A Completely Meaningless Dilemma

A Completely Meaningless Dilemma

I have some more complex, kind of dark, and meaningful thoughts spinning in my head right now. But they’re not ready for public consumption. So let’s talk about something else–tucking your shirt in. And if your first question is, “Um… why?” know that this isn’t really about shirts. It’s about bellies.

For years, I would never ride without my shirt tucked in and a belt. It was part of my “If I don’t look the part I am not enough” belief system. To me, proper turnout meant being polished and being polished meant belt and tucked in shirt. Always.

At first, my riding uniform was breeches, a polo shirt and of course–belt. Then as sunshirts became what everyone rode in, the much tighter, long sleeve shirts replaced the polos. But still, I always wore them tucked in with a belt.

It wasn’t like I was super thin back then. My stomach was not flat. Most pictures feature some lovely equestrian flab hanging out and below its polished belt. I don’t remember it really bothering me. Did I wish I was thinner? Absolutely? I wanted to look like the other girls at the barn, much smaller than myself (still do). But I didn’t hesitate to tuck in the shirt, throw on a matching belt and head to the barn.

Then I lost a lot of weight. Though I never achieved the coveted flat stomach, I definitely shrank. The belly over the belt did too. And I liked it, a lot. I bought cuter belts. I posed for more pictures.

And, like you already know, I gained all the weight back. What was lost had been found! Except I wasn’t all excited about it, and then is when my opinion towards polished attire began to shift. My cute belts were on the last buckle, if they fit at all. The room in my sun shirts disappeared. When I got ready to go ride, I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. And I stopped untucking my shirt.

So really, it’s not about tucking in shirts at all.

I still want to be polished and professional at the barn. I think proper turnout shows respect for your horse, your trainer, and perhaps most importantly yourself. But where is the line between what’s respectful and what makes us feel bad about ourselves?

These days, I am hyper aware of the spare tire around my waist. It seems more pronounced than it was when I was younger, even though I weigh about the same as many of those old pictures with Simon. Logically, I know our bodies change and warp and move as we age. But this response isn’t a logical one.

My therapist challenged me to think of something positive to associate with this ‘curve’ if you will. Her suggestion was that it protects my organs. But um, yeah that’s not working. Instead I’ve gained a newfound appreciate for mid/high rise pants and breeches. Oh yeah, and I’ve banished one pair of jeans to a hellfire death because even though they “fit” they manage to make me feel bad about myself every time I wear them.

So yeah, I don’t know what all of this is to say except that lately I’ve been going through a mini crisis each time I dress to ride. To tuck, or not to tuck? This sounds like a Drag Race reference when written. If only I had the confidence of a drag queen!

It changes by the day. I hate to give up a polished look due to insecurities. But I also question if something so simple has anything to do with my turnout and respect for the sport. That seems like a bit of a gross exaggeration, especially when I’m talking about schooling at home versus showing or riding in a clinic.

What say you? Are you a shirt tail flying in the breeze, or #beltforever rider? Am I the only one who over thinks something like this to a borderline insane level?

48 thoughts on “A Completely Meaningless Dilemma

  1. I love this dilemma, but growing up as a “sloppy” backyard/trail/colt starting type of person, I am happy just to wear jeans and a t-shirt. I have migrated to breeches, but I still haven’t even managed to figure out how to match shirts to all of my breeches, let alone wear a shirt that needs to be tucked in, lolol.

    Given that most of my riding occurs on my way home from work, I have the horrifying look of usually combining a scrub top or sometimes a dress shirt with my breeches.

    I’m sure I have barnmates that die a little every time they see my attire. 😀

  2. I’m completely overgeneralizing here based on my own experiences and my lifetime of knowing my BFF Mary, but this is where H/J and eventing really diverge. Mary may be dressed like a homeless person while doing stalls, but I never see her on a horse without a tucked in polo and a belt, because appearances matter. And eventers are like, we can get the job done just as well in t-shirts flapping in the breeze.

    I see both sides. For me, it’s a lot like my decision to braid for every show even at schooling shows, because the routine and attention to detail matter to my performance even though it’s not required. And I do try to tuck my shirt in for lessons because it’s easier for my trainer to see my biomechanics that way. But do I wear a belt or coordinating outfit just to school by myself? No way, especially not in the winter, when alllllllll outfit bets are off! Do whatever makes you comfortable, happy and productive, I say.

  3. It’s so interesting to me to read about how everyone thinks of themselves vs. how they see others. I always feel like a slob and never feel polished. I ride in jeans and half the time, not even riding boots. Albeit, I trail ride at this time exclusively.

    When I see pictures of you from the various years, I always think you look so polished and put together. I think you always look well matched to your mounts. You have awesome posture, a great leg and you look strong! I just wanted to put that out there because if you’re anything like me, it’s nice to hear that kind of stuff from others from time to time as a reminder that we’re much harder on ourselves than others are on us sometimes.

  4. I love the sunshirts for the aspect that they are better technical fabrics for us doing a sport – but honestly, I hate them because they don’t really make ANYONE look good. It’s the lack of structure in the fabric. I wish there was some smart designer out there who could make us supportive and clothes, that feel nice, that wick moisture and keep us cool, but like also afforable.

    Pipe dream maybe. lol

    1. Golf shirts!! They have a similar fabric to the sun shirts, but with a more flattering cut, and at like a tenth the price! And they come in so many cute colors and patterns.

        1. yes- golf shirts are awesome. I discovered that one day when I was with my husband at the golf store and I was all ‘WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME THAT THEY HAD GREAT RIDING SHIRTS’ and he was all ‘oh shit’. 🙂

          1. I wear short sleeve ones and sleeveless ones when it’s hot, but I believe they come in long sleeves as well. And they’re collared!

  5. I grew up riding in jeans and full chaps and never worried about tucking in shirts and all that. Even with half chaps and jeans, tucking in shirts wasn’t a concern. Now that I wear tall boots all the time? I go back and forth. Honestly? It just depends on what I’m wearing. I find that some breeches look better with shirts tucked in than others. Some shirts tuck in better than others. Sometimes i just don’t feel like tucking in my shirt. Somedays I do. Lately I’ve been wearing tights a lot and I just don’t bother to tuck in my shirt if I’m wearing tights…unless I’m wearing a certain shirt. You can tell I’m really decisive, right?

    I love sunshirts but they don’t always sit right tucked in…

  6. I ride in an assortment of nice breeches in many colors, I keep my tall boots clean, I always ride in gloves, and NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS would I ride with my long hair down. However, I absolutely hate tucking in my shirt, or wearing a belt. The only time I do, is when I am in a situation where I am representing my trainer/ barn in any way. Whether that is off property, or a riding demo at my barn. I think that as long as you are wearing safe attire, and adhering to what your trainer requests, you should do whatever you are most comfortable with.
    Also since we are talking about body image, I am lucky to be tall with long legs. I run a lot, but I also love beer and hot dogs, so I have the inevitable 35 year old beer-hotdog flab that comes with the territory.

    I read the blog about commenting, and was inspired to comment for the first time, even though I have read for a long time. I am glad you are back with regularity, and think you and Po are doing a great job coming along. He looks like a fun, nice horse!

    -Delia

  7. I am a “comfort above looks” rider. I have found that the collared golf shirts from Dick’s look polished enough to teach even at the fancier barns I go to (though I don’t look nearly as professional and tidy as you do even on my best days). Meanwhile, the shirts have a much more forgiving cut than anything designed for equestrians. I’m convinced horse companies think riders should be 9’11” and 90lb. Don’t get me started on my calves. I only tuck in and wear a belt if I’m coaching at a show or if I’m riding for sale photos.

  8. I tend to just do what feels right to my body on that day. More often than not, if I’m wearing tights, I don’t tuck in; if I’m wearing breeches, I do. Tucking shirts into tights just looks funny because the fabric bunches up all wonky – at least for me! That and my tights don’t typically have belt loops and if I’mma tuck a shirt in, I need a belt, too!

  9. I am forever the person who can take even the nicest clothes and haircuts and make them look untidy. Tucking shirts in just doesn’t happen, or if it does, the next thing you know I got itchy or needed to use the washroom and bam! shirt is untucked. Nice work clothes and uh oh, I had to stop at the barn on the way in, please excuse the hay and mud. I’m basically a giant toddler, I guess. FWIW, over the years I’ve always wished I put in the effort to look as nice as you do in your photos. I absolutely love the blue floral shirt you’re wearing in the picture on Poet – gorgeous!

  10. Can I just say how great it is to have your blog back? You have content that resonates across disciplines, ages, abilities, etc. You post about topics that engage and elicit a response from the reader.

    I totally agree with what Jenny said above. When I see pictures of you through the years, I have always thought that you looked polished and cared about your representation as a rider.

    My own style has evolved through the years, as I transitioned from a backyard barn to a more formal program. I did go from jeans and half-chaps and untucked shirts to breeches, tall boots and tucked in shirts with a belt.

    My husband has always (good-humoredly) poked fun of the tucked in shirt with a belt look. It isn’t a look that you see represented much in other sports.

    I never had a problem with it until recently. As I age, I am finding that my new spare tire above the breeches look does make me uncomfortable. (here’s looking at you, peri-menopause).

    I do think overall that the tucked-in look presents a better opportunity to evaluate my equitation, so I will continue with it, despite my new dislike for the way my body is currently presenting itself as I age.

    I refuse to pay the jacked up prices for equestrian retail, so like Dom, I opt for collared tech fabric golf shirts that I can buy at better prices from regular retailers.

  11. If I’m in a lesson I will tuck in my sunshirt and wear a belt, but at home, all bets are off! I might be wearing dirty sweatpants and a hoodie during the winter-lol!
    I do think that when I’m riding around other people, it helps my confidence if I look polished, which probably helps me ride better.

  12. I mostly ride in a western saddle at home, but I’ve debated about the tucked/untucked shirt too, especially as my weight has fluctuated throughout the years. My personal preference is for untucked at the moment. If the weather allows, though, I absolutely love riding in vests. They give me the structure I like without my feeling constricted by a belt. And all those pockets are wonderful. Vests aren’t the best for warm seasons of course (which is practically year around in some parts of the country), but I consider them my cooler weather best friend.

  13. I am a tucker-inner despite the fact that yes, the ‘ole spare tire is fully on display. Since no amount of exercise or riding seems capable of putting a dent in that (thank you, menopause) I just wince when I look in the mirror and carry on. The reason I tuck in is 50% due to comfort: I prefer not to have the waistband of ANY pair of pants digging into my skin, and my slightly wonky back really likes the support of a wide belt. The other 50% is tradition and wanting to present a “proper” picture. If I’m dressed like an equestrian, it helps me feel like I can actually be one. So I pay attention to my outfit and make sure it matches.

    I do laugh because my barn (which is not a H/J barn, it’s dressage/Western/stock HUS) is ultra-casual. I literally have never seen another rider wearing a sunshirt/actual riding shirt that matches their breeches (many ride in jeans), with a matching belt. I am IT. Nonetheless, I still do it for the above reasons. Being in the H/J world for most of my life, and reading about 3,000 “Jumping Clinic” critiques have influenced me forever, for better or worse!

  14. Also, I think you look very nice either way. You have fantastic taste and I always admire how well you (and your horse!) are dressed/put together. And, like Jenny said, I think you’re an excellent rider which is what any true horse person notices first!

  15. I second/third/fourth the comments above about how you always look so polished and put together! I love seeing your photos and am so happy you’re back to blogging 🙂

    I usually only tuck my shirt in if I’m showing, so basically, I haven’t tucked a shirt in in about 20 years LOL

    I try to wear tops that are fitted enough to not flap around without being tight or feeling like they are showcasing my flab. I try to stick to shirts that sit at or just below my hips, which (when I hike my breeches up!) does a pretty good job at concealing my spare tire while also not getting in the way. Especially in the summer, I tend to stick to 2 or 3 sleeveless workout shirts (not racer-back or spaghetti strap styles…they must hide bra straps!) that wick sweat away, and are comfy, but are not swimming on me.

  16. I am short and I am chubby. No matter what I wear, I will never look like a model in a Dover catalog. I always felt like tucking my shirt in looked awful, so I didn’t. If any of my instructors cared, they certainly never said anything about it. I think your work ethic and how you treat your horse matters so much more!

  17. I used to ride in breeches and a t-shirt, or even, tank top(!) when I was up north. When I moved to SD I was working from home and the barn was my only chance to “dress up” so I enjoyed picking out a shirt and belt and looking more polished. And now, it’s just a habit . I still like picking out a sunshirt and belt to go with my breeches, although I agree, sunshirts are NOT AT ALL flattering, and my shape has changed quite a bit so I try not to think about the overhang too much. Also, my airvest covers it all when I ride anyway.

  18. In riding, as in life, I wear clothes that make me feel good about myself. I grew up riding western mostly at home in a tshirt and jeans. I rarely got lessons bc I lived in Eastern Montana and there no lessons to be had, but I still always tucked in my shirt when I rode English. It seems kind of funny now.
    As a middle aged adult I always tuck in my shirt and wear a belt when I ride, but it is less for other people and more for myself. Kind of like when I go to work, I “dress for the job I want, not the one that I have” but that no longer includes wearing heels bc life is too short for those hellacious things. I demand comfort from my attire, but also to feel good about myself.
    If you feel good about yourself with your shirt untucked, then untuck that thing! If you feel undressed or uncomfortable, tuck it back in.
    As for belts, the fabric and woven belts with give are more comfortable to me and less restrictive so that is usually what I wear. My breeches tend to creep down without a belt (I’m shaped more like a boy, not much waist definition), so I always wear one.

  19. I wear a back brace while riding so never tuck anything in ever. I have a tank top under any shirt I wear so I can protect my skin from the brace and then my shirt goes over it loose. I think it looks better than having everything tucked in and putting my back brace over everything, given that my back brace, even at my skinniest weight, gives me a good roll over the top of it. No clinician or trainer has ever said anything other than to ask if I wear a brace so that’s been encouraging! I only “dress up” for teaching pony club because it’s required to wear a polo tucked in with a belt (although I teach in tennis shoes so I guess I’m technically against the rules there). I just got done teaching a lesson in tights and an untucked sun shirt because it’s hot! I definitely vote for us to normalize wearing things that make us comfortable, both physically and mentally. At the end of the day, the horses certainly don’t care!

  20. I ride at a private barn so very few people see me or comment o my attire. I believe in comfort and safety. When I foxhunt I fall in line with the traditional attire. The rest of the time, as long as I’m wearing a helmet, I don’t overthink it. I do think you look neat and put together in your pictures. I just hate belts. There. I’ve said it. They aren’t comfortable and many of my riding tights don’t have belt loops.

  21. I am part of the untucked club. I also don’t wear a belt either.

    I have never been spoken down to or given any less opportunity than my peers because I choose to untuck and not wear a belt. I am tidy and presentable for clinics and shows and have never had a problem with any clinicians thinking otherwise.

  22. NOT insane! After 4 pregnancies in 5 years my body – especially my stomach is a hot mess. I have fully embraced high waist thick riding tights that suck in everything, EXCELLENT sports bras (and 2 sports bras on show days), and leaving my sun shirts UNTUCKED! I counter this by making sure my matchy matchy game with my horse and his gear is ON POINT. I also leverage the slimming/comforting power of VESTS in the cooler months. Result, I’m kinda known for having great outfits at the barn, all with NO real breeches and NO tucking in. I like a smooth silhouette and I HATE feeling things bounce when I ride. When I show, it’s proper attire, and don’t get me wrong I love the shirt tucked in + cute belt look and as I’m finally getting my body back after babies, I am getting slightly more interested in pulling out my breeches with clasps again and re-joining the tuck in crowd, on occasion, I mean, let’s not get wild here 😉 DO YOU. You always look polished to me!

  23. Also, for what it’s worth, I grew up at a barn where one college gal wore ONLY a sports bra and breeches when she rode. Frankly she is the ONLY person whose outfit whist riding that is BURNED into my memory. Everyone else, don’t remember, don’t care, doesn’t matter. Just don’t wear THAT outfit, LOL!

  24. I don’t tuck. I had to when I first started riding as a borderline obese teen and I HATED the belly. I have zero torso and that lower belly was extra prominent when I tucked the shirt in. It looked like a beer gut on a 13 year old child. I sincerely HATED my body back then and HATED the way I looked with tucked shirts in breeches to the point where it affected my riding. Which is awful as a beginner.

    Even when I was anorexic in my late teens/early 20s, I would only tuck my shirt (a polo, specifically, and wear proper tall boots and a belt) for my lessons as a sign of respect for my trainer, my horse and the sport. (Jumpers at the time.) Schooling? I wore oversized T-shirts, breeches with full chaps over them and Sketchers sneakers. I was riding 5-figure horses in that attire, but I just wanted to be comfortable and not thinking about how I looked. My riding was more focused and effective because of that, and I was skilled enough that no one gave a damn about what I wore. It was also a financial thing: my family could not afford Taylored Sportsman breeches and designer polos. I had 2-3 pairs of cheap $20 Devon Aire breeches that would only get replaced after they started developing holes around the knee patches. I didn’t own paddock boots: our limited funds were invested in full custom field boots at the time that I wore at shows and in lessons, and my own saddle. My clothing of choice for schooling also helped lengthen the life of my precious breeches and boots. My show breeches were Pikeur hand-me-downs from one of the rich kids at the barn. My coat for rated shows was also a hand-me-down.

    In lessons, I was spotless and my boots were always polished. I might have looked sloppy when schooling, but my tack and the horses I rode were impeccably clean. My oversized shirts matched my saddle pads. The running joke around the barn was that everyone knew which horses I was riding because their coats shone and their tails always looked so silky.

    When I started endurance, I discovered this world where the equipment and how you looked didn’t matter anymore. All that mattered was that you and your horse were comfortable. I rode in sneakers and tights and tank tops because they were cool and soft and I could walk in them as comfortably as I could ride in them, and no one cared. I loved the plastic tack and the matchy-matchy everything.

    I took that with me when I left endurance. I have a gaited horse which means I don’t need to post a trot: friction rubs from the saddle on naked legs are just not a thing unless I’m riding for long periods, which means it is not uncommon for me to outright school in shorts in the summer. *gasp*

    I now board at a dressage barn, so I do pay more attention to “looking the part” when I’m in the arena, especially the indoor. I’m already on an unconventional horse with unconventional movement and a long mane, so looking the part is how I claim my space around the DQs.

    I still don’t tuck my shirt in though. 😉 I wear cropped tops that stop at the waistband of my breeches/tights. Or strappy tanks to show off the upper body I’ve worked hard to develop. My helmet is bright blue. My mare’s dressage bridle is a mix-and-match set; the browband bling is a row of metallic blue spikes. My tall boots are well-worn Dublin Pinnacles, so they are not fancy. I ride in a Wintec dressage saddle. But my shirt matches my saddle pad. And not only is my mare the shiniest on the property, she can outperform many a trotting horse already thanks to my riding and her abilities. And that is enough for everyone to know that we belong. <3

  25. I’m a tucker! But mid rise pants, so I can tuck in my extra self too… And a wide belt to hold it there!
    But honestly, as long as you look neat, I don’t think tucking is required for everyday riding. Clinics or shows? Yes. Everyday? No. My trainer doesn’t tuck in her sun shirts when riding at home.

  26. I only tuck in lessons or I am am going to PIVO my ride for posterity.

    I’ve never lived in hunterland, plus my boarding barn was largely self-care so I’m always dirty from chores, so what is the point of tucking in your shirt when its crazy filthy with horse boogers and shampoo residue?

    I love a sun shirt and but I always size up since I am very ‘soft’ around the middle. Some brands are better than others at being a bit sturdier and less clingy than others. As another commenter mentioned – I LOVE a vest. The additional pockets + the tummy coverage are perfect for comfort, utility and create a tidy image.

    On an unrelated note – I love your GPA but why is the chin harness so loose?

    1. It loosens on its own over time. I pull it snug when I notice it’s not tight enough, but admittedly need to pay better attention to it at times.

  27. Reading all these comments and I am trying to remember the last time I tucked any shirt in…civilian or riding. Ever. It’s been years. Even when I wear a belt, I don’t tuck shirts in.

    I spend 50% of my riding life wearing so many layers that you can’t see anything about my body at all, and while I try to stay relatively clean and neat…I dunno, it’s just never been a priority for me to be stylish or to match! I don’t even change out my saddle pads all that often.

  28. Great topic Lauren!

    I am a fan of wear what is comfortable and makes each of us feel good. After years of watching “What NOT to Wear” there are styles of clothes for every body type to compliment and cover up things so we look 1,000%. Some of those tops are meant to be worn ‘out’ and others ‘in’ but paired with something else that draws the eye up to our face or otherwise away from our mid-section that a lot of us call our ‘problem area’. Let’s not forget that Stacey & Clinton also focused on what was Under our shirts that built a foundation for how what goes on over our bra fits and looks.

    When we get into clothes for riding there are a whole host of things we worry about. We want something that hides our boobs, conceals the tummy pooch and lessens the jiggles of the unwanted pudge, but it can’t be too constricting and has to make us feel like an equestrian supermodel dammit! All while we are comfortable, keeps us cool and presents clean lines for the instructor or judges eye. That’s a tall order to fill for a piece of fabric! A friend of mine from several years back liked the look of breeches but could not stand seeing panty lines- so it’s not just how our shirts and tops fit, but other people also worry about how it All fits.

    Back in the day I used to always, Always tuck in my shirts. That was several pounds and a few bra sizes ago. Now it depends on the whole outfit. Since I’m the only one at my barn that even Has breeches, I may or may not tuck my shirt in. I may not worry about my shirt and saddle pad/ leg wraps or boots all matching either- it depends on the day. The horses care because they pick up our vibes that “Today I look the part” so we may carry ourselves a little different.

  29. Dedicated untucker here and I usually don’t even match shirts to tights. I did the tucked in and belt when my trainer required it but my current barn doesn’t . Even at work-untucked. You always look so put together in pictures and even when I try I don’t…

  30. What a great topic that everyone can relate to. I LOVE the look of a tucked, form fitting sun shirt or polo. As someone else mentioned, growing up with ‘Jumping Clinic’ and at a mainly hunter barn it was just what you did. I transitioned to dressage as an adult, and I noticed the ensembles (at least at the barn I was at) were a bit more a mix of euro/technical flavour (and bling!)…a lot of full seat tights with tight tech type tops untucked. That is my go-to these days in warm weather, I never have understood why it has taken so long for more athletic type materials and cuts to reach equestrian apparel. As much as I love the look, we must be one of the only sports where belts are a thing.
    I recently moved to new barn where the dressage trainer rides in just baggy jeans and an old hoody. Just puts his helmet on and away he goes. He is an absolutely amazing rider and trainer, and just about as unpretentious as they come. I always feel a little awkward riding my first level horse around in a matchy outfit struggling with something basic…while he struts around on his GP horse looking like a million bucks in dusty old jeans!

  31. I have this dilemma too, and my answer has always been to leave it untucked. That’s what makes me most comfortable and I wear my shirts like a security blanket. When I was younger and thinner (but always a plus size girl) I’d tuck in polos for schooling shows and show shirts for rated. For lessons my barns were usually casual but t shirt or polo, always untucked.

    These days I enjoy wearing sun shirts to lessons or in general (my barn is the MOST casual, so typically we don’t dress up like many training barns do) but I still can’t bring myself to tuck in. I always wear a belt and clean shirt/breeches, but it’s an insecurity I don’t know that I’ll ever get over and it’s one I’ve kind of just accepted. If someone thinks I’m not turned out well enough if I don’t tuck in my shirt, that’s a them problem, not a me problem. I say go and do whatever feels best for you that day – you can totally rock the tucked in shirt, or not, the choice is all yours.

  32. I started untucking a long time ago. Of course, given my age, my level of ‘give a fuck what people think’ has really changed. 🙂

    I do like shirts with a bit of structure to them so that when you wear them untucked it doesn’t feel like I’m naked….

  33. I have this conversation with myself every ride! The mercy-less sunshirts are functional and look nice, except the middle. Does anyone have specific golf shirts they have experience with? There’s a million on Amazon of course but if anyone has a certain brand/cut they stick with, please share!

    1. I’m late to the conversation, but just checked Amazon, and really liked the ones by JACK SMITH, short and long sleeves. They have different colored details that make them look sharper than a one-color shirt. Also, don’t overlook men’s shirts; I liked a brand called Jeansian, lots of patterns in their short sleeved shirt.

  34. I just came here to say that I love the photo at the top of this blog, you and Po look fabulous! I never tuck my shirt in, or very rarely do!! I am also about 30/40 lbs heavier then I’d like to be. Tucking a shirt in just makes me feel incredibly self conscious and disgusting….and I ride worse because of it. I don’t even wear sun shirts because they cling to all my flub. I’m starting to work on my fitness more, so hopefully that improves. But even when I was 30/40 lbs lighter, I was never thin and still hated tucking my shirt in. I say do what makes you comfortable!

  35. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Half the time when I’m out at the barn I keep wondering if others think I shouldn’t be riding because I weigh more than a horse should have to carry. I get so self conscious that some times I don’t even end up riding after I’ve tacked up. I appreciate knowing I’m not alone in my self doubts and seeing someone take charge of their worries. Way to go!!!

  36. Although I’ve only ridden three times in the past year and a half (which is so very sad), I did ride at a barn in high school that had some very particular attire rules. You had to wear breeches with a belt, paddocks and half chaps or tall boots, and your hair in a hairnet under the helmet. However, it was literally an “anything goes” situation on top: a few girls wore biking tops in lessons. I could not, and usually stuck with tanks or moisture-wicking tees.

  37. I try to not look super shabby so I always tuck my shirt in these days, but most of the time I’m in a hurry to ride in the middle of my work day so I don’t bother with a belt. But I’m also very unconcerned with fashion.

  38. I am a life-long tucker-inner, WITH a belt, thank you! I don’t like the feeling of the breeches waistband against my skin, my pants will sag and fall down without a belt, and I haaaate when my shirt rides up when I’m bending over to pick feet or wrap legs. So I tuck! But if a person is more comfortable un-tucked, they should do that! As long as you look tidy (tucked or not!) for lessons, clinics, and shows, who cares?

  39. I was a rake-thin teenager – more due to chronic illness than anything much else – and I loved my hip-height denim breeches with a pretty belt and my golf shirt tucked in. These days… no way. I’m only 24, but my body has absolutely changed, and while I’m in a good place with it, I definitely don’t need the drama that comes with having the muffin top popping out! I LOVE sturdy riding leggings for this. Mine are Mare Wear, with a really wide waistband that just contains all the curves. And I wear my shirt untucked all the time. I don’t want to be staring at my midriff every time I pass myself in the arena mirrors.
    As a riding teacher, I also don’t give two farts if my riders are scruffy little monsters or perfectly polished little queens. Their attitudes mean a lot more to me than their dress code! I’m sure there might be differences over there in HunterLand, though.
    I would also add that I really love ALL the riding outfits in your photos above, they are gorgeous and so are you <3

  40. To the person who suggested GOLF SHIRTS, thank you, thank you! Absolute GENIUS! I quickly went and researched and am amazed by the pricing differences; of course we all know anything “equestrian” has significantly inflated pricing! As for the topic at hand, Lauren, you always look fab, polished and put together. Yay, you! For myself, back when I was in h/j-land, MANY years ago; I was mostly a tucker-inner, polo shirt, breeches, belt and boots, BUT I was 20 lbs lighter then too! Then I gained 10 lbs, and switched over to western; still thin enough (altho not thin!) to wear cute tops with mid-rise jeans, tucked in, with belt, and ALWAYS matched my top to my saddle blanket. Nowadays, 10 more lbs, I rarely ride at all, take care of 3 horses and too tired after all the stuff to ride! When I do (English again), it’s short sleeved semi-fitted top untucked (but no sloppy t-shirts!) with jeggings and half chaps. I don’t lesson or clinic so not trying to achieve a “look” and just try to look at least semi-neat, LOL.

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