Tuesday 26th of January 2021

Top tips for choosing the right jacket

With so much choice out there, how do you decide on the right jacket for you? In this feature, designer and MD of equestrian fashion clothing brand Equetech, Liz Hayman gives her top tips for choosing the right jacket for the right discipline.


Finding a jacket which suits your body shape is key. If you are pear shaped try and avoid shorter jackets. For bigger busted or inverted triangle shapes, find a jacket that gives you a waistline to balance out your shape, to avoid making you look square. For apple shapes, choose smaller over-checks or plainer tweed to give you a slimmer outline. There are lots of nationwide alteration companies popping up, so you can easily get a tailored ‘made to measure’ look on a budget.


With the focus very much on ‘bling’ within this discipline, be careful not to use too much embellishment on your jacket, as the majority of judges are less favourable to this. Less really is more! Technical stretch fabrics are great, but be careful to choose a cloth that still gives you a tailored look, otherwise you may end up looking like a creased bin bag especially if the size is too small. For lower levels you can wear tweed, which is great if you are on a budget because you can wear it for other disciplines such as hunting, showing and riding club activities. We’ve just introduced a Jersey Stretch Competition Jacket and Tailcoat and they feel like your favourite blazer to wear but look and perform with outstanding ability.

Equetech Jersey Dressage Tailcoat

Equetech Jersey Competition Jacket lifestyle


This season we have also introduced the Piaffe Dressage Waistcoat, which has been created to be worn under the new British Dressage rules in instead of your jacket. Perfect for use on hot competition days for those who want a smart and cool alternative to a jacket.

Equetech Piaffe Dressage Waistcoat


With such an array of colours and cloths available, it’s hard to choose! However, choosing a colour which compliments your horse is one rule of thumb and if you plan on wearing the jacket for other disciplines too, be careful to choose a more subtle colour and check your rule books before you make a purchase.

Shorter jackets are definitely in, but make sure they suit your figure, or you could find yourself looking for a replacement sooner than you think. Soft shell is also increasingly popular, but shop with caution, if you have curves. Personally, I would avoid it, as it will show every lump and bump, whereas as a tailored, well-constructed jacket will give you a very nice outline and last a long time. Our tailored jackets feature enough stretch to give you all the comfort and freedom of movement, without looking like you are bursting out of your jacket!

Equetech Ellipse Competition Jacket


Just as other disciplines demand performance from their clothing, so do show riders, which is why you choosing the right showing attire is more than just it looking good!

Freedom of movement is key, so choose jackets, which feel comfortable and fit! Squeezing yourself into a jacket you have grown out of will not only look ugly but will make you feel uncomfortable and an unwelcome distraction in the ring. Choosing a jacket, which is cut, to flatter is especially important for showing, so look out for a nicely cut jacket, which skims your curves and gives a nice overall impression. Our tweed show jackets go up to a size 24 as standard and have been designed to suit all figures with their clever seams, pocket and button placement.

Equetech Marlow Deluxe Tweed Riding Jacket

Equetech Hambleden Deluxe Tweed Jacket

For in-hand showing, a smart lapelled tweed waistcoat can really finish your look but choose one which some shape as oppose to the many ‘boxy’ styles out there which won’t give you that lovely neat, smart first impression. Try and compliment your show outfit with your horse’s colouring. A Brown jacket with Canary plaid, for example, can compliment a Bright Bay or Dun beautifully, whilst a Green Jacket with Navy works well for all colours including coloureds! Even your choice of style and colour tie can be the used as the link to bringing the whole look together, For example, a tweed jacket with a very subtle Canary plaid can be ‘brought out’ by teaming it with a Gold tie and Tattersall Check waistcoat – stunning on a Dun or Palomino!

Showing is all about complimenting your horse and effortless elegance, so look for garments, which combine quality and classic tailoring.


You may also like…

Join us on Facebook

Follow on Twitter