The relationship between horses and female fashion started long ago and was quite a complicated one. One of the main questions that always bothered the equestrian society at different times was whether women should ride sidesaddle or astride.
The first one was associated with good taste, virtue and high class, the second was perceived by conservative circles as wild, too liberal and even rebellious, because in order to ride astride a woman would have to borrow the silhouettes from the male riding clothes (think of jodhpurs-special riding pants, riding boots and hacking jacket). Ironically this is exactly why some men find this style particularly attractive for women!
So when introducing the equestrian style to your wardrobe, you can either opt for a more feminine look (using midi skirts, silk romantic white blouses, leather vests) or go for a stronger look, borrowed from the menswear introducing breeches or tight leather pants, hacking jacket, and a polo. Leather boots, a hacking jacket and a saddle bag are the most recognizable essentials of the equestrian style.
The above mentioned ways of recreating equestrian style are quite classic, using neutral and achromatic colors (beige, brown, black and white), but you can play with it in so many different ways. You can make it as classic and traditional, or as bright and dynamic as you want (see below pics). All will depend on your facial features and contrast of your complexion.
Accessories are incredibly important in this style! They give the look its unmistakable signature. Think of horseshoe, horse bit and stirrup elements of design on belts, shoes, boots, scarves, bracelets, necklaces, earrings… For inspiration turn to the big fashion houses which traditionally manufactured high-end leather goods, such as Hermès and Gucci. Their signature horse bit and horse shoe elements and prints will be a great touch to your equestrian look. Ralph Lauren is also continuously inspired by the riding theme (see the above looks, as well as gallery below). I personally admire his style!
From the more affordable brands, take a look at Michael Kors, Max Mara weekend, Tory Burch, Massimo Dutti. As for accessories, turn to Dimacci.
Who would benefit the best from this style? Which woman would really shine in an Equestrian outfit? On the one hand we need a face with evenly proportioned, evenly spaced, symmetrical features to support the classic inner refinement of the style. On the other hand we need a soft roundness of the features and a warmer color of the hair, eyes and skin reflecting the natural aspect of this style. A woman with a more dramatic appearance (slightly stronger, more dynamic and sharper features) would need to adjust her Equestrian look by keeping the silhouette very sleek and introduce sharp contrast of black and white. During a personal consultation I can help you determine which variation of this style would suit you best.
A woman who looks great in Equestrian style will also look amazing in a Safari outfit. Read on about Safari style here on my blog and get inspired!