English apparel is not as flashy as the rhinestones you might see in western pleasure or showmanship classes. The look is elegant and refined, but it doesn't have to be boring. While AQHA rules aren?t too strict, Cheryllee Sargent, owner of Cheryllee?s English Tack & Apparel, pointed out some helpful tips to make your English dress a success.
- Sleeves should be able to bend at the elbow.
- The length shouldn?t be so long that you sit on the jacket in the saddle
- The correct sleeve length should be measured with your elbow bent, just like it is when you ride.
- Colors: Stick to black, navy, browns or gray. Wear a lighter color for outdoor/summer events.
- Jackets come in a lot of different fabrics and designs. Stick to what feels comfortable. It's OK to try something a little different with patterns, but just remember this is a traditional event. Conservative is the name of the game.
- Shirt colors do not always have to be white, but think basic. Just make sure it's not an iridescent color.
- Shirts can have piped collars.
- Add a little detail to the shirt with a simple monogram on the front of the collar.
- Boots should be field boots.
- When you buy new boots, buy them about an inch too tall, because they settle.
- Boots should fit snugly around your legs, so they do not slouch.
- English pant styles vary a little. Find something that you're comfortable in, but remember, colors should always be tan or khaki.
- You must wear gloves.
- Makeup should be a finished look within reason. Make sure it's age-appropriate.
- Jewelry should be moderate. Dangling earrings are a definite no.
- Hair should be tucked under the helmet and well-groomed. You don't want fly-aways.