Spring starts officially on March 20th. For many that's reason enough to hit the tack stores to see what's new in apparel for the season and for fast-approaching summer, which, actually, has felt like it's been here since the holidays, at least in Southern California. But if an official change of season is not sufficient inspiration to go see what's new in person, here are several new pieces to whet your appetite for the seasons' delights.
All Mesh Show Coat Beats The Heat
Aptly named the Zephyr, this latest innovation from FITS is the first all-mesh coat suitable for the highest rated shows. Made from PowerMesh open-cell fabric, the Zephyr cleverly features a single thickness in the underarm, double in the body for the appearance of a solid fabric, and triple in trim areas like lapels for a crisp, tailored look.
"Show coats are a hot, sweaty sauna box for riders to endure," says Sheryl Rudolph, founder of the Portland company whose name is an acronym for "Fun In The Saddle." "Even when coats are finally excused as the temperature rises, many riders are loath to give them up if they can bear it, because they feel the more professional appearance gives them an edge."
With dramatic advancements in fabric technologies, there are no longer barriers to reimagining what a show coat could be. "With PowerMesh, we have a stunningly light and airy coat that, paired with, one of our breathable show shirts, it allows you to compete almost as though you're wearing only your sports bra," Sheryl laughs.
The Zephyr is double vented for any discipline, with beautifully feminine seaming, and accented slash pockets continuing the flattering lines. Matching buttons and the wonderful ease of wash-and-wear care complete this uniquely comfortable and stunning coat. It pairs particularly well with two airy FITS show shirts: the Anna silk-touch mesh, or the Waffle Tech II.
The Zephyr is available in black with subtle silver piping at collar and zip pockets, for a suggested retail price of $328.
More info: www.FITSriding.com.
We've heard that cutting edge dressage trends have Italy nudging Germany out of the top spot when it comes to designing the most sought-after new fashions. Animo epitomizes that in apparel for the hunter/jumper and dressage set, and so does this beautiful Cadence Shadbelly from Equiline. The coat also reflects ongoing preferences for subtle bling and for high performance fabrics that are cool and allow maximum freedom of movement.
The Cadence is made of X-Cool Evo fabric, which is elastic, breathable and water repellent. Adjustable weights in the coat tails allow the wearer to customize how the tails fall. Crystal piping on the collar and points (the vest points that peak out below the waist hem in front), Swarovsky buttons and a crystal design on the collar's back represent high fashion finishes.
Relaxed regulations regarding permissible colors and accents in show clothes are inspiring riders to buy new coats more often than in the past, but, at approximately $1,300, the Cadence is one you'll want to ride in for a long time! For a little more, you can customize this coat in many ways.
More info: www.horseandriderboutique.com or www.dressageextensions.com.
Noble Is New & Noteworthy
Noble Outfitters (formerly Noble Equine) is a relative newcomer to the apparel world, but the Modesto-company's name is cropping up frequently among riders and apparel buyers for their fun, functional and affordable offerings.
"This is their second season of clothing and they are trying to revolutionize apparel with high tech fabrics in very nicely made products," reports Rachel Lamb of The Tack Room, which is also based in Modesto. "They go out into the field, see what riders want and need, then try to provide it."
As our warm winter weather shows no sign of abating, we are likely in for a hot spring and summer. Noble Outfitters has just the ticket for that in the Lil' Lover Tank. It features a fun, drape design and keyhole-shaped ventilation at the back of the neck and it works equally well while riding in the heat or during a sizzling night on the town. The fabric is light silk-weight performance jersey and the cut features a dropped hem in the back so the shirt won't creep up. Opti-Dry technology wicks moisture and the shirt retails for just $22.99.
Noble's Doubleheader™ Day Pack is a great year-round accessory. It's a structured helmet bag that doubles as a day pack with ample compartments for keys, phones, horse cookies, hair nets, etc. Ample ventilation systems keep helmet odors at bay and the hat itself is protected from anything that might scratch its surface. This brand new offering is priced at $59.99.
More info: www.nobleoutfitters.com.
The Kerrits Crop
Mary Cobey of Kerrits Performance Equestrian Apparel is excited about the Bingen, WA-company's spring offerings. "These vibrant spring hues and prints introduce the bright fresh colors that we are seeing in fashion. Bright corals and hints of purple are great paired with neutral breeches and tights to give a classic equestrian look a pop of color for the season"
The Spring Pasture Cap is the perfect way to top off an outfit. This feminine-shape cotton cap is embellished with an exclusive Kerrits whimsical horse silhouette and the short bill provides sun protection and visibility. At $24, it's a great way to spice up your spring wardrobe.
Colors galore adorn Kerrits' $10 boot socks. This ultra-thin, knee-high boot sock allows an easy entrance and exit for those hard-to-remove boots. They are breathable, lightweight and quick drying. And you can personalize your outfit by matching your favorite print top.
Kerrit has two ways to help riders stay extra cool this summer. The Ice Fil® Mesh Tank is an ultra-light tank made from Ice Fil fabric technology, which moves perspiration from the skin through the fabric and leaves behind a cool sensation. Sporty style is slim fitting and super stretchy; with an extended back hem and back pocket providing convenient glove storage. Price tag: $39
The Venti Tank is made of breathable Cooltek™ fabric, which offers advanced ventilation while fast wick, fresh assurance properties evaporate moisture. Fun seasonal colors in a figure flattering riders cut, plus an invisible zip side pocket for storing riding essentials. The Venti tank is $44.
More info: www.kerrits.com.
California's own Goode Rider, of Sonoma, has a mission of bringing mainstream fashion trends into the saddle and this season is no exception. The Ideal Show Shirt is a longtime favorite and here it's updated with "sexy slimming, diagonal stripes and a flirty retro print," says Lorna Goode. Another favorite, the Elite shirt, has been tweaked for the times with a subtle ruching at the front and sleeve and slimming ribbed side panels. The Ideal shirt is priced at $57 and the Elite, $79.
More info: www.gooderider.com.