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Expected Fashion Trends for the 2019 Show Season

The 2019 show season is officially underway and, as per usual, competitors are sporting beautiful looks in the show ring. We’ve all spent time scrolling through Facebook, finding pictures and getting ideas for our next show look, but it’s not every day you get to hear what some of the top designers in the industry have to say about style.

From hat shapes to rhinestones, there are ever-changing styles in the horse show industry. As competitors, we all do our best to keep up with the times and look our best in the ring.  However, it can be hard to know what to go for every year. Here are what some of the most esteemed designers in the industry have to say about 2019 fashion trends:


According to Elizabeth “Spike” Brewer from Boo Yah Custom Clothing, “Classic is always in style.” She explained that those sharp and professional looking navy blue and black hunt coats that we’re so used to are not going anywhere. They are familiar for a reason… they always look beautiful! Though black and navy are the norms, Elizabeth said that she recently posted a brown coat for sale and people really “went crazy” for it.

If people decide they want to make things a little more unique, she says they might add some piping or velvet on those hunt coats, to do something different and embrace their style. When asked about people trying to be unique, Elizabeth explained that “hunter under saddle is where folks try more out of the box outfits,” rather than in the equitation classes.


On the other side of the showbill, our western competitors seem to be getting creative. Wendy Brown from Show Me Again says that “’anything goes’ appears to be the theme as to where show clothes are going.”

After spending time at the Silver Dollar Circuit and the Arizona Sun Circuit, Wendy says she sees “anything from a plain, fitted shirt to the highest level of bling in jackets, full-sized vest, and boleros in the western classes.”

This is good news for most trendy riders because it means you can get creative and do something different, but you don’t have to break the bank.

Taylor Gumz from LuxLooks says she sees similar things. She told us that people often ask how much longer bling will be in style, and she believes “there will always be a want to remain blingy.”  Taylor’s take is that there is no specific look she can tell us about because “the ‘certain look’ is all over the board…and there isn’t a wrong or right answer, it’s merely personal preference.”

Both Taylor and Wendy agreed that black is always a safe color to go for and Taylor says, “It is perfect for every age group, flashy yet elegant.” Additionally, in regards to age groups, they both told us that youth and amateurs are dressing similarly, while open riders remain pretty conservative.

Western Boots

There isn’t a whole lot that changes year-to-year on the outside of boots… think black with a square toe. However, according to Bobby Smith from Rod Patrick Boots, what has changed about boots is that the actual fit is getting more customized. He explained that “having a boot that fits you correctly can change a rider’s ride in a big way.” Rod Patrick Boots offers more than 300 sizes so that riders of all kinds can get something that works for them. He also explained that you could get boots that fit just right, so you don’t have to tape them when you show showmanship – something we’re all guilty of doing.


As the cherry on top of every outfit, the western hat trends seem to remain about the same. According to Shorty from Shorty’s Caboy Hattery, they sell a lot of earth tones and greys to ladies and a lot of black to men. Youth riders seem to wear a lot of black, while amateurs are more likely to try a more “non-traditional” look. As far as custom designs on hats, she is still selling a lot of them, especially to open riders. She also told us that, although every discipline goes for a slightly different look, our western pleasure crowd is sticking with the high and tight shape.

Show clothes fashion seems to be going in a fresh direction. The all-around bottom line is that now more than ever, your show clothes are about you. Add your sense of creativity and style to make the statement you want and to suit your bank account as needed. Whether you want the “all out” look or the classic and understated look, you’re not wrong. Just enjoy putting together something you love and something that makes you feel your best.

About the Author: Anna Marie Verhage is a full-time student at Elgin Community College and a seasoned, successful competitor on the APHA circuit. In 2019, Anna Marie is looking forward to showing on the APHA circuit with her show partner of four years, All But Zipped.