How to Size an English Riding Jacket

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.

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. 


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. 

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:


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


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. 


All measurements are the same, but the bust area has more room for women who are larger than the average B/C cup cut.

Shop: Equestrian Show Coats