I have a big soft spot for Equestrian style. I was an extremely horsey child and teen, spending most of my free time at the stables with horses. I rode competitive dressage for years. So the whole equestrian thing is very much a part of me, and that includes my style. I’m very drawn to the polished, tailored, rich and elegant vibe of the classic English equestrian aesthetic, which is a timeless look that defies trends. Turtleneck, riding jacket, white bottoms and flat boots continue to be a great match for my style persona.
The outfit here combines both high and low-end pieces. The jacket, bag and boots are designer, while the turtleneck and belt are from the Gap. The jeans are premium denim. The outfit is also a mix of essentials and statement pieces. The white jeans, turtleneck, and belt are my essentials. The jacket, boots and bag are statements. All the components of this outfit are new this season, except for the white Adriano Goldschmied Stilt Jeans, which are three years old.
The Smythe Leather Elbow Patch Houndstooth Jacket was my prize score at this year’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I ran to it during preselections, tried it on, and was smitten. It’s my second Smythe equestrian jacket, and a little shorter than the first. The fit is perfect, the quality impeccable, and the style will not date. The bias cut doggietooth design, flared back fit, curved hems, slanted welt pockets, and cognac trim are what make the jacket more interesting than a regular classic tweed blazer. The cut of the jacket is extra great in motion because the breeze kicks out the tail of the jacket as I stride.
I like both of my Smythe jackets best with a turtleneck. They look just fine over a plaid shirt or crew neck pullover, but the equestrian integrity is accentuated when paired with a turtleneck. And since turtlenecks are my favourite neckline, I’m not complaining. Gap’s Merino Turtleneck Sweater provides a fluid fit, which looks more fashionable than a tighter fit. I bought three Gap turtlenecks on sale recently — one in toffee and two in black — because I like to update my wardrobe essentials to reflect current fashions. I chose the toffee to wear with with the jacket because it picks up the colour of the elbow patches, but a black turtleneck works just as well.
I don’t usually enjoy wearing earth tones, but started wearing toffee knitwear last year and haven’t looked back. As long as I can pair toffee with white or faded blue denim, and add an acidic bright to the outfit, I’m happy wearing the earthy shade. My apple green specs add instant bright acidity to the mix, and the clutch brightens things up even more.
Equestrian style isn’t just about knee-length riding boots. In fact, short jodhpur boots are just as popular. My cognac Prada Chelsea boots look like refined little jodhpur boots, which is what attracted me to them in the first place. They are workhorses, and I can’t be happier with them. I rolled up my jeans to showcase more of the boots, and to let the back tab — a very equestrian feature — peek out from underneath the rolls. This does shorten the leg line, but faux tucking the turtleneck and adding Gap’s Clean Leather Belt, which is low contrast to the turtleneck, helps lengthen the proportions.
The shocking pink Primary Prime Clutch was my pink purchase for Breast Cancer Awareness month back in October. I’ve been sporting it all month and it’s a nice match with my pink man coat. I like its decidedly un-equestrian juxtaposition with the rest of the outfit.
This look has a high happiness factor because of my love for horses. It does not create a long lean line because of the high contrast between the boots, jeans, top and jacket. The components create strong horizontal lines across the outfit which shortens its visual effect. Wearing a column of colour under the jacket and self colour boots would look more conventionally flattering, slimming and lengthening. Yet not nearly as equestrian! Going with outfit proportions that are just flattering enough is very liberating and a lot more fun.
These photos were taken in the Seattle arboretum, which is especially beautiful in the Autumn, and I also wore it the next day in the city with a client. We are lucky that Seattle has stunning parks close to the city centre, which means that I can feel equally at home with the mallards as I do in the hustle and bustle of city life.