AskHQ: Show jacket fit

Q: How do I know if a show jacket fits correctly?

A: Show jackets are important (and often expensive) pieces of kit and really can complete your riding look. As an added bonus, a well fitted and cared for jacket can really make a great impression on judges. However, the choice of show jackets on the market is huge and it can be easy to get sucked in by what other riders are wearing, rather than considering what will actually suit you and your body type. It’s important that you find a jacket that fits well and flatters your body when you’re in the saddle. Below are a few tips to make sure you show jacket shopping is a success:

  • Fit is everything and jackets from different brands will all have slightly different styles and cuts, so try on as many styles as possible to see what suits you best.
  • It’s a good idea to try the jackets on with your show shirt, so you can check that it fits comfortably over the top and that the two look good together.
  • Sit on a stool in riding position when trying to on the jacket, to check the length of the jacket when seated. The jacket should stop a few inches below your hip bone. If it’s too long it will make your legs look short, and if it’s too short you may find yourself wanting to pull it down the whole time.
  • Make sure the jacket doesn’t restrict your movement – particularly movement around your arms and shoulders. A jacket that is too tight, or stretched, is never a good look!
  • The cuffs of the jacket should be on the wrists. Bend your arms to mimic your position in the saddle – with your arms in riding position the sleeves should end at the top of the wrist.