oly smokes, I’m getting older and hopefully wiser. If my 20s were a time of wild, carefree, and sometimes indulgent/frivolous self-exploration, then my 30s have certainly shaped up to be the “You’ve just about figured yourself out, girl” phase. And my closet reflects this evolution. I’ve said adios to the fast fashion, the poorly-selected colors, and the items haunting me from my past that will never be vintage cool. These past few years have been a time of discovering my uniform, palette, style, and body. I’ve learned how to make a single item work in a variety of settings — cough, cough; from the barn to the office — and I’ve finally accepted the concept of quality over quantity into my life and closet.
Now how about that equestrian wear, you ask? Yup, that bulging yet very well-appointed sector of my wardrobe follows these same principles of color, fit, transitional capabilities, comfort, and such. The tops to my #ROOTD ensembles toggle between actual equestrian riding tops and contemporary wear from some of my favorite brands. But for the bottoms, I’m a stickler for a good pair of breeches and I’ve acquired some winners over the years. My breeches need to hug in all the right places and not ride up in all the wrong places. The fabrication and material needs to be able to survive my grueling (Okay, it’s not that grueling) daily schedule of kid drop-offs, quick jaunts to the barn, office meetings, project site visits, lunches, after school activities, ranch work, and beyond. And the style needs to say, “I’m here to ride, work, parent, look amazing, kick ass, and take names!”
I know. I ask a lot of my breeches.
To further prove my philosophy on these multitasking equestrian garments and shed some light on why I adore them so, I selected my top seven favorite breeches, jumped on my high horses (plus a pony), and put them to the test for a week. You’re welcome.
Nara Breeches, Miasuki
I don’t know what it is about white breeches, but they make me feel like a million bucks. In the show ring, at work, on a date night — it doesn’t matter. I love a good pair of white breeches. The look is clean, crisp, and classy as hell. Now, the Miasuki Nara Breeches were a total splurge, but again, remember how I am learning that quality can often supersede quantity? If ever there was a pair of breeches to make you feel like a million bucks, these are them. The breathable and stretchy fabric is cut perfectly to hug my dwindly frame, but really accentuates what little figure I have. And I’d like to think that they could do the same for a multitude of equestrian body types.
The quality of the fabric not only holds up beautifully in the saddle, but it washes up like brand new time after time. And lastly, these white breeches are not see through, which is a win win for all parties involved. They are such a treat-yo-self, absolute luxe item, that I imagine a glowing halo surrounds my bottom half when I wear them. The Nara Classic Pant in white by Miasuki, $635.00
The Signature Ponte Riding Pant, Free x Rein
Not going to lie, I was hooked on this brand from the moment they said, “bodysuit.” In fact, my deeply-rooted loyalty was almost completely based on the bodysuit selection until I had the chance to shimmy into these breeches. I’m a big advocate for comfort (layered with style). In fact, you may have heard me profess my love for a good old classic pair of sweatpants now and again. But enough about sweatpants. The Signature Ponte Riding Pant, not only known for an incredible fit and classic aesthetic, is about as comfortable as a pair of breeches get. So comfortable (I credit the four-way stretch fabric) that I can spend an entire day among the kids and ponies and not skip a beat. The Signature Ponte Riding Pant in tan by Free x Rein, $235.00
Trophy Hunter Mid-Rise Breech, Tailored Sportsman
These are my OG breeches, my old faithfuls. I’ve been wearing Tailored Sportsman for as long as I can remember, and I’d like to think that they have set the tone for me in terms of fit, style, and longevity. They are never trendy, always classic, and continue to be a solid basic in my ever-growing arsenal of riding wear. The Trophy Hunter Mid-Rise by Tailored Sportsman, $189.95
Mathilde Breeches, Samshield
Two words: color and pockets. When Samshield recently introduced riding wear on to the market, I was in. Again, a big brand loyalist here; I’ve been wearing Samshield helmets for a long time. So I immediately jumped at the chance to try out their show coats, shirts, and of course the breeches. In a land of beiges and tans, I was really drawn to the taupe-like appearance of the Mathilde breeches with their subtle, tonal, suede detailing. The colorway is a perfect addition to my evolved wardrobe of primarily blacks, whites, grey, and beiges — which is eerily similar to my preference in horse colors. Anyways, the color of these breeches sold me, but the fit and the dang pocket details on the hind end left me head over heels in love. While the pockets are not functional, they add this elevated casual coolness to my #ROOTD, and just the level of detail needed. The Mathilde Breeches in Taupe by Samshield, $329.00
Fawn Filly Breech, F.WORDS
I’ve always loved the name of this brand, the concept of heightened performance wear, and was super intrigued by the idea of an ideal fit. My body type is petite and I often experience difficulty sourcing clothing that truly melds to my frame. Then came my opportunity to try on the Filly Breech by F.WORDS. The clouds might as well have parted and the angels started singing because these breeches are superb. The fit takes the cake, but there is so much more to these badass breeches than simply their ergonomical sculpting. First, I have to point out the deerskin leather knee patch. I’ve never owned breeches with leather knee patches, and I’m now convinced it’s a stylistic game changer. But the final component to what makes these breeches so bananas: the invisible cell phone pocket. It’s everything I was always missing, never really knew I needed, and now I cannot imagine a horse-filled life without. Where have you been my entire life F.WORDS Filly Breech? It doesn’t matter now — you have made the journey to my closet and my world will never be the same. The Filly Breech in Fawn by F.WORDS, $650.00
Tri Factor Grip Knee Patch Breech, Ariat
When I’m really needing to feel sticky, I reach for breeches that come with a subtle silicone grip. These sleek and sporty white breeches are a consistent choice for me, especially on classic days when my mount is feeling a bit more pumped and “winning!” than I am. The cooling technology and compression fabrication is a plus as well, but I cannot seem to get over these faux pockets on the backside. Who knew such a simple detail could spin me into a stylistic happy dance? The Tri Factor Grip Knee Patch Breech by Ariat, $149.95
Bianca Breech, Aisling
Long story short, I wear these breeches because I feel super fancy in them. Like old-school timeless fancy. Add in a turtleneck-type top (such as this Luella from Aisling Equestrian), some brown accessories, a fancy hunter-type mare, and you’re on your way to chic-ville. I’m 100% certain that if Audrey Hepburn was still alive and riding horses, this is what she would wear. She’d probably look a million times more darling, but yes, she’d be wearing the Bianca. Same with Grace Kelly, or any classic horse-loving female to have ever existed. There is so much about the Bianca (in my all time favorite color: black) that I adore (dainty zippers and suede full-seat), but it really boils down to the high-rise cut. Also, now that I am in my 30s, I’ve discovered the power of the high-rise pants and will jump at any opportunity to keep that waistline as close to my armpits as possible. The style is elegant, the transitional capabilities (I’m talking from the stable to the street) is off the charts, and the whole look is assumingly and absolutely Audrey Hepburn-approved. The Bianca Breeches in Black by Aisling, $206.45
Read this next: I Wore High-Waisted Breeches and I'm Never Looking Back
Photography: Elizabeth Hay
Photography and Styling Assistant: Jenna Dana
Horse Assistant: Brenna McGovern
Creative Direction: Alli Addison
Location: Oak Park Equestrian Center, San Luis Obispo, CA.
A special thank you to Brenna McGovern, Nikki Sisley, The Weeks Family, The Lindvall Family, The Marshall Family, Amanda Garcia, AG Equestrian Training, and Cory Wolf.