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How to ‘Shine Bright Like a Diamond’ at the Big Shows with Carrie Bachey of Just Peachy

The 2020 show season looks completely different than any of us could have ever imagined. Thanks to the waiver in qualification requirements and the addition of new classes to the schedules, more exhibitors than ever are looking forward to significant events like the Quarter Horse Congress and World Shows in 2020.  Whether this is your first time to experience the magic of those World and Congress arena lights, or you return year after year, you’ll want to dress for the occasion.

Don’t just enter the arena – Make an Entrance

The judges will formulate an opinion of you in a matter of seconds, so a memorable first impression is imperative. In a crowded class of extremely talented competitors, an impactful first impression can be the separator that earns you a place in the finals; and that begins with confidence.

We all know that confidence comes from within, but do you realize how empowering it is to understand that you can control others’ perceptions of you, only by how you dress? Take advantage of what you can control by carefully selecting an outfit that represents an exhibitor who is poised, confident, and well prepared.

Proper fit, attention to detail, comfort, and functionality from head to toe are the key components here. When you dress well and feel great about how you look, the best version of yourself comes out for the world to see.

You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it

It sounds cliché, but it’s true; you have to dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Always maintain respect for your fellow competitors and stay relentless in your work, but dress as if you’re already the boss.

In our case, the “job” we all want is the title of World or Congress Champion, so it can be helpful to study past titleholders in your chosen event(s). Compile a list of elements of their appearance that stands out in your mind and determine how you can apply those to your presentation.

Dressing well not only changes your demeanor but also has the power to influence your thoughts. Whether you think you are or are not worthy of becoming a Champion, you are right. Choose your clothing and choose your thoughts wisely.

Shine bright like a diamond… If you want to

Few topics can spark a debate among horse girls like the question of glitzy jackets or simplistic fashion in the arena, and the truth is, everyone is right. As you begin to select your next show outfit, more importantly than just considering the amount of sparkle is to recognize how you feel while wearing it and what message that sends out to the world around you.

If your personality is bold and vivacious, a super glam and over-the-top jacket will amplify your persona and create feelings of confidence when you put it on. Conversely, a simple suit or plain shirt may create the feeling of being “underdressed” in your mind, and that can translate to a lack of confidence in the show pen.

If you would describe yourself as reserved, that same glitzy jacket may make you feel out of place because it feels like “too much” or doesn’t match your personality. While a nicely tailored suit or fitted shirt creates beaming confidence when you see yourself in the mirror.

It’s always best to maintain an open mind while trying different things on, but be honest with yourself when it comes to how you feel when you look in the mirror. Wear what makes YOU feel incredible.

Quality isn’t expensive… It’s priceless

Between the daily flood of emails to our inboxes and sale signs scattered throughout many of the stores we visit, we are surrounded by messages that clothes should be cheap; but have you ever noticed that quality is rarely mentioned in these messages?

Quality clothing, and quality show clothing, in particular, is inherently more expensive because of the tremendous amount of time, skill, and costs associated with creating it. Quality does cost more, but it also feels better, looks better, and lasts longer, not to mention the value that it holds when the time comes for resale.

For example, in 2017, I commissioned Kristen, of KLS Designs to create my eldest daughter’s western ensemble. It was a significant purchase for a growing girl, but because these pieces were carefully thought out and well-constructed with room to adjust, she is now wearing them for the fourth season.

Each piece has held up beautifully and with proper care, they still look as gorgeous today as they did when they were brand new. Not only does excellent quality provide a significantly lower cost-per-wear over the long run, but it also holds value.

The well-known designers who have established a reputation for quality workmanship are always in high demand, so when the time comes that you’re ready for a change of pace, that high-quality garment can provide a fantastic return on your investment in the form of resale value. 

Be motivated by the fear of being average

When you truly focus on the feelings invoked when you zip up a jacket, remember that if the outfit feels mediocre, that will translate into a mediocre performance in the show pen.

One exceptional quality outfit that you love to wear is far better than a dozen average items, so do your best to become intentional with your purchases. I often hear people say “it was a good deal that I couldn’t pass up” but then go on to tell me that they never wear it because they just don’t love it.

An average performance won’t earn you recognition at a large show, so don’t be willing to settle for average clothing that makes you feel anything less than spectacular when you put it on. Knowing where to start can sometimes feel overwhelming, so if you find yourself at a loss of where to begin don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional.

As the owner of Just Peachy, I take great pride in helping my clients build the wardrobe they’ll wear as they chase their dreams. Having been an exhibitor for so many years, I know first-hand the power of a great outfit and I truly love helping other women realize their potential through fashion.

CLICK HERE to see Just Peachy Show Clothing in the May Fashion Issue of GoMag.

About the Author: While not in her store at a horse show, you’ll find the owner of Just Peachy Show Clothing, Carrie Bachey alongside the arena, cheering for her daughters as they compete in all-around events on the Ohio Quarter Horse circuit. Carrie is a seasoned exhibitor with a love for showmanship in particular and has built a thriving show clothing business built on the foundation of quality over quantity. A small ranch in southern Ohio is home for Carrie and her husband, Mike, who raises cattle and ropes, while running his leather business, Crooked Horn Leather.