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  • Writer's pictureEmma Koprowski

Showing Your Style with Horse Show Beauty Designs

Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak. -Rachel Zoe

In the many years of horse showing, we’ve seen many trends come and go- the

tall crowned and short brimmed hats, the scalloped chaps, the colorful breeches and

most notably of all, bling. Styles have evolved and fashion has entered the game.

Although horse shows are truly about showing off the horse’s abilities, they have also

become an avenue to express your one of a kind style and meticulously choose an

ensemble that accentuates you and your horse. Deciphering your personal style within

the horse show arena can be a tricky process, but there are a few areas to focus on that

can help you create your signature look.

Horse Show Beauty Design

Start with the basics. Before overwhelming yourself with the “what ifs” of which

type of garment is right for you, focus on your color story. Picking the perfect color story

for you and your horse will pack the most punch regardless of if you choose to go blingy

or minimalistic. To start, decide if you want to go neutral, colorful or neutral with a pop

of color. Based on the color of your horse, search for complimentary colors. The

intention is to accent their color- not fight against it. Pay attention to depth of color and

undertones- are they a deep liver chestnut or a pale sorrel color? Steer clear of pale

colors on lighter horses so you don’t compete with their pale coloring. Balance your look

with rich colors which can be incorporated in your hat, top, chaps, tack and pad. These

tricks will help you put together a killer color story (pro tip: Pinterest is your best

friend!). Here’s a quick cheat sheet to some incredible combos:

Horse Color

Accent Color

Neutral Colors

Tips / Tricks

Bay Brown Black Gray

Purple: Eggplant, Royal Purple Blue: Royal Blue, Aqua, Teal Pink: Hot Pink, Fushia, Raspberry Red: Cherry Red, Deep Red, Burgundy

Black Chocolate Taupe Copper Rose Gold Camel Rust Black Gray / Gunmetal Silver

This group usually goes well in any color. Generally, I suggest pick a rich, bright pop of color to pair with neutrals that match your horse. i.e. Sooty-Bay: Royal Purple with Taupe, Copper and Black

Buckskin Palomino Cremello / Perlino

Rich Jewel Tones Blue: Navy, Peacock Blue Blue / Greens: Teal, Jade, Mint Green: Olive, Sage, Emerald, Forest Purple: Eggplant, Royal Purple, Amethyst

Earth Tones Chocolate Taupe Copper Rose Gold Black Camel Whiskey

Go rich and bold and accent with coordinating neutral colors tying in your horse. i.e. Teal, Camel, Taupe, and Black

Liver Chestnut Sorrel Chestnut

Jewel Tones Purple: Lavender, Eggplant, Royal Purple Green: Kelly, Olive, Sage Blue: Royal Blue, Teal, Baby Blue, Peacock Blue, Navy

Orangey Coppers Rose Gold Camel Taupe Chocolate Black

Typically avoid red/rust tones. Can go rich or pastel and accent with coordinating neutral colors tying in your horse. i.e. Chestnut with Olive Green, Camel, Chocolate and Orangey Copper

Blue Roan Red Roan Bay Roan

Jewel Tones mixed with Pastels Lavender, Baby Blue, Sage Green, Baby Pink, Cream, White

Refer to color families above.

Stick with the color families of their base color (Chestnut, Black and Bay) and accent their roaning with pastel accents. i.e. Blue roan with Purple, Berry, Lavender and Black

To summarize, pick colors that will compliment your horse and add a unique twist to

keep it interesting. Most all horses will look good in blue. When in doubt, stick with the

neutrals. And always keep an accurately colored picture of your horse on hand- you

never know when inspiration will strike!

Horse Show Beauty Designs

Now that you’ve created a unique color story, let's figure out the type of garment

that will suit you best. For starters, think about what classes you plan to show in. There

aren’t necessarily “rules” to what you can and cannot show in for specific classes, but

there are some unspoken guidelines that are typically followed. Generally speaking, the

fashion trends are as follows:


Tailored Suit, Blazer (w/ Jeans) or Showmanship Jacket (w/ Fitted Slacks), NO FRINGE


Tailored Suit or Blinged out Jacket (w/ Fitted Slacks), NO FRINGE


Back Zip shirt w/ upper body and arms embellished, Day Shirt, Fitted Button up, NO


Western Pleasure/Trail/Western Riding

Blinged out Jacket, Vest set, Fringe, Day Shirt, Fitted Button Up


Fitted Button up, Blinged out Day Shirt, Vest Set or Jacket

Ranch Riding

NO BLING, Fitted Button up, Ranchy Vests (Denim, Fringe, Chonchos)

The key is to have a well fitted garment, whether it be a fitted button up, blingy vest, or a

jacket. A well fitted garment will speak for itself. Well fitted doesn’t have to be

expensive! Buy the best quality that you can afford and make it work. If a custom

garment is not in the cards, spend a little extra money and take your garments to a local

seamstress to have them tailored to fit.

Now for the fun part, make it you-nique! Add your personal style in. Find

inspiration in your daily life- your home decor, elements that you gravitate towards,

celebrity fashion or what TV shows and music you enjoy. Whether it be edgy, modern,

minimalistic or blingy, a signature look will not only make you look good, but feel good.

Confidence is key! There are so many ways to add your signature style within a garment.

-If you like a more minimalistic approach, consider a tailored closet of well

fitted, well made and high quality garments. Make a classy statement with a fitted shirt

with piping or a shirt with contrasting cuff and collar fabric. Perhaps you love the crazy

prints, but want to tone it down. Have a shirt made with a printed body, but solid sides,

cuff, collar and placket to break it up. There’s so much you can do with fabric alone!

Remember, minimalistic can be memorable.

-If you like more of a unique, one of a kind look, think outside of the box

and consider where to push the boundaries. Perhaps it’s a wild print fabric, fringe in

unique places or loaded with bling. A unique color story can set you apart and the right

designer will bring ideas to the table keeping your style in mind. One of my favorite ways

to add my personal touch is incorporating mixed metals into my design- a little bit edgy

with clean lines. Don’t be afraid to push the boundaries and create a signature look!

A little designer secret- have confidence in your designer! It’s tempting to want to

design the whole garment start to finish with your chosen designer, but remember, there

is a reason you chose said designer and their best work is typically done when creative

juices are flowing! Be clear and concise with what your style is and trust the process.

Find your style, create a signature look and rock it in the show pen! Many of

us show horses because it's a hobby, something we enjoy in our off time. However,

showing horses goes beyond the show pen. There are hours of blood, sweat and tears

involved, financial stresses and “real life” problems. At the end of the day, enjoy yourself

in the show pen and express yourself through your horse show style.



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