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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Some Spring Shopping for Soft Shell Jackets

With the summer show season quickly approaching I wanted to make sure I had comfortable and not completely unfashionable clothes to wear in my grand prix debut (jk I'm showing in hopeful hunter to build up my confidence again). But still, being comfortable is on the top of my list when it comes to what I wear when riding because yes, I am a pea princess.

Since I already have two show coats I originally wasn't thinking of getting another but then I read a thread on soft shell jackets that are extremely stretchy, water resistant, and comfortable to wear and the wheels began to turn. I've tried on a couple of soft shells before and didn't fall completely in love, so at the time I decided to purchase a well fitting RJ Classics jacket (for a steal) instead.

Anyway, I ordered three soft shells (one of which I found out was back ordered after the package arrived, bummer!) and since SmartPak has free returns on sized items, figured I'd send back the ones that didn't fit/work out. Since this wouldn't be my main show jacket I tried to keep the price point as close to $100 as possible.

They Neigh, I Pay
The first jacket I tried was Equine Couture Raleigh Soft Shell Hunt Coat for $99.95. Honestly this had the nicer material between the two coats but the arms were SOOO baggy on me. I feel like my proportions are pretty average (not overly muscular or overly skinny) so I was surprised at this. I even tried on my other traditional show jackets to see how those fit and they were MUCH slimmer through the arm than this jacket. The length of the sleeve was also too long for me so unfortunately this coat just did't work. The fabric quality is spot on and this coat has more structure than a typical soft shell coat so it's a bit more tradition than the other coat I received.

They Neigh, I Pay
The second jacket I tried was the Horseware Competition Jacket which was on sale at SmartPak as of 3/16/16 for $76.96; Can't beat that! This coat was a little more jumpery and the navy was more of a french blue color in person, but I kind of liked that about this coat. It's also waterproof and breathable so I thought it would be a good coat to wear instead of my good wool coat if its raining. If you want something more traditional, the black would be a better option. I might consider adding shoulder pads to help with the coat structure a little since this is the coat I decided to keep. The only thing I didn't love about this coat was the way the collar laid around my neck as it was slightly gappy. I might try to see if it can be fit a little more snug, but it wasn't enough to be a deal breaker for me

The last coat in my order was Kerrits Competitors Koat for $119.95 in Japer/White. Since this item was backordered I can't comment on the fit but the color was so interesting to me I had to see it in person. I feel like it will either be a beautiful moss green or some sort of sickly greenish gray color, there's really no way to tell until I open the package.