Thursday, 2 August 2012

Equestrian chic – fashion and fragrance

There’s been a severe lack of horsey posts on 40s Chic lately, which I intend to start putting right now with a personal pick of fashion and beauty for us equestrian types who, no matter how much we love the smell of horse poo, hay and shavings still like to look a bit glamorous away from the yard.

So let’s start with these new Hunter wellies. Yes, I did say wellies, but as we all know, this is not your common or garden rubber boot, this is the queen of wellies. Hunter has launched The Original Tour, a foldable rubber boot that can be squished down small for packing and which is 50g lighter than the Original Tall version. The weight saving isn’t that much but the foldable element is handy when you are transporting lots of horse and rider kit, (or when you’re off on holiday or muddying it up at a rock festival). They come in traditional green, black, navy or red and price-wise are on a par with the Original Tall.  

Not long ago I saw a beautiful horse scarf – a light and flowing design, not a heavy keep-the-freezing-cold-out variety. I decided to buy it for a friend’s birthday, but now of course I can’t find it. However, while searching online I came across the following equine examples – is the horsey look going to be a big trend this autumn/winter? 

Great for the cooler days of autumn, this snood is £6.99 from New Look

This lightweight scarf is pretty in pink; a bargain at £5.99 from Internacionale

This Whisper horse print scarf at Ollie and Nic is currently £10 in the sale

Going up in price is this Horse Shoe & Stirrup silk scarf from Aspinal of London. At £67 it’s a little on the expensive side but you could put it on your Christmas list or buy it as a present for somebody else

Finally, totally out there on the wish list (at least for me) is this gorgeous Gucci silk scarf in black and green, or black and pink, at £269

Talking of designer fashion, aren’t the dressage outfits worn by Team GB at the Olympics stunning? So smart yet they really capture the contemporary vibe, not stuffy at all. I think Stella McCartney is the designer behind them, but I couldn’t find much on the internet to back up my belief – am I right or is somebody else behind them?

When I first saw the designer outfits of the British team on the news back in March I wasn’t that impressed, however seeing them in action, that’s a different matter and now I think they’re really stylish. Except for the white and gold tracksuits of the opening ceremony that is. But Stella McCartney didn’t design those.

I love these fragrances from Ralph Lauren (designer of the US Olympic team outfits, incidentally). There’s a series of four, each with a different fragrance. I have sniffed and tested them all and I think my favourite is number 2 (I was in a London department store at the time and it was a couple of weeks ago so not sure). One of them was a little overpowering, but I couldn’t tell you which one.

I’ve just heard today that The Perfume Shop is giving away a Ralph Lauren tote bag with purchases of the fragrance up until 22 August.

A few weeks ago I was at Christmas in July for Amazon, part of which was a sports display of things they sell. Now I know you can buy almost anything on Amazon but for some reason I hadn’t realised you could buy equestrian kit – for horse and rider. This is a photo I took at the time, which I’m told displays only a tiny part of what they stock.

What do you think about this? I’m in two minds – on the one hand it’s great if you can save money on essentials such as joddies and saddle pads, but on the other hand it’s taking business away from saddleries. Again, it is handy to be able to shop without leaving the house, but who would buy a hat, say, without trying it on first? I wouldn’t. I won’t even buy boots online now because each time I have in the past I’ve always had to return them (at my cost) as the sizes don’t seem to be what they should.

Another thing Amazon and other online retailers can’t give is the personal attention, advice and knowledge that the staff at local saddleries can. Mine for example has advised me on wormers in the past, as well as supplements, feed and overreach boots! I can ask for advice without actually buying anything and the owner fits saddles in his spare time, as well as offering a reflocking service.

I also love browsing amid the lovely smell of leather, rugs and plastic. It would be great to have a few other opinions...

Finally, I took this photo of children’s wellies as they demonstrate something I think would be a great idea on grown-up boots – handles! How many times have I struggled to get my wellies on and how much easier would it have been if I’d had handles to hang on to. Such a simple idea yet so effective.


  1. What a cool post-very 'Zara Phillips'-love those red wellies and snood!

    1. The wellies are great aren't they. They fold up so small so you can pack them into a rucksack. I have an image of them I'll post so you can see. Thank you for your comment.


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