With the summer show season around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to share some of my (affordable) show favorites. I'm sure many of us are terrified by the price of showing, but hopefully for those of you that are buying your first show outfit, or just wanting to freshen up your look, these items won't break the bank and will last you more than one season.
Last year I purchased this jacket from SmartPak on major sale (like less that $50 major sale). I knew it wouldn't fit perfectly because I usually have a hard time finding blazer or jackets that fit my build. I took it to my local tailor, and $50 later had a show coat custom fit to my body! I wore it to rated shows and always felt confident in it. It's lightweight (perfect for summer), machine washable, easy to keep clean, and doesn't wrinkle. This jacket is going to go with me as I step into the hunter ring for the first time this year.
I found this Kerrits shirt when I was digging through a local liquidator store and fell in love. I was lucky enough to get it for $25 and later found it in lavendar for the same price...which of course had to come home as well. This shirt is a little more than I would normally spend, but it is a great summer show shirt. You can find a few colors and limited sizes on Amazon for less than $40. It's lightweight, fits well, and I love the collar print. This Ariat version looks very similar and is cheaper. If you want to be more covered, I would recommend these Noble Outfitters shirts. I have two that I rotate. If you can wait, don't buy them for full price. They always go on sale and I have gotten mine for less than $30.
I have found that it's very helpful to have at least two show shirts. If you're going to a weekend show, getting home at 8pm after a full day on your feet, the last thing you want to do is wash a shirt...or potentially get stuck wearing a green stained shirt the next day.
I am a firm believer that most tan show breeches look pretty much the same. It's just finding the best pair for your body. I have two pairs that I have designated as my "show breeches." I have been very impressed with Ovations breeches (these are $50!), and have found that they are good quality and fit really well. If you're okay to spend a little more, I highly recommend this style of Ovation breeches.
I found my favorite belt at a tack swap for $5, but my secret weapon is a black and brown reversible belt that I bought on Amazon. If you don't want to spend more than $20 and want a belt that can work on a range of outfits, go reversible. I've also had my eye on this adorable stirrup belt from Rosettes and Rose. I think it would be a fun way to add color to a show outfit and is $20. While you're finalizing the last items for your show outfit, don't forget your hairnet or gloves. I love my "No Knot" hairnet and SSG gloves.
My Biggest Tip
Go to your local tack store, try on everything you need, go home, and get on google. I try to only buy items when they are on sale, or find them second hand.