Brown is the new ‘in’ color as of late. It’s been popping up everywhere – field boots in the schooling ring, dress boots in the dressage ring, even brown helmets for the pony kids (man, those pony kids have all the fun…)
Brown has been especially popular when it comes to tall boots, helmets, and riding breeches.
Many different tall boot companies offer brown boots. Der Dau, Parlanti, Tucci, Fabbri (a favorite of Lillie Keenan and Alexa of EquestriLifestyle), and Ariat all have brown boots (some have stock sizes available in brown while others offer brown as a ‘custom’ option). Brown boots look simply stunning, and while they haven’t broken into the show ring yet, they look amazing for schooling.
Luckily if you are into the brown trend but on a budget, there are different boots for different price points. Der Daus come in the highest at about $2k for a custom pair (I got my customs at a Dover in NJ and was very happy with the service there). That price estimate is with minimal options, like the ones I purchased last year. Parlantis are about $1k for stock size in brown. A custom pair of Parlantis is about $2k as well. Also, PassioneQ is having a clearance sale on some Parlanti Miami boots in brown, so head on over quickly to see if they have your size! The boots are on sale for $600, which is $400 less than the usual $1,000 sticker price. Tucci boots run anywhere from $1,185 to $899 depending on whether you buy stock boots and what model you purchase. Finally, Ariats are the most afforable. They have two models that come in brown – one retails for $399, and the other for $299. Additionally, the pair for $399 are available at SmartPak, and if you have a USEF membership number on file with them, you get an automatic 5% off. The pair for $299 I’ve only seen in brown at Dover. Despite the lower sticker price, Ariats, I have heard, break in well, last long, and are of great quality!
My favorite brown breeches are the Le Fash Noho City Breeches. They are well-made, comfortable, and the brown is just right. However, the City Breeches retail at $328, which not everyone can afford, and if they can, they may not want to spend that much on breeches.
Behold SmartPak Pipers! These breeches are extremely comfortable, durable, and come in amazing color combinations including anthracite (which is essentially brown) with coral trim. I owned these breeches for a brief period until I realized I had way too many breeches and sold them, but I did love these breeches. They are also super affordable. They retail for $79.95, but if you have SmartPaks, you get an extra 10% discount, and if you are a member of USEF, you get 5% off (which makes 15% off if you get SmartPaks and are a member of USEF).
Eden from My Barn Child was the lucky gal to get my pair of Pipers, and here she is modeling her #rootd featuring her new breeches.
— Eden _ My Barn Child (@EdenMyBarnChild) January 20, 2015
Tredstep also has a gorgeous pair of brown breeches. Their Symphony No. 3 Rosa Front Zip Knee Patch breeches come in a few striking colors, and two different shades of brown – “Cocoa” and “Truffle.” These breeches have received great reviews on SmartPak. They repel dirt, water, and oil to prevent stains and keep them fresher longer. For those of you that don’t enjoy the low rise breech trend, Symphony No. 3 Rosa breeches come in what is called a “modified” mid-rise fit with a front zipper. These retail for $119.95 and are a little more on the pricey side, but they seem to be flattering, comfortable, and worth the price for a pair of riding pants that withstands the wear and tear that comes with barn work and riding.
Ariat has a nice pair of chocolate brown breeches – the Heritage Fashion Quilted Knee Patch Breech. They come in a few colors, espresso, which is the brown color, and dusk, which seems to be a dark navy. The espresso is lovely, and the Ariats are more affordable, retailing for $99.95 ($94.95 if you are a USEF member). The Ariat breeches have technology that accommodates different hip angles, streamlined comfort support in the calf and ankles, and material that is soft, flattering, and comfortable.
Another more affordable pair of breeches is the Irideon Essential Riding Tight. I am not a huge fan of riding tights, but I know quite a few people who swear by Irideon clothing. Their breeches come in a few colors, including espresso. Irideon boasts no-chafe flat seams, moisture-wicking properties, and body-contouring panels that ensure a flattering fit. At SmartPak, they retail for an affordable $66.95 ($63.95 if you are a USEF member).
GhoDho Breeches are also gaining popularity. They are worn often by Gia Rinaldi, who adores them. They have a model called Pamela that comes in a brown color. These breeches definitely have a unique look, and from what I’ve heard, are extremely comfortable and flattering. I have yet to try them, so if you have, let me know what you think in the comments below! They retail for about $125 and can be ordered here.
Finally, you can’t talk about breeches without mentioning Tailored Sportsman. They have two brown colored breeches, espresso which is darker and truffle which is lighter. Both are gorgeous and would look fantastic. Tailored Sportsmans are a bit more pricey. The brown colors come in side zip and front zip. While truffle only comes in low rise, espresso is available in a mid rise model as well. These breeches are available at SmartPak, Dover, or Farmhouse Tack (Farmhouse has every color in stuck in every cut, side zip or front zip; please view the Farmhouse Tack graphic chart (used with permission) for all the colors available). While it varies, Tailored Sportsman breeches typically retail for about $179.
Brown helmets have also come in style, though less so with adult riders. I’ve seen them a lot in pony hunter classes with the most well-known rider to rock a brown helmet being Maddie Schaefer. She graced the cover of Dover Saddlery late last year with the pony she rides, Armani. She also has been seen riding in various prestigious pony hunter classes donning her brown Charles Owen Helmet.
Charles Owen isn’t the only company to make a brown helmet. Samshield, another popular helmet for the hunter/jumper/eq ring, also makes a brown version. While you probably cannot get away with wearing a brown helmet as a junior rider, it certainly seems acceptable when you are a child rider in pony classes. There’s also nothing saying you can’t wear one for schooling if brown is your color of choice. Things could change, though, and we may see someone breaking the mold and wearing a brown helmet in one of the junior or adult rings. All it takes is one person, and sometimes others get the courage.
The helmets’ retail prices are:
- Charles Owen AYR8: $351.45 (if you have a USEF membership);
- Samshield Premium: $580
- Tipperary T Series T2: 189.95 (with the USEF discount);
- IRH Elite: 288.76 (with USEF discount);
- Troxel: $99.95
With helmets, it’s whatever floats your boat. As long as it keeps your brain safe in the event of a fall, then it doesn’t matter what brand it is. However, my one rule for helmets: Don’t skimp on safety. If there is ever a time not to be cheap, it’s when buying a helmet. It’s also worth noting that if you show hunters/jumpers/equitation, the big trends right now are Samshield, Charles Owen, and GPA. GPA, to my knowledge, unfortunately does not come in brown unless you are investing in a First Lady. I personally do not like the way the brown First Lady looks, but that’s my own opinion. Furthermore, if you are competing in jumpers, hunters, or equitation, you
probably will not be wearing a brown helmet unless you want to be the one that breaks the mold and tries to set a new trend. It has to be one of us, right?