Your ringside style would not be complete without a Kimes Ranch ball cap. Photo © Kimes Ranch

Get the Look: 2017 Ringside Style Guide

Your showmanship suit is pressed. Your hat is clean and freshly shaped. Your tack is polished to perfection. Your new bolero set is set to stun. In other words, your horse show fashion game is on point. However, you’re standing in a trance-like state in front of your closet wondering what on earth you have to wear in between classes.

Deciding what to wear outside of the show pen is often harder than choosing your show attire. You want to look good, but you’ll be working with horses, which means you’re bound to be in the dirt and hay to some extent.

We spoke to some of the industry’s leaders in style to get the scoop on must-have ringside fashions for this season. Check out this lookbook for ringside styles, fresh enough for 2017 and bold enough to last through the toughest of circuits.

Look #1

The Winning Run
Your horsemanship go is over. You need to quickly clean a few stalls and then it’s time to meet up with a few friends to check out score sheets before grabbing a bite to eat. You need to be comfortable at the end of the day and you know that you can rely on Kimes and Harris to get you where you need to go. You’ll find classic layering tees and outerwear at Harris and you know that you can count on the latest from Kimes jeans to be on-trend. Black versions of classic women’s jeans like the Betty and Bonnie will change up your look just enough. A new and exciting accessory from Harris Leather and Silverworks is the versatile crossbody saddle bag.

Shop the look directly with the links below.
The Classic Half-Zip
The Black Betty
The Crossbody Saddle Bag

No time to ship? Catch up with Harris Leather & Silverworks at a show near you or check out the Kimes stock in person at vendors like Woods’ Western or East Coast Show Apparel.

Look #2

The High Point
It’s another early morning; the first full day on the show grounds. It’s cool out, so you grab your Harris microfleece and head for the show office. You’ve got to get all your entries sorted out before it’s time to prep horses. Your polished ostrich hide attaché has made organizing your entries and paperwork a snap, so you’re even able to steal a moment to enjoy a cup of coffee. As you sit down, you notice how comfortable your jeans are. Harris tops have your morning to afternoon transitions covered and your jeans, “The Dillon” are perfect for riding all day and looking good at the steakhouse later on for dinner. The Dillon is a new style; it is “a cousin to Chuck” and is quickly becoming the most popular selling men’s jean on the Kimes roster.

Shop the look directly with the links below.

The Classic Half-Zip
The Ostrich Attache
The Dillon

Look #3

The Schooling Round
Your eyes are up, looking to the next fence. All thoughts are on rhythm and stride. From the ground, you look completely put together. This look will take you from late nights of braiding manes to show pen success with a ringside look as practical as it is classy. Staples like a breathable shirt, belt, and schooling breech are kicked up a notch with subtle details like underarm paneling, bridle stitching, and piping. The SmartPak shirt and breech color combo shown here is Wedgewood blue and Cadet with Wedgewood piping, but you can customize your look from a wide range of both traditional and modern colors. The belt is a favorite at SmartPak because there is space for a nameplate to commemorate your favorite horse.

Click on the links below to shop this functional schooling look in one spot with SmartPak.
The Sunshield Shirt
The Havana Belt
The Piper Breech

Look #4

The Game Plan

Walking the course is one of the most basic foundations and elements of any hunter competition. The main objective is to walk the course exactly as you plan to ride it. Your fashion objective should also be to walk around the showground exactly as you plan to ride in the arena: comfortable and confident. Your best route to a top score means you’re not distracted by the heat, dirt on your breeches, or thinking about what to wear. Channel your inner George Morris with a Tek polo in a bright hue that wicks sweat away, a supple belt, and the Rossini schooling breech which is tailored with men in mind, all available at SmartPak.

Click on the links below to walk through this smart look.
The Tek Polo
The Embossed Belt
The Rossini Breech


The Accessories

The looks above are full of classic staples with modern twists, but as Tiffany Golberg of Tiffany Anne Photography says, “It’s the accessories that will set your look apart.”

Check out the following look and ideas for the perfect accessories to finish off your ringside style.

Ball caps are perhaps our most necessary and functional article of ringside fashion. They’re needed to keep the wind, dirt, and sun off of our faces, and perhaps most importantly, they hide our hat and helmet hair. A hat is a practical must-have at all times and from Harris to Kimes and back again, you’ve got options.

Kimes Ranch
From a classic trucker-style hat with an adjustable snapback to a throw-back ball cap with vintage appeal, Kimes has you covered in fresh and fun color combos (homepage photo). The hats are in-demand and will go with nearly everything in your closet.

New styles and colors of Kimes are being added all the time, so be sure to check out what’s new online.

For men, the best-selling hat is Harris’s classic logo hat (pictured above right). Made of lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking material so your head stays cool and dry, this logo cap immediately invokes the quality associated with Harris Leather & Silverworks. For the ladies, try a cadet-style hat (pictured left) as a zippy alternative to a classic ball cap. The quality embroidery and zipper detailing that makes this an exceptionally good way to hide your helmet hair.

Since your choices range from classic to edgy with Harris, you could wear a different hat every day of the week and never run out of style. Shop here for current offerings in the women’s hats and here for men’s styles.

Custom Cuffs by Mitzi and Hannah Fine Jewelry

With an abundance of elegant, yet fun and eye catching designs. One way to dress up your daily horse show attire is with a custom cuff (pictured right). Each cuff is custom-designed, so the sky is the limit for creating a truly one of a kind piece. Mitzi will work with you to create a unique bracelet with your choice of colors or custom logos. The gorgeous bead patterns are complimented with premium ultra-suede lining to make them extremely comfortable, while the base of the bracelet is metal so they can be shaped and adjusted for the perfect individual fit. Cuffs are usually 2.5 inches and contain about 3,500 beads. The beadwork is done by hand, so each cuff has a lot of time into its creation. Mitzi can work from your design, design something for you, or work with a custom logo. Check out new designs and shop for your cuff here.

From fashion-forward pieces to exquisite fine jewelry, Hannah has ready-to-buy and custom creations that sizzle. One of the most exciting accessories to try at Hannah Fine Jewelry this year is the beaded Bowler hat (pictured left). This hat has been trending at rodeos and major livestock events and is likely to catch on at breed circuits as well. The hat is sized like a cowboy hat and you can get them at Hannah Fine Jewelry.

If you’re not ready for beads and feathers, try on an understated necklace or dazzling ring, also from Hannah Fine Jewelry. From simple, invisible-set, diamond pendants to 1.64 carat rings, this jewelry will set you apart from the crowd. Another bold idea from Hannah Fine Jewelry is to have your best friend captured in diamonds and any natural colored gems of your choice with a custom ring. Check out the incredible canine creation pictured right.

Be sure to check out candids from the 2017 show season, presented by AQHA stallion, The Rock, for more ringside style inspiration.


About the Author: Rachel Kooiker is a lover of horses who loves to write. She graduated from Grand Valley State University with a BA in English and Psychology and an MA in Curriculum & Instruction. She and her husband Drew stand APHA World Champion Im the Secret, and she competes today in all-around Amateur events with her APHA gelding, Hoos Real. They have a 2½-year-old daughter, Reed, who has an imaginary pony named Gumdrop.
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