Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Costume Designer Appeals to the Masses

I need help!  I learned that this show is having circuit awards this year and I would certainly like to be in the running for that since I've done really well with getting High Point at the last several of these shows.  This means I AM planning to show Western at this show so that I'm in the running for circuit.

Though I got a pretty good start on my new Showmanship jacket, I realize that in order to have it done for Sunday's show I would have to rush the process, and I don't want to be in that situation.  I want it done right or not at all. Therefore I'm tabling both my new SMS jacket and my new Horsemanship shirt until after this show.

I am taking ALL of my finished shirts/jackets to the tack swap on Saturday. Fingers crossed that they all sell.  I've had good luck there before.  BUT this means that by Saturday evening I might be completely OUT of western show shirts/jackets.  I would very much like to have this problem, but it leaves me with a dilema: what to wear?!?!  I'm certainly not going out and buying something so I'm digging through my closet for appropriate options. I'm going to have to go with a more casual look, but it'll all be clean and starched so I'll be legal, just not fancy, which is probably okay at this open show.  I've seen some turnouts there that would make you twitch.

I don't have time to model pictures of all of this so please use your imagination, I know you have one.  Imagine this as a dressing-room musical movie montage...

Option 1: Starched Jeans and a White/Tan Western Shirt (not super fitted, but not too huge) with my new well-shaped straw hat, black boots, plain black belt with a pretty buckle. Black ultrasuede chaps added for the riding classes.
This outfit has the white/tan shirt and my straw hat.

Option 2: Same as above but with a Black shirt with tiny white circles.  It does have a small section of ruching at the waist because it's a New York & Co dress shirt, but it's much more form fitting that the white/tan one.  I could  wear this with a black felt hat, my straw, or my "bone" felt. Here it is with the bone felt and a scarf with my black pants and chaps... missing the belt.
Sorry for the bathroom selfie...

Option 3: I have a light blue western shirt with black and white pattern on it that can be worn with my black hat. It'll be the most casual of the shirts.

I could also wear my black show pants under the chaps for the riding classes, or I could stay in the jeans.  If I start in the jeans, should I stay in the jeans?  I do not think I want to have a shirt tucked into black show pants for the showmanship, it just seems weird to me.  There are too many options between the hat, the pants, and the shirt!

So thoughts?  Comments?  Cautionary tales?

I'm also trying to decide what to do with Junior's mane.  I can get a braider, but I kinda feel like I should stick with a level of formality for the day.  I'm going to wear all my normal English stuff so braiding seems the best option, or should I trim and band?  Or leave it natural?  It might be too casual if I just leave it... and I'm not roaching it again.
Junebug's current mane... and his Bestie Brofriend, Mystic.
And what about MY hair?  It's at a super awkward length and I can't get it cut before Sunday.  It's too short to put up in my hats.  I've been experimenting with my hair down in a hairnet with my English Hunt cap but I am not satisfied with the results.  Does anybody have advice on this matter?

Somebody make these decisions for me!  HALP!!!


  1. Hmm, I think the second option with the dark shirt is nice. Junior is such a beautiful colour and since he's so light it will help it stand out - like in the top photo on your sidebar, that's really nice.
    I also think you should braid. Remember it's better to be overdressed than under-dressed!
    That's my 2 cents :)

    1. The shirt in the sidebar is for sale, you know. ;) If it's not sold on Saturday I'll likely wear it Sunday and all this will be for nothing, but I'm a planner. :)

  2. Ok - preface to my comments - I haven't shown in years, but am trying this year (*gulp*), so have been asking my coach about what to wear.

    I really like the black shirt with the tan hat or the black hat. Hard to tell about the white shirt without seeing a better picture, but I really like the black. (unless it is really hot and sunny, then the white would be better?)

    At AQHA/APHA shows around here, jeans and a tucked in shirt with a belt are for halter, apparently. Not sure what to do if you don't have a tunic style top for showmanship...I do see your point about the black show pants and tucked in shirt... Maybe the jeans would be ok for that too, since it isn't a breed show?

    Black pants, chaps and black shirt would look really nice for the riding classes.

    (am I being helpful so far, lol?)

    As for the mane, I would braid/band. Might as well look the part, right?

    ps - I'd like to order a decal soon from your Etsy shop! I just bought my first straw hat and will be getting a hat can soon. Will you ship to Canada?

    1. We're indoors for the show so the sun isn't an issue. I'm glad you're showing this year in western!

      All the decals are available even if they're not listed. If you want one that's not listed just let me know. :)

  3. I know absolutely nothing about Western show stuff, but I like the look of the second option! That counts, right? :)

  4. Option #2. I would also braid. It may be the tiny little detail that bumps you up a ribbon ;)

  5. I'm with Beka - know next-to-nothing about Western show attire, but like the look of the outfit in your selfie. All hail the NY & Co. ruched shirt, I have about four of those myself! :-) (For office wear, not riding, LOL)

    1. Those shirts are my go-to work shirts! They look great with jeans and dress pants and skirts... and now chaps... :)

  6. I also like option #2 with the sand hat and scarf. It could be that it's the only "true" picture you have of the outfit choices and I'm visual, but I think it sounds nice. Casual, but still showy. I would, however, wear the black pants instead of jeans if you're going to wear chaps.

    Are you against wearing the jeans and tan shirt for showmanship and then switching to the black outfit for the riding classes? That way you wouldn't have to worry about tucking in the black shirt.

    As far as Junior's mane goes, I always band. I think it works for western and english, but I think braids look out of place in western. As long as it's neat and tidy, whatever you choose will look great, I'm sure!

    When I had my hair short, I just used pins to pin up the sides neatly under my hat/helmet. There's not much else I could do with it because it was too short to put into anything.

    I'm so excited! Can't wait to hear about the show!

    1. I'm not opposed to tucking in the black shirt to jeans, I just think if I wear black show pants I should have a tunic jacket rather than a tucked-in cotton blouse. That seems like a half-way point to me for some reason, like wearing a skirt and tennis shoes.

      The "rule" I was told was to do the main in the horse's best discipline and since you end up making your first impression in English it's best to be braided. BUT I heard another "rule" that if you do both you should only band. It's all so subjective!

    2. Yeah, that makes sense.

      I think with an open show you're good with whatever you happen to prefer. I always band, because I agree with the second rule you mentioned, but that's just me.

  7. Fingers crossed that you sell some shirts—nothing like cleaning out inventory :)

    I'd go with option 2, because I love that hat, scarf and shirt combination. And band, because even though the process is mind-numbing, you can't get that polished look without laying it all down. I go through this same dilemma at every open show: I don't realllly want to band, then I waffle, then I end up banding and am thankful later. As my mother says, it's always better to be overdressed than underdressed ;-)

    If you pin the sides of your hair, I don't see why you couldn't leave it down and just hairspray the bee-jeezus out of it. It's practically a summer show, after all!