Riding Wear Trends for 2016

Fabienne top from eurostarJudith redtredstep (1)

Working in marketing for Uptown Eventing’s E store I get to see brand’s new ranges well in advance of their release dates. With a competitive marketplace designers are constantly evolving riding wear, adding in new styles, colours, tech and performance features. A very hard task in many respects as there are still many riders who prefer a classic, traditional look, and official bodies, such as British Eventing are only just tweaking the rules, to allow brighter colours and more contemporary design at their events.
Despite this there are many brands, particularly the European ones, doing an amazing job at making upbeat, functional and fashionable riding wear. Here is my list of brands and features to look out for if you are a style conscious rider.

All about the grip

Silicone has seen a massive assurgence over the past two years, providing stability and grip to the knee and seat of breeches. Eventers love this for cross country and designers love it as a way to add detail and often brand logos.
I love the sophisticated, Bond Street esque, logo of Italian brand
Cavallleria Toscana which is used extensively in their silicone gripped breeches. Providing both grip and style… and now sponsoring Eventer Emily King, I’m pretty sure we will be seeing them gracing a few more eventers as they enter that marketplace.
Tredstep offer breeches of exceptional quality, styling and cut. Their Symphony Azzuro Pro Full Seat breeches offer an ergonomic, silicone patched knee area that allows your knee to bend and flex but still keeps a flattering shape and line. This provides an enhanced grip and shields from saddle friction in the knee area. These are incredibly comfortable breeches and I can vouch for their ‘stickability’. You can read more about them here
Riding with silicone grip breeches feels unusual at first but you still have freedom of movement. I’ve seen a real move towards this innovative use of tech and feel that it will be one development that will be around for a long time to come.

All About the Base…

Base layers for XC and winter riding have been around for a while but innovative American brand Noble Outfitters takes this one step further by providing layering systems, akin to ski wear. Think vest, short sleeve or long sleeve top, gilet, jacket. If you are looking for hardwearing, no nonsense design, with great innovation look towards this brand.
I’ve tested a few of their pieces and found they really live up to the manufacturer’s claims. The Ashley performance shirt has long sleeves, but incorporates mesh panels and Opti Dry Tech to keep you cool. The Kahla Racer Back Tank is an everyday base layer with added performance. It is breathable and stretchable with Opti-Dry technology to regulate your temperature, keep you dry and ensure maximum comfort.
If you are a ‘sporty’ person and spend a lot of time outdoors then take a look at this brand for some multi-functional pieces that look smart and sporty on or off a horse, in the gym and down to the shops. View more Noble Outfitter’s pieces

So what are the colours to be seen in this year?
There is move away from very pale washed out ice cream colours into mid tones that suit riding wear as they show less marks. Fresh blues, turquoise, emerald and rose pinks are increasingly popular for both horse and rider wear. The team at Zebra Products were showing Euro Label Kastel http://www.kasteldenmark.com/ for the first time at BETA. Their rails of fresh, candy coloured base layers and technical tops had a fresh appearance and are perfect for the anticipated summer weather.
Euro Star showed some very considered collections, mixing washed out denim breeches with punchy teal blue and soft orange. Noteworthy for some great styling and performance design, with a very original fashion edge – a label to look out for. It will be great to see Holly Woodhead in some of their pieces as she is now sponsored by them.
Covalliero, a collection stocked by UES, has filled the niche market for affordable, on trend, sports inspired riding kit. Their quilted gilets in rose, ice blue and orange hit the mark and are priced at £35.99 so won’t break the bank.
I am also a big fan of
Montar. Their animal print belts add some funk to riding wear – let’s get over the polo belt trend eh? This is very fashion inspired riding wear, with a lot of practicality too. Worth checking out if you are bored of tweed and generic rider styling!

Nikki Goldup is an equine marketer, stylist, designer and writer, running her creative agency ‘Black and White Creative’ . She works freelance from her family farm, just outside Newmarket in Suffolk and also competes on ‘Wanda’ her diminutive piebald mare... while attempting to keep her 3 young sons out of mischief!
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