Horse Show Trends

This week I wanted to find out what is happening at the horse shows in terms of fashion. For this I turned to some of the experts. I interviewed three different people from three different areas and they all had some great insight to offer.

First is Linda Zeise-Ash of L. Louise Custom Clothing. She is from Wisconsin and makes show clothes for people all over the country that show at the highest levels. Second, I interviewed Trista Mallow and Keri Collins, the owners of Closet Space Consignment and Boutique. Their store offers consignment horse show apparel as well as everyday clothing items. Closet Space also carries a wide variety of Kimes Ranch jeans and other Kimes apparel. Lastly, I talked to Livvie Van Lanen. Livvie shows her horse “All But Sudden”or Stevie in the all-around events at many of the major shows across the country. She even recently graced the cover of the Equine Chronicle with Stevie recently!

Linda Zeise-Ash

What details/styles have your clients been requesting when you are designing a horse show look for them and are any of theses aspects consistently reoccurring? 

Linda with her daughter Autumn

“It really depends on the customer, if my customer is a girl that is riding for the all around, we like to go with a nice fitted horsemanship blouse with embellishments and possibly contrasting color across the upper third of the front and back bodice of her blouse and down the sleeves.  We also like to carry that same color that the chaps are, into the waist area of the blouse so it gives her a long, leaner, quiet look.  Then we add a vest for the trail and western riding classes that goes right over the blouse, so from a distant it looks like it could be a jacket.  This vest can be a contrasting color at the waist area, as long as her body and horse size can handle the contrast at her waist.  And what I mean by that is, if she is a shorter girl on a tall horse you would keep the color of her chaps going up into the chest area of her vest to help give her length, and just the opposite if the rider is tall and the horse is short.  On this vest we also can embellish it with rhinestones, applique, fringe, chains, buttons, nail heads, jewelry pieces…there are so many unique embellishments we can choose from, it really is personal preference.  If my customer is strictly a pattern girl and will just be doing the horsemanship, then we do a nice fitted horsemanship blouse and carry that same color that the chaps are, into the waist area of the blouse so it gives her a long, quiet look.  My customers also like to add contrasting colors, rhinestones, nail heads, and jewelry pieces to help jazz up their blouse and give them that squared off look.   I have been putting together the blouse/vest combo for years along with the nice fitted horsemanship blouses, so yes they are reoccurring.”

What are your favorite trends that you hope to see continue or grow in popularity at the breed show circuits this season?

“I have always liked variety; applique and rhinestones, the solid look, the wild and crazy with everything on it look.  That way it is all personal preference which is really important, because what it all comes down to is when you walk in that pen you really need to feel like you can win the world so you have to be wearing an outfit that your proud to be in.” 

Trista Mallow and Keri Collins

When people come in to look for show clothes from your consignment store, what are the popular styles they are asking for?

“Most of our customers have an idea of what they are looking for when they come into our store.  With that in mind there are numerous factors that we consider when trying to find the right outfit for them.  First, it depends on what breed and level they are showing at, then we consider what class they need the outfit for.  Each customer has their own unique style and taste along with a vision of what look they want to achieve.  Some customers have strict color tastes for themselves or for their horses.  Of course body type plays a role as well when considering what outfit is the best fit.  We always suggest trying everything on and even trying the outfits that might not be in your comfort zone. You just never know until you see it on.  It is our job to assist our customers in finding the perfect outfit that fits right and completes their vision.”

Is there an abundance of a certain style that people are consigning but shoppers do not seem to be interested in anymore?

“Overall, I would say the lycra based 'pleasure shirt' that was popular a few years back, but if they are in great condition and priced right they still sell.  Customers have really turned to more of a 'jacket' type made out of a more sturdy material that is more flattering on all body types.” 

What are your favorite trends that you hope to see continue or grow in popularity at the breed show circuits this season?

“The popular usage of texture is still a favorite of ours since it adds a uniqueness to each garment.  We are also excited to see more of the geometric look that has surfaced this year.  Another one of our favorites is the classic button down shirt.  When fitted correctly you cannot go wrong!”

Livvie Van Lanen

As an exhibitor that travels to many large AQHA shows, what are some of the popular styles of western show apparel that you have seen this season?

“As an exhibitor that competes nationally I have noticed many different trends in show clothes this season. I've seen a lot of clothing this season with large stones, broaches, and details etc. It all depends on what you like and the class you're competing in. It also seems that more people are showing in jeweled and detailed hats.” 

What are your favorite trends that you hope to see continue or grow in popularity at the breed show circuits this season?

“In my opinion, less is more when it comes to show clothes. Classy and elegant show clothes are much more appealing to the eye in the pen. You have to be careful when buying a shirt because some clothes may look great up close but get lost in the distance. I think it's great to choose a look you love and try to coordinate your other outfits along with it.” 

I want to extend a huge thank you to my interview participants for contributing to this article! Please share with us some of your favorite fashion trends this season. #fashionwithkimes #horseshowtrends

-Kerry