In New York City fashion week is in full swing. Each day thousands of looks float down the runway as bloggers, magazine editors, and the fashion elite clamber to be the first to report (and to wear) the trends of the upcoming seasons.
It would be hard to sum up the entirety of the shows that have (so far) happened this week, but if I had to, I would say a lot of lines are toeing the line between masculine and feminine. A lot of boxy cuts, jackets, and for Spring and Summer collections there's a lot less skin than I anticipated.
While the Fall and Winter collections seem to be drawn the classic hunter look, this upcoming Spring and Summer has a decent amount of southwestern influence, with that hint of equestrian chic we all know and love. Embroidered and beaded tops in floral patterns, bows, and ruffles have popped up in several lines throughout the week, and it's only halfway over.
Over the last few days I've been poking around on the internet looking for new things to buy for the upcoming IHSA show season. My breeches could use an update, and I'm coveting show shirts with cool fabrics lining the collar and cuffs.
Then I had a thought; menswear.
I guess because I've never had to shop for it, I had never thought about it. To me all the styles seemed the same. With men it's usually a buy one in every color then buy the same one when those get old, type of deal. I hadn't given much thought to what is trending "on the other side of the arena" if you will.
Unfortunately, a sufficient amount of digging has lead me to come up empty. It's all red coat, blue coat, white shirt, white tie, repeat. It's not that female riders appear all that different in the show arena, it's just that there are more subtle options available to them. The pattered fabric collar show shirts I'm lusting after, don't seem to have a male equivalent. Maybe the thing equestrian menswear is missing is flair. We have our rhinestone belt buckles and our breeches and show shirts that come in endless colors and styles, and men have...uh...cool ties.
Pictures from this weeks Masters Tournament show just how little variation there is in male show apparel. Clearly navy jackets and white breeches were what most riders opted for.
Hunt Tosh at the innagural Pre-Green Incentive Championship
However, Italian company Animo seems to be shedding some light on this dark abyss that is equestrian menswear. Jackets have a bespoke tailoring feel and feature contrasting piping and zipper hardware.
Any equestrian girl can attest to the ongoing trials and errors it takes to find the perfect shirt. Something that hugs and gives in all the right places and is confortable even in warmer temperatures. The perfect shirt can translate from dressy to casual, and goes well with breeches and a pair of jeans.
I believe that Alp-n-Rock has achieved the perfect shirt for the equestrian body type. They offer several beautiful silhouettes, each one softer than the next.
Their polos are light weight and perfect for rides in warmer weather. Even though they are a fitted top, there is plenty of stretch for jumping while still maintaining a flattering hunter/jumper appearance. Wear your discipline proudly on the back of these well tailored polos with pops of intricate colored stitching.
As someone with long arms, I can't tell you how much I love a nice 3/4 length shirt. They have a way of transforming my arms from gangly noodles to elegant limbs. With a "not too low" v-neck, the Alp-n-Rock Henley creates a structured yet casual top that can easily transition from the barn to brunch.
The Willow Creek Henley is a beautiful mix of light blue and vibrant green with bit applique and Alp-n-Rock logo embroidery on the sleeves and tasteful buttons down the neck-line.
The Unbridled Love Henley features the same vibrant green seen in the Willow Creek henley and the same lovely neck line. On the back of the shirt the words "unbridled love" frame a unique horse head applique. I styled this shirt by tucking in the front, but along the waistline are the words“Cum eo pacem invenio,” which means "Together we ride in harmony."
I mentioned I am a fan of 3/4 length, but I'm probably an even bigger proponent of the classic button down, and the Alp-n-Rock 2 Pockets have both!
The Horseshoe 2 Pocket is a comfy button down with a paisley pop! This ain't your boyfriend's button down! You won't sacrifice comfort for style, as this loose fit top is tapered in at the waist to show off your figure. This sophisticated shirt can easily be incorporated into a casual work wardrobe or for a unique look at the show grounds.
The Hunter 2 Pocket is a classic crisp white that makes the vibrant geometric print cuffs and lined collar stand out against my barn-tanned arms!
Living in California, I have the advantage of not having to wear a jacket to the barn for a large portion of the year. When I do need a jacket, I need something that isn't restrictive when riding, and doesn't require me sacrificing style for warmth. This Bit-Lightweight Fleece is exactly what I need for those cooler days. Alp-n-Rock embroidery on the neck and shoulder and a cute zip pocket on the back with two more pockets in the front. Great for layering before and after a day at the stables.
All Alp-n-Rock products are machine washable, which any equestrian can tell you, is essential after spending the day around shedding, slobbering, sweaty animals. They also make 90% of their products in the USA out of American made fabrics. Alp-n-Rock also donates up to 10% of their profits to scholarships in developing countries.
An excellent product from a company with an excellent moral code, I thoroughly enjoyed my day at the barn in Alp-n-Rock.