I’m a creature of habit. I like routine. No, actually, I love routine. As in, I’ve had the same thing for breakfast almost every day for the past three years kind of routine. If I find a piece of clothing I like, I go back and buy it in every color. No kidding. I have several stacks of different sweaters each bought in at least six different colors sitting in my closet.
The same habitual buying and wearing used to go for my riding wardrobe; I found a pair of Tailored Sportsman breeches that fit me, so I bought them in a multitude of colors and a whole line up of the exact same pair in beige (I’m a hunter so, sadly, beige is my life).
But here’s the catch: Unlike my normal wardrobe which got updated every season, albeit with new styles bought in several different colors, what passed for an update to my riding wardrobe became buying the exact same style of Tailored Sportsmans that I bought last season but in this season’s new color. It was just easy to keep buying the same breeches over and over. The whole ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ kind of thing. Which is interesting because in other aspects of my life, like with technology, I’m an early adopter. I’m always the first to pre-order the new iPhone. I was one of the original Netflix customers back when it was all DVDs (so yeah, like way back). And Alexa and I were besties first, way before everyone else decided she was the new It Girl.
So what was my deal with things like breeches? I mean I’m not still wearing pull-on boots and stiff cotton shirts with a ratcatcher and stock pin, so why was I still wearing the same breeches?
Well, lucky for me, I was saved from my breeches rut when I started working for Noëlle Floyd. And I’m here to do you the same solid that was done for me and save you from being a part of the TS zombie squad. Don’t get me wrong, it's not like there is something overtly wrong with their breeches (hell, I wore them exclusively for years), but believe me, I had no idea what I was missing, and I’m telling you it’s worth exploring what's out there.
"I’m not still wearing pull-on boots and stiff cotton shirts with a ratcatcher and stock pin, so why was I still wearing the same breeches?"
First off, there is some serious tech being used in breeches today. Who knew? I certainly didn’t. One of the standouts in this department is Struck. Their 50 Series breeches are some of my new favorites for sure. They are made from a proprietary fabric that is super stretchy but keeps its shape. No more saggy knees and droopy seat halfway through the day. And their show breeches have the extra benefit of Nanosphere™ technology, a coating that makes them stain resistant. Who couldn’t use that when wearing beige and white around inherently dirty animals?
But here’s the best part: the fit. They feel like they are actually made for physical activity – because they are. They breathe incredibly well and have a wider waistband that is stretchy and comfy. The waistband also has a few narrow bands of silicone along the inside to keep your shirt tucked in and keep your breeches from sliding down. Am I the only one who is tired of hoisting up their pants 10 times a day? Problem solved. Thank. You. Struck. I mean c’mon, riding is a real sport. We are not here to just stand around and look cute in our riding clothes. We are actual athletes and we need clothing that performs. Struck gets that, and I for one appreciate it.
The next breech I’d like to personally vouch for is the Callidae C Breech. Oh my goodness, are these breeches comfortable. If you like your Tailored Sportsmans, you are going to love these. I recently wore my Callidaes on a day when I wasn’t feeling 100 percent awesome about myself and really wasn’t looking forward to putting on a pair of breeches. As I reluctantly went ahead and put them on, I had a bit of an instant attitude makeover. They somehow manage to thread the needle and achieve an incredible blend of style and comfort. They are super stretchy, totally hold their shape and also have a really perfect rise in my opinion (not too high but not too low, so as to avoid the dreaded muffin top). The fabric is super soft on the inside but has a slight sheen on the outside, so they not only breathe incredibly well but they stayed clean even after I rode three horses. If you are going for a classic conservative style but need a breech that does more than just look the part, the C Breech is it.
Now let me tell you, I am 100 percent aware that both of these brands of breeches are on the pricey side. I get it. I am an adult amateur who works hard so my horse can have a better life. Seriously – my horse has nicer, more expensive shoes than I do. So believe me, I get how hard it can be to afford this sport.
What I will also tell you is that I’m willing to pay for quality, especially when it comes to something I get this much use out of. In my opinion, you can do better than the tired old breeches that you’ve been wearing forever and haven’t been updated in eons. There is room for improvement here, and I for one am willing to buy one fewer pair of breeches to be able to buy ones that are actually innovating and advancing the technology. Even though they are more expensive, I feel I am getting more for my money.Also, let me be clear - this is my simply my opinion. I am not the boss of you. You should do as you see fit with your hard-earned money, but if you are – like I was – over velcro leg closures that snag on everything, and material that doesn’t breathe worth a damn and doesn’t hold its shape, then I invite you to shop around. In fact, I’ll help you do it. I’ve had the huge privilege of trying the majority of the breeches in the NF.shop and I’d be happy to help you pick out your new favorite pair. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll personally answer any questions you have, honestly, rider to rider.