Stylin' In The Showring
In the business world, when applying for a job, you often hear the term "Dress for Success". The same maxim applies to your performance in the show ring. Your style of dress will of course depend on whether you are competing in Western or English Classes.
For most Western shows, a button up western shirt, nicely pressed pants or jeans (depending on the show) polished western boots, western belt, and a western hat are acceptable. Wearing an outfit that compliments your horse's coloring and that also coordinates with your saddle pad will greatly enhance your "stage presence". For instance, if your horse is dark brown or black, try wearing a light colored outfit; conversely, if your horse is a palomino or cremello, wear something dark.
English Classes require a more traditional approach. Always wear a traditional coat; either Black, brown, navy, hunter green, tan, gray, or possibly even copper. You will want to pair this with riding breeches that are white or neutral in color. A shirt with a stock and pin or ratcatcher collar, along with black boots and gloves, complete the ensemble. Your riding helmet should be velvet-covered.
For saddle seat, a full suit day coat and matching riding pants with jodhpur boots is "de rigeur" and should be paired with a derby hat for women, or a fedora for men.
In English competitions, a woman should always wear her hair up. A hairnet will hold a tight bun in place at the back of your head just below your helmet, and lends dignity to your appearance.