A Guide to Equestrian Style
The social Season is inextricably linked with equestrian events and the British love of horses. As the Royal Windsor Horse Show returns post-pandemic on 11–15 May and the flat-racing season launches at Newmarket at the beginning of May, we celebrate equestrian style.
Several iconic items of British tailoring owe their origins to riding practicalities. The long Regency tailcoat favoured by dandy and Truefitt & Hill stalwart Beau Brummell, for example, was an adaptation of a gentleman’s hunting jacket, with a pronounced centre vent for ease of sitting in the saddle, while the tweed hunting jacket, a mainstay for British landowners and aristocrats, is still very much de rigueur, partnered today with the latest innovations in fabric technology.
Equestrian style shouldn’t just be thought of in the sense of one’s wardrobe, but in terms of overall look, which very much involves what to add particularly to one’s hair to remain at the top of one’s game whilst on a trot, canter, or gallop.
One’s undeniably stylish ensemble will be let down by inadequate grooming, particularly by flattened or disarrayed hair (a hazard of wearing a riding helmet). To combat this conundrum, consider using Truefitt & Hill’s C.A.R. cream, created for the Royal Automobile Club in 1900. Equally useful for achieving a well-groomed look in an open-top sports car or on horseback, it will keep the hair style without with an easy, non-greasy elegance.
For other specialised hair management regimes that will help one to weather a day’s riding, try Circassian Cream Hair Management, formulated for gentlemen who prefer discreet, classic styles and a good hold with a natural, less shiny finish. It allows the hair’s natural oils to work with the product, leaving the hair looking shiny and discreetly groomed. It is best for short to medium hair.
Euchrisma Clay Hair Management is a perfect choice for the gentleman who favours a full, natural looking, matte hairstyle, which will last throughout the day. Mellifore Fibre Hair Management, on the other hand is designed for gentlemen with thick and wavy hair, which might have a tendency to dryness.
Booted (though not spurred), well-groomed and elegantly dressed, you are now ready to display your horse-riding skill. Even if you are a city-dweller, London provides a rich range of possibilities: from Hyde Park, the historic locale for equestrian display and cavalry training, to the traditional Tudor hunting grounds of Richmond Park, or the rus in urbe open terrain of London’s commons, such as Tooting or Wimbledon. Maybe your riding will take you further afield, to the wilder countryside of Exmoor, the Peak District or the Yorkshire Dales. Or you will enjoy the unique pleasure of galloping along open sands to the accompaniment of pounding waves at Studland in Dorset or the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.
Whatever your choice, you can rest assured that you will cut a fine figure, and you will be able to enjoy the perfect marriage of form and function that is the hallmark of Britain’s best tailoring traditions and do so in Truefitt & Hill style - always with your best face forward.