I know what you're thinking. You call THAT a triangle? Clearly sketch artists (like most equestrian apparel designers, am I right?!?), have a very "narrow" view of the human form. Ahh, but that's a whole other blog post. For now, let's talk about how you as a rider, with perhaps a less than perfect shape, can look and feel your very best.
The Triangle body type is: a) the most common figure shape for women, b) characterized by narrow shoulders and contrastingly wider hips; c) sometimes also called "pear".
Triangles can be short, tall, thin, heavy - remember it's the ratio between the shoulders and hips that dictates overall shape. SHADBELLY's style goal for Triangles is to minimize your lower half and focus attention upward. The whole idea (for all shapes and sizes) is to create visual balance.
Minimize the Negatives
- Whenever possible, dress the bottom half of your body monochromatically from toes to hip. Black boots and dark grey breeches will yield a much longer "visual line". Whoever thought up the idea of white breeches for competition should be shot!
- Avoid design elements in the hip area, so breeches with attention-grabbing fancy front pockets or pleats of any kind are not your friend.
- Be particular about your back pockets too, small pockets will visually make your derriere look bigger.
- Choose your belts wisely. Slim, subtle belts that match the color of your breeches will generally lengthen your leg. Low-rise breeches with flashy wide belts is not a good "pearing" if you are a Triangle.
- And those cool new breeches in the camouflage print? Honey, don't kid yourself. Unless you plan to stand out in the woods all day, those cammies scream "LOOK AT THE SIZE OF MY ....!" You get the picture.
SHADBELLY STYLE TIP: TRIANGLES, NEVER FINISH A LINE OF CLOTHING AT THE WIDEST PART OF YOUR BODY.
- Avoid like the plague jackets that flair over the hips, have bulky pockets, or even pocket detail or embellishment that (wrongly) emphasize the hips.
Accentuate the Positives
- Embellished collar on a show coat or shad? Sure! Go ahead and run a little wild (if that's your style) and use embellishments or a "statement" stock tie or pin to keep attention focused on your face and upper body.
- Look for tops and coats with good structure that will give emphasis to your shoulders.
- Shoulder accents and trim on coats or shadbellies, or shoulder patches on schooling tops are a YES.
- Keep your tops fairly fitted to show off your more narrow upper body.
- Brighten up your face and upper body - lighter colored tops and darker breeches and boots for schooling will balance your frame.
- Like your waist? Go ahead and play with belts and styles that subtly accentuate it.
- Most Triangles have a tendency to want to cover up, but try different options in coat lengths to find the right balance. Certainly we all want to avoid too much white breech showing, but weigh the pros and cons. A longer coat might hide your fanny, but will also visually shorten your legs. Find the right balance for you.
- Test the drape of the fabric when choosing a competition coat or shadbelly. Put the coat on and raise your arms over your head, then lower, if the coat clings stubbornly to your hips (assuming the size is correct), choose a slipperier fabric.
SHADBELLY's Favorite for Triangles: The ingenious Pikeur Nanette Breech. Swear to you, the mid-rise Nanettes are flattering on pretty much EVERY BODY, but if you're a Triangle, these breeches are a must-have! Pikeur added a panel of super stretchy fabric across the top of the fanny and down the length of the thighs (this is the darker gray fabric shown in the pictures below), while the rest of the breech features Pikeur's McCrown (leather-like synthetic) full seat and small, fairly discrete and well placed pockets in front (just enough for a few horsey treats - perfect).
Our theory is that the stretch panel actually helps the breech fit smoother along the full seat panel, minimizing pucker along the seams, or even worse, the dreaded dimpling of the thigh against the saddle.
The result? Ultra-comfortable, unrestricted movement through the hips, and no tightness at the knees! The Nanette's offer the freedom of "riding tights" without the strange sensation that you're naked (maybe it's just me?).
Color options have historically been limited to contrasting Platinum Grey/Anthracite (as shown here) or Bronze/Brocade Brown, but Dover now offers the Nanette in Navy, Black and White! Thanks Dover, there goes my budget!
We want to hear from you, so please just click on the little comment icon below and tell us what you think! If you're the shy type, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just remember, no matter what your shape and size, wear the clothes that feel right to you. Lighten up on yourself, look your best, and love your horse.
Thanks for blogging with SHADBELLY!