Who doesn’t want to look good without breaking the bank? Showing horses can be a wallet buster, but there are ways to look and feel your best in the show pen without spending a fortune. These 6 budget-friendly fashion ideas will any show girl look great in the show pen.
1. Plain Shirts are IN!
Don’t feel like your show outfits have to be blinged up to the max. You can get a great look in the show pen with a plain collared shirt and a scarf to accent. Check out brands names like Hobby Horse and Royal Highness Equestrian, both of which carry lines of plain shirts and scarves that look great in the ring. Choose a color that is complementary to both you and your horse and be sure your shirt fits your body type and accentuates your best features. There are no crystals and studs to distract, so color and fit are very important.
2. Get creative and D-Y-I
There are some beautiful show shirts, vests, and jackets in the world of horse shows that started out as very plain pieces of clothing. A little imagination and some of your time can turn that sows ear into a silk purse!
If you are artistic, hand painting can result in unique and beautiful jackets, vests, and shirts. Be sure to test in an unseen spot to make sure the paint will adhere well to your fabric. Also check for washing instructions for the paint you choose. Crafts stores can guide you to the best paints for fabric.
Adding crystals, studs and stones make a dramatic difference. Patience is the key here in that you need to glue each stone or crystal individually. There are several good glues available so that hot gluing is not required. Again, craft stores can guide you to the best glue for this type of embellishment. Studs can be rim-set with the proper equipment or glued as well. Although time consuming, the “WOW factor” is well worth it in the end.
For those of you that sew, you can really add up the saving by buying fabric on sale and making your own clothes. We’ve seen some super cute vests that started out as remnants from the local fabric store! Using the same embellishing ideas discussed above, the sky’s the limit on where you can take your handmade show attire. Be sure to take anything you need to match or coordinate with when shopping for fabric, such as saddle pads and existing pieces of clothing. You want everything to go together harmoniously to give you that finished, polished look in the show pen.
3. Shop sale and clearance racks
Every piece of show clothing does not have to be a specific brand and you don’t always have to spend the full MSRP. Bargains can be found not only at your local tack store, but at your favorite clothing stores as well. Remember, you can embellish to make it more “Western” and show ring ready.
4. Check out local tack swaps for used clothing
People who take good care of their clothing may be selling show clothes that look almost new. Check for obvious stains, tears or areas of sun bleaching. And, of course, fit is always important, so be sure to try things on before you buy.
5. Quality can be a money saver, too
If you do need to buy a more expensive brand name piece of clothing, consider it an investment. Well cared for items have value for resale. Remember, you too were once looking for a well constructed, good fitting shirt or jacket. Folks will be happy to pay a discounted price for that same item that is clean and shows little or no wear.
6. Your local tack store, trainer, or fellow horse show pal can be lots of help in getting your show ring look put together
If you are unsure about color or fit, ask a professional or a trusted friend. At The Wire Horse, we love helping our customers put together the outfit that sets them apart in the show pen. It’s a team effort and that is part of the fun!
These 6 budget-friendly fashion ideas can save you some dough so that you can enjoy your horse habit without stressing about your wallet.