Ignoring your teenager's complaints is one way to get through what can be a difficult parenting phase. Deb Tomazin did the opposite. She listened to her daughter's rants about her riding shirts, and created a product, DickieDuds®, to address them. And, voila! A nice little business was born.
DickieDuds are show shirts for english riders, "ratcatchers," made "dickie" style. For those not old enough to remember the dickie style turtlenecks and such of the 1960s, a dickie shirt consists of the collar and fabric that extends roughly to the waist in front and back. It has no sleeves or sides.
When Deb's daughter was a young teenager, she could never find a ratcatcher that fit right. "They would bunch up under her armpit and look bulky when tucked into her riding pants and they were hot," Deb recalls. "She didn't like the colors and often lost the collars. How much time have we all spent searching the trailer for that collar?"
Deb went to her friend and now DickieDuds partner Kris Powers and asked her to make a reversible ratcatcher prototype. It didn't take long to design and it caught on quickly with other riders.
The clever shirt has many attributes. Worn over a camisole or t-shirt, a DickieDuds shirt helps riders stay cool and comfortable. The 100% cotton fabric is reversible, usually featuring a solid color on one side and a pattern on the other. The ease of getting them on and off makes them ideal for riders who want to change their look between horses and/or classes at a show. The neck sizing is adjustable and the collars are permanently attached and held in place with Velcro while riding. DickieDuds come in a standard size that fits almost all children and adults, and a plus size for "fuller fillies," Deb explains. The high quality, sturdy fabric washes easily and lasts a long time.
Based in Hummelstown, PA, DickieDuds introduced its shirts six or seven years ago. Business partners Deb and Kris both have full time jobs elsewhere, so they have purposely followed a slow growth plan. The shirts have a strong following among 4H and breed show competitors who want to change quickly between classes in different riding styles. They're ideal for 4H pairs competitions, allowing both riders to synch their color schemes at minimal cost.
In short, they're perfect for anyone looking for a high quality, comfortable show shirt at a reasonable price. "Heck, dressage riders have
been wearing dickies for years," notes Deb. "Why not hunters, jumpers, eventers and other english riders?"
For more information on DickieDuds, visit