We’ve all seen those TV programmes haven’t we – Trinny & Susannah ritually humiliating people in mirrored rooms; Gok Wan convincing respectable ‘WI type’ ladies to strip off for the camera because they really do ‘look good naked’; they all tell us how to dress to make the most of our curves, but how on Earth do we translate that to the Tack Room?
With the benefit of my degree in Fashion and as the Designer of the UK’s only Collection designed exclusively for plus sized ladies, someone decided I would be well placed to share my thoughts on ‘What Not to Wear’ in the saddle if you are of more generous proportions…
Rule #1: Wearing a size 14 when you are really a size 18 can only end badly!
Think about it Ladies, you know when Bank Robbers pull stockings over their heads how it makes their faces look all distorted and squashed? That’s what you look like when you wear a size or two too small! Have you heard the saying ‘Children and leggings never lie”?...well the same goes for Jods and Breeches - they leave NOTHING to the imagination!
Rule #2: Bulk up!
The tightness of Jods around the lower leg just accentuates your ‘Thunder Thighs’, wear a pair of long boots (if you can find them) or a nice pair of half-chaps that trick the eye into thinking your leg is straighter – and longer! If you can’t find either (and remember, our half-chaps now accommodate up to 23 inches!) then pull on some slouch socks to give you more bulk around the ankle.
Rule #3: If you must wear two-tone jodhpurs, make sure the colours are close together tonally.
The full seat actually slims the bottom by dividing it; if you are not so brave then choose a pair that is a single colour with a full seat design. By choosing colours that are tonally close you trick the eye; to check for this squint at them so that the colours are seen as a grey - can you tell the difference between the two colours? If not they are tonally close.
Rule #4: Long tops just drag you down!
Yes, we all like to cover our bottoms but, covering it up with a tent just makes people think you are hiding several boy scouts in there…look for tops that are shorter at the front, which lengthens the leg line, and longer at the back...and often, a smaller size will accentuate your waist instead of hiding it.
Rule #5: Choose your fabrics carefully.
Tops that are too light will sit in your spare tyre; find slightly heavier fabrics that skim your curves for a leaner look. Try a pair of ribbed Jods, not only do the lines run vertically to lengthen the leg, but they are FANTASTIC at hiding Cellulite! Above all, avoid light fabrics unless they are absolutely necessary.
Rule #6: Layer your clothing.
Instead of just a cotton Tee-shirt for Hacking, throw a gilet or waistcoat on top – it breaks up a hard outline and has the advantage of giving you something to throw on top of your shirt after your Horse has put Grass-Spit all over your back!
Trinny & Susannah, eat your heart out!