How to Properly Fit Your English Horse Show Attire?

How to Properly Fit Your English Horse Show Attire?

We recognize how important having seamless attire is on horse show day. Our English riding experts have compiled a list of tips and tricks to ordering the best sizing for you! We know every body is unique and we want you to feel comfortable and confident on horse show day! Keep reading to learn how to measure your English riding breeches, jackets and helmets to properly fit. 

How to Measure for English Riding Breeches?

Breeches are athletically inspired pants that persons wear when riding horses. Breeches are often designed with a thin fabric that fits comfortably throughout the leg, thigh, and seat, allowing the leg movement of the rider to be felt by the horse. Having correctly size breeches is the key element to being comfortable when you are riding. There are several styles and options available, and you can choose whatever suits your needs. If you are participating in competitive riding, your clothing needs to fit perfectly to avoid unnecessary friction. Let us look at how to measure for English riding breeches and some tips to make your riding experience worthwhile.

Sizing Guide for English Riding Breeches

Riding breeches come in different shapes, colors, sizes, and technical features. Before going for a particular style, always try to find the correct information about it or consult experts who understand the different brand fits and the rules of each discipline. But basically, breeches should be a comfortable fit, with no creases or patches of saggy fabric that might distract from the look of the pant or create friction against your skin. The legs should be snug but not so tight that they become constricting or uncomfortable. 

Riding breeches are available in different grip options: traditional suede/leather, knee patch breeches, silicone patch material, or full seat breeches. In addition, they come in several fabric blends and types as well. They range in stretches, price, comfort, and technical features. 

Most English riding breeches are manufactured using cotton material because of their soft hand feel and comfort. Choosing the right riding breeches will undoubtedly enhance your horse-riding experience. Comfort is key when riding a horse; with the proper breeches that precisely fit your riding style, you will be able to perform. Not every brand or type of breeches will make you pin higher or ride better in the ribbons, but a perfect fit pair of breeches will certainly make you feel better! Get the right style and fit for you, and you will be riding like a champion.

Best Way to Measure for Riding Breeches

Depending on the style of breeches you want to purchase, you can use a tape measure to measure around your hips and waist. Measure around your hips for low-rise breeches; measure around your waist for regular fit breeches. You should also measure your inseam to ensure that you have the correct length of breeches. Measuring inseam refers to measuring the length of your legs. 

Proper fit breeches should rest just underneath the calf muscle. Most breeches manufacturers have the inseam length indicated. Depending on your inseam length, you can always order long. 

When ordering or purchasing your breeches, keep in mind your waistline. Breeches are usually sold according to the measurement of the waist. To avoid any inconveniences such as making returns and missing your attire on the big day, order a size slightly above your waist measurement. For instance, if the wait measures 25 inches, get riding breeches that are slightly above that.

Importantly, always fit your breeches in the store or once you get them delivered if ordered online. Your breeches should not show any gap on the waist. In addition to that, the suede patches should perfectly fit your knees. 

Tips & Tricks for Measuring your English Riding Breeches

  • Always tuck in your shirt. Untucked shirts are always flattering and tend to look frumpy regardless of your shape.
  • Your vest should be good and correctly fitted. A perfect vest helps in creating a desirable silhouette, conceals problems, and makes you look professional and neat.
  • Always stick to breeches made from denim or thicker cotton materials. These are the most flattering fabrics that offer structure because of their thickness and help in hiding imperfection.
  • Regardless of your shape or size, choose breeches with wider waistbands and wear them with a wider belt. This is usually more comfortable and flattering.
  • If you are a full-seat breeches person, always go for pants with a darker seat, like white pants with a gray seat. This helps in achieving a slimmer effect. Avoid wearing darker pants with a lighter seat.
  • Most of the underlined jackets tend to have a cutting for a tighter fight. To allow a bit more room for comfort, get up a size.
  • To reduce bulk, wear a thin shirt underneath the technical fabric show coats. Similarly, under technical coats, avoid large belts to prevent unflattering bulges.

Settling for less should never be part of your options when purchasing breeches. Great breeches are meant to make you ready for anything, from your initial course, the dressage course, to that tricky series of tempi changes. The only way to get the breeches that fit your waist and preference is to identify a reputable supplier such as Equoware, an equestrian boutique that offers stylish and high-quality clothing for the show ring and for the horse stables and specialize in high-quality goods for riders of all levels, including pleasure and competition riders, and for their companion animals. 

Equestrian Knee Patch & Full Seat Breeches

How to Size an English Riding Jacket?

Learning how to size an English riding jacket can sometimes feel like you need advanced fitting skills and an encyclopedic knowledge of American and European sizing. Technical fabrics add in another layer of difficulty with sizing due to their ability to stretch in all directions. Our AA Motion Lite Hunt Coat in Aviator Blue is made up of our favorite technical fabric. 

You may need a smaller size to achieve a proper fit with a fabric that has a lot of stretch. Ultimately, you want to look good in the show ring, and Equoware has English riding jackets from European and American makers that are sure to fit and look good. Here's a look at what you need to know about how to size and fit an English riding jacket:

Fitting the Jacket

The cut and fit of your English riding jacket needs to match show rules for riding attire. 

Shoulders. Begin checking the fit of your selected jacket at the shoulders. Oftentimes, a show jacket can be tailored for a better fit, but the shoulders can't be altered. First, check to see where the shoulder seam ends. It should be in alignment with the edge of your shoulders in order to provide enough room for movement. If you're not sure of the alignment, get out the measuring tape and have someone take the measurement. You want the shoulder seam to extend 1/2" past your shoulder.

Front and Buttons. Button the jacket closed and look for bulges, gathers, wrinkles or gaps. The lapel should lie smoothly along the upper chest, and the jacket opening should come to the V-point above the bust. The closed jacket front needs to lie smoothly between each button and not ride up or gap when you move. An English riding jacket is darted to bring it in at the waist, creating a waistline. This should fall at or near your natural waistline. You can see a perfect waistline fit example on the model wearing our AA Mesh Motion Lite Hunt Coat in Burgundy.

Hem Length. The hem of the coat should end just past your hip or slightly lower. It shouldn't cover your entire bottom, but it can be a little lower if you have a short hip length. You want the hem to dust the back of your saddle when you sit. What you don't want is a hem so long that you wind up sitting on it as you ride. You can tell if the length is too long when the back of the jacket bunches horizontally across your lower back when you sit down. 

Sleeve Length and Fit. To check the length of the sleeve, let your arms hang down at your sides. The sleeve should reach the first knuckle joint of your hand. It can be a little longer, but not too much. Bend your arm into your riding position to see how far back the sleeve pulls. If the length is correct, the sleeve will land at your wrist. English riding jackets usually come with extra fabric in the sleeves to allow for lengthening, but they can also be shortened when necessary.

European Versus U.S. Sizing

English riding coats are made by U.S. and European manufacturers, and both regions have different sizing charts. American manufacturers are also known for cutting their sizes a little big, or using their own internal sizing system.

The fitting details above help you overcome the need to translate the difference in sizing, but it's good to be able to have a general idea of fit when you see a European size. Here's a guide for size comparison:

US / UK / Europe / Italian

  • XXS / 6 / 32 / 40
  • XS / 8 / 34 / 42
  • Small / 10 / 36 / 44
  • Medium / 12 / 38-40 / 46
  • Large / 14 / 40-42 / 48
  • XL / 16 / 42-44 / 50
  • XXL / 18 / 46 / 52

Other sizing factors to take into consideration include:

Slim. A slim fit denotes the jacket is cut for someone whose body is narrow or slender.

Tall. The tall fit features a longer length between the shoulder to the waist to provide a smooth fit without bunching at the waistline in back. 

Endowed. All measurements are the same, but the bust area has more room for women who are larger than the average B/C cup cut. Click here to shop our AA Mesh Motion Lite Show Coat in Black

Equestrian Show Coats

How to Measure for a Horse Riding Helmet?

Horseback riding is a very dangerous sport, and unfortunately head injuries are fairly common. Because of this reality, the most important piece of equipment that a rider has will always be their helmet. We cannot stress enough the importance of having a helmet that properly fits your head. We also would like to stress the importance of being sure that your helmet should be certified for safety specific to horseback riding. You can always check the rating on your helmet, as it will be printed on the inside of your helmet for easy reference. All of our helmets are double, or triple certified for safety.

The purpose of a helmet is to protect the head in case of an accident. A properly fitted helmet is extremely important because it decreases the chances of a head injury. Moreover, a helmet that does not fit right has a negative impact on your performance. If your helmet is too tight, wearing it will be distracting. In contrast, a loose helmet can obscure your vision, which can make horse riding dangerous. If you are currently shopping for a horse-riding helmet, here is a guide that will help you to get the helmet of the right size. 

Measuring Your Head for a Helmet

You should follow the following step to measure your head correctly and get the best-fitted helmet possible:

  • Measure the head. You need to measure the widest part of your head that is about one inch above the eyebrows. It is recommended to use a soft fabric measuring tape, so it is fitted snugly to the head. It is better to have a family member or friend with you who can help you with the measurements. 
  • Try a helmet on. When you place a helmet on your head, you need to make sure that it is lying horizontally. A helmet should feel snug but comfortable at the same time. It should not rock forwards or backward. Also, be sure to try on a helmet with your hair in the same style in which you are going to ride. Make sure that the chinstrap fits snugly and is not hanging loose under the chin. There should be enough space between the strap and chin to squeeze a finger. 
  • Evaluate how a helmet fits. When you are evaluating the fit, consider the shape of a helmet. Helmets come in different sizes and shapes, and not all of them are suitable for every head. For example, if a helmet is more rounded than your head, it may rock side-to-side. Therefore, you need to make sure that a helmet is not sliding freely. If it is, then you should probably look for a different shape. 

Head Shapes

There are two head shapes - oval and round. Most people have an oval-shaped head. However, there are also some people with a round-shaped one. It is important to know the shape of your head and take it into consideration because it affects how a helmet fits, as well as its comfort. Most riding helmets are designed for oval-shaped heads because this shape is more common. 

If you are not sure what shape your head is, here is what you can do to figure it out. You should flatten your head as much as you can and ask someone to look at the top of it - they will be able to tell you what head size you have. 

Riding Helmet Size Chart

Since helmets may fit differently from different manufacturers, there is no standardized sizing chart for riding helmets. Moreover, there are also different shapes of helmets. There can be variances and differences within product lines from the same manufacturer.

According to the Samshield Helmet Size Chart, a small helmet is between 6,5 and 7 inches, a medium helmet is between 7 and 7,25 inches, and a large helmet is between 7,12 and 7,6 inches. Click here to shop our Kask Starlady Riding Helmet in Hunter Black. 

Equestrian Helmets