BLONDIE IN BREECHES

Equestrian sport, fashion, fitness and lifestyle.


Fashion
Fashion ideas for on, and off the horse.
Boots for your Monday


Over the past few years equestrian fashion has gone through a drastic transformation with the addition of high performance fabrics, new colours, patterns and styles. Nothing has changed quite like the humble boot. 

Gone are the days of a plain black or brown boot, now they quite literally come in every colour, texture and pattern under the sun. 

Here we have chronicled a few of our favourites. 
 Clock wise from left: 1.Celeris Bia boots in blue. Via Celeris UK Instagram. 2. De Niro Raffaello with Rondine top, via De Niro Boots Facebook. 3. Secchiari Boots in Red Croco Via Equiclass Facebook 4. De Niro Salento Via Joshua Jones UK.

 Our five top tips for boot shopping:
1. Always shop around, you can often get great bargains from looking at online stores and sales. Also, don't be scared to ask a store if they can get a different leg length or width, many stores only stock the most popular fits but often manufacturers have great solutions and options for people who aren't an 'off the peg' fit.

2. Allow at least 2cm for drop. As you break them in they will drop, especially in the ankle. You don't want to end up with boots that are half way up your calf once they've been worn in. 

3. Go for thicker leather, while it might be a pain to break in, it will last much better in the long run. Many boots, especially jumper boots can be made of very thin leather which has very little structural support. While they are super comfy, you might be shopping for new boots within a year or two. 

4. Look after them! Never, ever use them as gum boots, (I am guilty of this)  wipe them off every time you ride to protect them from sweat and dust, use the correct cleaner and conditioner, and store them properly with boot trees and they will do you well. 

5. Have fun! If you're anything like me, you live in your boots, they need to be comfortable and smart, but with all the new design options and textures, you can have anything you could possibly dream of. Have fun with it, don't fit the mould. 
 

Rainy Day Essentials

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1.    A Properly Waterproof Raincoat
This is pretty obvious, but finding and keeping a good jacket waterproof can be a challenge. I always look at the mountaineering brands as they tend to be lightweight, well insulated and really waterproof. Some cycling and running brands also have great bargains to be found. My favourite lightweight jacket is an adidas running mint coloured one that I picked up and it’s amazing! I also have a fleece lined Joules jacket and it’s my best friend in winter. 

You should never wash a waterproof jacket unless you use a product like scotch guard or another waterproofer to prevent damage to the coating. Another no, no is fabric softeners which will destroy the protective barrier on the material.

    2.    Waterproof/Insulated gloves.
Yep these do exist, Roeckl, Ariat and a few other brands have all come out with some awesome solutions! They keep your grip on the reins steady and non slippery as well as your paws warm. 

    3.    Mohair/ waterproof socks.

This is a trick that my farmer uncle taught me, a good pair of outdoor/ mountaineering socks will be your best friend. They are cosy and new technology means the come with padded foot beds, lightweight weaves and are super comfy under boots. You also now get waterproof socks (I kid you not) Sealskinz make awesome pairs but again an outdoor stores are once again your best bet. 

    4.    A non fabric helmet
Now I know that this seems odd but I have seen too many luxury helmets ruined by torrential rain! If you have a velvet / alacantra / suede helmet, please I beg of you do not train in the torrential rain with it. It will affect the dye and encourage bleaching. If you do have to ride in the rain, keep it for shows and then let the helmet air dry and softly brush with a clean cloth.

    5.    Boot covers                                          
Yep these babies may not be the most stylish but they will save your boots from the elements. Trudging around in mud is not ideal so these babies will save your boots from clogged soles and wet toes. 

    6.    Leather oil
When your tack gets wet the best option is to let it air dry and the give it some TLC with a good quality balm or leather oil. I love the Passier, Stubbed and Equipe products but any brand will do. Just remember that wet leather should never be placed near direct heat as it will crack and that the moisture can result in the dye leaking a bit, especially ink black tack. 

Some final tips…

Wet weather can wreak havoc with your riding gear. If you are wearing light coloured breeches remember that your gloves and tack can leave marks that can be tough to remove. Also remember that changes in heat can make you susceptible to a cold so lots of vitamin C and a spare change of clothes is always a necessity. Lastly, on fresh horses, a little bit of saddle stick can go a long way. 

 
Horse Show Style
 
Belts

Belts, oh belts, I could write about belts for a whole day, but I won’t. There are so many options to choose from, from classic plain leather, to elastic, to designer labels, to personally beaded or crafted ones. The key rule is never buy too small and always make sure the belt loops on your breeches fit properly. Thicker belts help control a muffin top if you’re like me and don’t have six pack abs and keeping your breeches in line with a  belt makes for a much sleeker and more fitted look. Every riding brand now has their own line but choose your favourite and stick to it. Also, make sure the buckle is saddle friendly, you don’t want to be digging into your saddle every time you dismount. 

Jewellery

Jewellery is, for me at least, the ultimate personal touch. Most of my favourite pieces have either been handed down from my mom or grandmother or have been gifted to me by friends. The old pony club manuals will tell you that jewellery was a safety no no but the trick is to make sure there is nothing to catch or hang and make sure its tough enough to handle a day at the stables. There really is no one way to style it and so it’s all up to you. Whether its beaded bracelets for Hermes Clic Clac’s. Rings or stacked necklaces, it all adds to your look. A small pair of pearl earrings is completely timeless and a favourite with riders in all disciplines. Find your groove and go for it, just remember when you head into the ring, you should look polished and professional with no dangling bits. 

Hat
Now maybe it’s because I have been bought up in a sunny country, or maybe it’s the fact that I don’t look good in helmet hair, but a baseball cap or hat is one thing I cannot do without at a show. Lately, I have been favouring a Panama with a loose bun underneath it for coverage but a classic baseball cap is always brilliant. For shows, dark colours tend to work better as they look smarter longer and many of your favourite stores will have their own, I always think it’s great to support your local stores and favourite suppliers so cling onto that baseball cap and rock it. 

Shoes & Bags

Shoes are so much fun, whether it’s your old all stars, nike, deck shoes or whatever, the key is to keep them comfortable, keep them tonal with your outfit and make sure they can stand up to horse show mud, dust and scratches. Some of my favourite shoes i’ve seen are off the amazing site Imoda Shop they have amazing smaller runs of shoes that are hard to find any where else. Bags are an easy accessory but on horse show days they need to be able to fit everything in, from water bottles to boots to helmets. Samshield, Maelort and tons of other manufacturers make purpose built back packs but there are other solutions that are just as functional and fun. I love carrying a Kenyan weaved basket that my trainer gave me, it’s massive, fits everything and is easy to clean out at the end of the day. It’s my go to bag for everything from work to training. 


On a last note, there are certain colour schemes that never go out of style, navy and tan, black, grey and bottle green are always classics. Leather details and classic cuts will instantly make you look classy. Don’t over complicate it, but keep your personality, and most of all, have fun!



Image Credits: 
1. Noelle Floyd Style // Meghan Bacso. 2. Cavalleria Toscana. 3.Dimacci Jewellery. 4. Illesteva Milan Sunglasses. 

​Jessica Mendoza wears Taylor Morris Eyewear. 
 
Earlier this week, Noelle Floyd Style published a stunning album of images by the very talented Meghan Bacso at the WEF U25 Grand Prix. Now, if there is one thing that is my guilty pleasure it is drooling over style and effortlessness that some of the top young riders always seem to bring to the showgrounds, in and out of the saddle. 

Before they button up their jackets and strap on their spurs, certain young stars like Jess Mendoza, Emma Heise and Lillie Keenan all seem to command a style of their own that is both practical, functional and effortlessly classy. In a sport where white breeches and jackets are a staple, it’s fascinating to see how each rider brings their own personality to their look and how they accessorise a uniform and turn it into a stamp. 

The one thing we constantly see in these classy girls is minimalist make up, easy wearable fabrics, and the ability to mix athleisure trends and high fashion.


The basics

The basics are the foundation, no doubt, and well fitting breeches, boots and a shirt give you a great canvas for creating individual style. There are so many brands that are creating affordable, fashion forward and easy to wear looks. Whether you are going for classy and streamlined or a more classic tailored look, there is a multitude to choose from. Some of my favourites include classic navy bombers and easy sweat jackets. Paired with a gilet if its cold or a cosy jersey, it creates an effortless look by the ring and neutral colours are always in style. 

Eye wear

Eye wear has been a massive trend for the past few years and is one of the easiest ways to accessorise your look. Whether you cling to the classic wayfarer or have taken a nod fro the Dior show and are rocking updated aviators and mirror lenses, there has never been an easier way to infuse your own personal style in just one piece. Jess Mendoza wears Taylor Morris Eye Wear but we found some incredible deals from manufacturers like BondiBlu, Lundun, Rayban and of course your local boutiques. As well as being stylish good quality eyewear can be a life saver when you’re in the sand arena under the baking sun.