As a college student who has a part-time job, I often find myself tight on money. I think everyone can agree we’ve all been there, done that. But since I ride horses, I need proper attire to do that. I learned pretty quickly that riding apparel is not cheap at all. If you want the good stuff, you’ve got to pay a little more. Unfortunately for me, I often choose tuition over breeches and end up scouring the internet for a good deal. I’m here to guide you through the many avenues I’ve taken to find quality riding clothes on a budget that still make a fabulous #ROOTD
First, we’ll start with good old eBay. I’m pretty sure everyone has gone on eBay after seeing someone wearing a pair of Tailored Sportsman’s because you just had to have a pair! You find a pair you like and wow! What a deal! They’re $25. You’re the only bidder and suddenly they’re at your door step…but you quickly realize those are not the Low-Rise Originals you thought they were. They’re the CLASSIC olive green, up to your belly button, vintage pair. We all have a pair — wave them loud and proud! But what if you find a pair you really like and want to make sure it’s exactly what you need? Always ask the seller questions. They may say it’s a size 28, but ask for a photo of the tag inside if they don’t post one. If it’s a high-end brand (We’ll use Animo for example!) and they’re pricing them at $20, ask questions to make sure you’re getting those Animo breeches in good quality, not a pair worn 100 times, been through hell and back, with worn out knee patches. If a deal is too good to be true, it’s probably not true. Sometimes you can get extremely lucky and find an excellent pair of breeches (or any equestrian product for that matter) in great shape for a good price. The breeches in the featured image were only $20 and practically new. You never know the circumstances of the seller — they could be a busy student who can’t ride anymore, a Mom selling their kids out-grown clothing etc. But number 1 eBay rule: Ask the seller questions!
My next tip is thrifting. I like to think of myself as the thrifting queen at the barn! One of my favorite shirts to wear during the spring and summer are Ralph Lauren Sport Tees, both v-neck and crew neck. They’re so breathable, professional, and have a relaxed yet tailored fit. Every shirt I own (and I can nearly complete ROYGBIV at this point, a full RL spectrum) were purchased at a local thrift store for less than $5 each. Now, compare a new shirt at the department store or Amazon from $20-$40. $5 sounds pleasant to my wallet. I also like to hunt for other brands. I was once lucky and found a brand new for Vineyard Vines Shep Shirt for $3! I still have no idea how that went unnoticed in the racks, but I bought it. They’re very warm for fall riding and tuck into breeches nicely if you’d want to wear them like a shirt.
Thrifting is also fantastic for finding belts. It’s hit or miss, but I have found awesome, thicker leather belts that look amazing with breeches.
My favorite method of thrifting shopping is going to shops in smaller towns or an area of town where clientele may be wealthier. Where I live, the wealthier end of town definitely has more designer clothing. However, other stores may surprise you. I find more of my RL tees in the store nearest my house than traveling to the other end of town. Also, nothing you wear to the barn has to be a designer brand shirt/sweater/breeches/jacket. If you like it, it’s comfortable and allows you to have full range motion in the saddle, then buy it and rock it out! Your #ROOTD is completely up to you. Be the trend-setter of your barn and wear what makes you happy. Your horse will think you look great either way.