Friday, January 14, 2011

Breeches: Musings on a sensitive subject

Years and years ago I was shopping with a friend for swimsuits.  It's never an uplifting experience, but that day was particularly tough on the old ego, for me and for her. My friend went into the dressing room with a two-piece suit on a hanger, but she would not come out to show me or the attendant how it looked.  My coaxing didn't sway her; she refused to appear.

"Stacey, I look better NAKED!" she proclaimed.
 
I almost, almost feel that way about breeches. Who the heck designs them anyway? Case in point: look at the attractive lady in the photo right, and look at the truly horrific fit of these breeches. The droopy butt and excessively high waist totally camouflage a very nice figure. In the next few blogs posts I'll muse a bit on the subject of breeches.


33 comments:

  1. I agree!!! AND... the lighter the color, the worse they look.

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  2. According to my instructor, full seat breeches don't look good on ANYONE.
    I have always thought fat women in leggings were an ugly sight but now I find myself as a plus-sized rider in a similar humiliating getup. Good inspiration to lose weight, however.

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  3. I SO agree with this. Breeches don't make anyone but stick figures who weigh 100lbs or less look good an no one really looks like that

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    1. No, even a stick figure built rider looks bad on those. The full seat cut makes us look even skinnier and with no butt. The ones with knee paches only do look fine on all riders, unless chosen the wrong size or horrible color combo.

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  4. I agree! At 5'4" and 105lbs the full-seat variety make me look like I am Mrs. Thunder Thighs! Thankfully knee patch breeches are more flattering and cozier, as far as I'm concerned - plus they come in a variety of fits and styles. The only one's I've had lots of problems with are the full seat breeches - frankly I can't find ANY that fit right (under a few hundred bucks that is!)

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  5. Alas, there are people over the age of 14 who can pull it off. I've seen them. And I hate them.

    Not really :-)

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  6. Ah, I've just learned to go with the flow. Think about it. When you show up in public in breeches, it's most likely somewhere where everyone else is wearing breeches--thus equalizing the embarrassment. *G*

    I kind of like the look of the divided patches of leather on the FITS full seats. Breaking up the lines might make a difference.

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  7. Front zip breeches are always baggy in the wrong places. I sometimes wonder if they are men's with a different tag. OTOH, no breeches look good on you unless you are an anorexic 12 year old. Some just look less bad than others.

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  8. AMEN !!!!! How about some "tummy" control, lower waists but not so low they.. umm hmmm... well you know. And the butts??? gosh!

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  9. FITS breeches (LOVE them) have a tummy control panel and very comfortable, effective, segmented full seat panels that breathe and are fairly flattering.

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  10. Jean, I was moderating comments on my droid and accidentally rejected a comment you had submitted, may have been yesterdays on volunteering? Sorry! My fingers are just too big to work that tiny touchscreen.

    I also love FITS, but wish they came in a low rise and some different fabrics. The fabric for summer is wonderful and great quality, but a little thick for the hottest days.

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  11. My favorite pair of breeches were not made by a horse company. They are green "fashion" breeches and I have not idea where they came from or how to get more, but they make the most beautiful, comfortable, and sleek riding pants! They were a gift.

    On the other hand...
    I was also given a pair of expensive, full seat, white, show breeches several years ago. They are just too nice not to wear in a show, BUT they must be the most uncomfortable riding pants ever made! The waist is up to my armpits, the leather is so thick that it cuts off circulation under my high boots, and they don't breath in summer weather. I keep thinking that I should replace them, but I hate to fork out the money for a couple shows a year. Between the pants and my slightly too big high boots, it's a wonder if I get up on my horse without looking like a total noobie!

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  12. UGH I hear ya on droopy ass breech syndrome. luckily I have my mother and a wonderful seamstress at my disposal.

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  13. I'm always amused by looking at breeches in catalogs. So many (especially lower-end)can't even make the gorgeous models look good, so why in the world would I want them on my butt? Yikes!

    Looking forward to the series.

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  14. wish FITS werent so expensive!

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  15. I find the most flattering breeches to be the ones made from stretchy ribbed material, such as those made by Irideon and Kerrits.
    Breeches with extra-high waists and thick, bunchy material that tends to sag (cotton breeches are NOTORIOUS for this), will never look good on anybody, I don't care how thin you are. Thin people in bad breeches look just as frumpy as big people in bad breeches.
    And regardless of body type, I do think women look great in stylish breeches that are designed to be flattering (think Irideon, Kerrits, FITS)... as long as they are wearing tall boots or half chaps. Breeches without boots is the worst look of all.

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  16. For religious modesty reasons I only wear breeches with a knee-length duster or jacket over it when ever I ride. As a practicer of modesty (including when I swim, etc.) and a mom whose body is not what it once was (*ahem*) I honestly don't understand why more people don't adopt the modesty route. I feel so much more comfortable with myself. Modesty really is a great equalizer, even if you don't do it for religious reasons, it has so many practical applications.

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  17. I agree breeches without boots=really, really scary. See there was this one time we were carpooling and I thought we were headed to the barn but we had to make a couple stops. Umm...well I can say that I wish I didn't keep my boots at the barn!

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  18. I'd like to see how the duster works. I think breeches that fit more like slacks would be very flattering -- some tailored sportsman's are pretty loose.

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  19. Kerrits ribbed riding tights are very easy on and off and don't look / fit too bad. My best solution is that I just learned to Photoshop off the excess on my waist and butt - perfect if not seen in person :)

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  20. Yes...so hard to find a good look...especially since tradition dictates tucking in the shirt...ew.

    I am not particularly tall, have a nice figure but could afford to lose about 15 lbs. My tip for the dressage ladies who want a slimming look is to get your full seats where the seat is darker than the rest of the breeches. I have a nice pair of grey breeches with dark grey seat for clinics, khaki with chocolate for at the barn, and for shows i wear white with a grey seat. They give the illusion of a smaller bottom and more slender leg :)

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  21. Full seat breeches are the WORST. I've tried on dozens of pairs of different brands and... eeugh. They are horrid!

    The breeches that fit me the best are knee patch Polarfleece breeches. I have a couple of pairs of Kerrits that are just the bomb - light, comfortable, oh-so-warm, and actually kinda flattering! But then there's the panty line... you just can't win!

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  22. I would prefer to ride side saddle in a big poofy skirt. No thigh spread and everything well hidden:)

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  23. Blue jeans and half chaps; that's my story and I'm stickin' to it :o)

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  24. Easy trick to take care of panty lines...

    Go to a sporting goods store and buy yourself some Manties (aka men's compression shorts). They smooth everything out and minimize the cottage cheese look.

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  25. At age 58 and being a cancer survivor, I'm really not concerned about how I look. I am thankful to be in the saddle! My husband thinks I look great, and that is fine with me. I am fit and trim, 5'5" 105 lbs., but as you age there is only so much you can control.

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  26. Ok the worst, and I meant WORST idea in the breech-sphere is LOW RISE breeches. WTH??? I accidentally purchased a pair (I am 5'2" and compact build ... nothing low rise looks good on my normal-woman-sized behind). I rode in those ONCE and immediately felt like I had "plumber-butt" and was embarrassing myself and those riding directly behind me. I have become a fan of riding alone with only my husband watching ... that way nobody has to see my rear in breeches but my horses and my "already aware" hubby.

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  27. I believe I have seen that picture before, in the gallery of the equestrian pattern website Suitability. If I recall correctly, the "model" also made those beeches herself.

    To which I say... GOOD JOB. I always want to make my own stuff. But its probably hard for a DIY-er to get a proper fit.

    Thats not so say that breeches are in any way flattering unless you're my younger sister. How I loathe her and her size 28 Tailored Sportsmans.

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  28. Those are like the "Mom jeans" of breeches!

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  29. The old style breeches and jodhpurs were fine for most figures and sooo comfy.
    I never worried about how riding clothes look when I am not on the horse. They are supposed to function on the horse, not on the ground. Don't worry about how your butt looks, worry about your horsemanship.
    Do women hang around horse shows and riding faciltities talking about other rider's bad equestrian fashion choices?

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  30. I totally get this. No one thinks they look good in breeches. Personally, I look like I have chicken drumsticks for legs. I'm a fairly thin, fit girl, but breeches just show off my worst features. I look terrible in them. Just awful.

    Only a non-horse rider, who doesn't actually have thigh (crotch!) muscles, looks good in them. And you can tell the models don't ride because they are always doing something newbish, like gingerly holding the reins and smiling nervously.

    You should do an article on goofy models of horse-stuff.

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  31. I really love - but fear Kerrits is discontinuing - the Kerrits Eco Straight Leg Breech, in black. There's a slight flare to the calf and ankle so when I take them out of my half chap they are perfectly appropriate for running errands, away from the barn. They look cute with paddock boots and maintain their shape well, so they squeeze a bit at the belly and hip area to keep my shape, ha ha. Love them. Good as a schooling breech, but not really appropriate for showing.
    See : http://www.theequestriancorner.com/kerrits_ladies_eco_straight_tight

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  32. OK ladies, I have a great news for you: finally, there are equestrian pants that do not belong to our grandmothers era - TEVIS PANTS. They are the best fitting pants on the market, and even though they were created for endurance, they actually could be used for any discipline.I was struggling for years riding in my jeans or joga pants - so big was my hatred for the traditional breeches, but now it's over!
    Check it out: www.tevisusa.com

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