight in theKerrit Grip Tek tack.” Super-secure Griptek full seat helps you stay on, while a new hidden zip and snap closure make it easier to put on and take off. Dynamic Extreme fabric stretches to let you show off gutsy riding, but nothing more.

  • Stain and water resistant
  • GripTek fullseat provides a no-slip grip; no spray necessary
  • Lined with Coolmax and needle-punched for increased breathability and ventilation
  • Machine washable cold

 

The Pikeur Lugana is the best selling ladies breech from Pikeur. The unique material maintains your form when you wear them which makes them an extremely comfortable breech to ride in. The material also provides freedom for movement  and climate control to keep you comfortable at all times. Front-Zip with Synthetic Pikosoft seat, Velcro brand closures at ankles and front zip pocket.

 

Hunter Classes

Hunter breechesFor your hunter classes there are few differences on what breeches to wear depending on the type of classes that you are in as well as your age group!!

In a nutshell, you are pretty safe if you stick to a traditional, knee patch, beige colored breech but we can breakdown a few of the differences for you so that you’re covered!

For adults showing in Hunter classes stick to “earth” tone breeches such as beige, khaki, grey, or rust. Either a front zip or a side zip style are appropriate so choose whichever one you feel most comfortable in. Today it is also popular for breeches in the Hunter Ring to have 2 front pockets and a  Euroseat design.

White is a color that you may also see but it is only worn in formal classes such as a Classic, or with a shadbelly.

1174958660_76edf3cd36_zFor children jodhpurs in beige, khaki, grey or rust color with paddock boots and garter straps are most appropriate for growing children, particularly those riding ponies or in pony classes. 

 

Jumper Classes

This one is pretty simple!! It’s going to be the same as for your hunter classes!!  So, go grab yourself a nice pair of beige breeches!! However, white is a very popular color when you get to the upper levels.

Here are a few of our favorite breeches for taking on those fences in the Hunter and Jumper show ring!

The Romfh Lexington Euro Seat Knee Patch Breech is for the rider looking for a high-performance, yet figure-flattering breech for the jumper or hunter ring. Since it is made in a mid-weight cotton/microfiber blend and features Romfh’s specially designed stretch suede knee patch it is highly comfortable. The wider waistband, mid-rise, and euro seat style add to your comfort by flattering riders of all shapes and sizes. Its just an added bonus that they are machine washable.

Ovation Celebrity Slim Secret Euroweave DX Full Seat Breech are a fashion forward breech with a flattering fit and pocket design all at a great value! These breeches feature a secret tummy-flattening panel which gives a smooth flat look to hips and stomach! They are made in Ovation’s most stretchy easy-to-wear woven fabric with Syn-Tec Stretch Suede Knee Patch. The Syn-Tec Suede patches are easy to care for, stretchy and grippy.  It’s a great breech for warmer weather as they are enhanced with Dri-Lex to keep you dry and comfortable by transporting moisture away from our body to the surface of the breech where it can easily evaporate. They also feature the Dri-Lex Tec-1 comfort bottom to help you stay cool & dry under your tall boots!

romfhinternationalkp.jpgThe Romfh International Knee Patch Breech is a very cool addition to the Romfh Collection-the International breech is made with a super light and stretchy fabric which wraps you in a cool breeze of comfort. The ultra flattering mid-rise fit and ankle length inseam has been described by many to even make you look taller and slimmer. It has the  classic Euro Seat with cute jean pocket styling makes the look both familiar and updated. After you’re done in the ring, you can throw it in the washing machine.

fitskimberlysaharaFITS Kimberly All Season Knee Patch Breech lets you ride at the top of your game! With a beautiful back yoke and euroseat styling, the PerforMAX Kimberly displays a most traditional sleek appearance suitable for the biggest shows, and reveals its true athletic nature only when worn. Powered by intense compression fabric worn by pro athletes – 29% Lycra, more than any other breech brand – the Kimberly keeps muscle fatigue at bay, while its perforated deerskin knee patches give you the control you’re looking for over fences and on the flat. It features powermesh in two key places: a hidden ab panel for core support and tummy smoothing, and lower leg for the sleekest, coolest and most supportive feel ever beneath your boots. Once you put PerforMAX on, and feel it from boot to belt: you’ll never want to ride in anything else again. All Season fabric wicks in summer, insulates in winter, and sheds shavings, hay and dirt.

noblesignaturekpbreechEnjoy complete freedom of movement in Noble’s Signature Breech. Designed with direct influence from consumers, this breech is intended for ultimate comfort in the show ring. Crafted from technical, 4-way stretch material, lightweight enough to provide a personalized fit for effortless comfort, the breech has mid-rise euro seat design for a flattering look. The lightweight stretch hem at calf reduces bulk inside your riding boot, perfect to be paired with your tall boots. Other great features include:

  • 51% cotton/ 39% nylon/ 10% elastane
  • Opti-Dry Technology wicks moisture away
  • Mid-rise, euro seat design
  • Front zip closure
  • Extra belt loop at left hip with signature stripe
  • Secure YKK zip hand pocket at front left
  • Toray ultrasuede knee patches
  • Machine washable

 

 

Eventing

For eventers what breeches you wear will come down to what phase you are in!!

For your dressage phase you will be required to show in a white or light colored breech.  Unlike in the typical dressage classes you can wear either field or dress tall boots in either black or brown.

For the stadium jumping phase your breeches should be either light in color or white!  You are permitted to wear field or dress tall boots in black or brown and if you decide to wear paddock boots and half chaps, that’s fine too as long as they are made of a smooth grain leather or leather like material.

For the cross country phase, wear what makes you feel comfortable!!  The cross country portion is all about showing off your favorite colors!  So, pick a pair that are fun!! If you really want to get dekked out and sport your favorite eventing colors we have so many fun ideas for you here!blue, brown and red-color coordinated blog

 

Clinics

When you go to a clinic it’s important to show your respect for the clinician by dressing conservatively or similar to how you would in a show. A nice polo shirt tucked in with a belt is perfect for warmer weather, while a nice sweater, vest, fitted jacket, or some combination is suitable in colder seasons. White breeches are not necessary, but light colored or conservative breeches are appropriate and strongly encouraged.

 

Schooling at home and trail rides

Anything goes! Be comfortable, be fashionable! If you want to wear plaid, wear plaid! If you want to wear bright colors, wear bright colors! Tights are a really cool, comfortable and affordable choice in the summer while fleece-lined tights are a toasty warm choice in the winter

 

Unrated/Unrecognized or Schooling Shows

Shows may opt to follow the rules of their discipline’s governing organization and if so will make a note of it in the show program or prize list. Typically, light or conservative colored breeches are worn in all disciplines and are always a safe, appropriate, and professional looking choice.

But what about underneath?!

Whether you’re wearing breeches at home, at a show or at a clinic, underwear lines are not fun or professional looking.  So, no matter what discipline or level you ride at, you may want to check out some garments that you can wear under your breeches to assist with that!!

knixwearfitknixbikiniThe Knixwear FitKnix Underwear is perfect for minimalizing those lines and for working as hard as you do during your ride. They are made with high performing, moisture-wicking LYCRA freshFX fabric. These seamless panties are designed to maximize movement and comfort, while providing built-in moisture wicking, and odor eradicating technology that keeps you fresh and panty-line free. It also comes in three different styles for your personal comfort!

  • The Bikini fit is a classic low-rise bottom that hugs the body with just the right stretch.
  • The Air Thong fit is another option for seamless movement and comfort
  • The boyshort design is a streamlined fit that features more coverage and a snug feel.

 

Wunderbreeches in another FANTASTIC product by FITS. It has a shape flattering blend of cotton, poly and Lycra in a capri length that smooths and hides what you’d prefer not be seen. FITS’ highly opaque blend helps fill cellulite lines and cover skin blemishes. Wunderbreech incorporates a seamless, gusseted crotch for maximum comfort. The capri style is cooler than full length designs that bulk under boots. And the longer length eliminates unsightly and uncomfortable panty and hem lines visible with traditional and knee length underwear. wunderbreechresults

Simply fit them into your breech like a hand into a glove, and pull both garments on at once – the difference will be remarkably apparent, but not transparent!

You’ll like them so much that you’ll want to wear them every time you ride. And they work with any breech, not just FITS. You’ll love the way breathable Wunderbreeches feel next to your skin, whether you’re wearing white breeches or not!

Adding that final touch!

It’s time to add that finishing touch to your breeches! You need a belt.  No question about it.  Putting on that belt pulls everything together and leaves you looking so polished and professional with so many fun choices.


Although there are so many different trends, opinions and styles of breeches out there, we hope that this helps you pick out the riding pants that are perfect for you and your favorite kind of riding whether it’s at home on the farm or out on the cross country field.  If you have more questions you’re more than welcome to call or email us at any time!

 

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