BY SISSY WICKES
The current retail world is a flurry of clothing labeled as athleisure and gym to street styles. Most of the workout clothes offered by the big labels are suitable for wear outside of the gym in order to accommodate busy, mobile lifestyles. Equestrian wear has never transitioned seamlessly from the barn to the street. A rider can be spotted at one hundred paces with strangely collared shirts and oddly fitting breeches. Until now. Enter Free x Rein, a new line of equestrian apparel designed by energetic young entrepreneurs, Dana Schwartz and Andrea Vogel.
Free x Rein is the brainchild of two riders who were urban professionals and commuted out to the country to ride. Busy lifestyles, demanding careers, and little time for mandatory clothing changes after riding combined to produce a beautiful line of equestrian attire. The Free x Rein label offers fabulous fabrics, clean lines, and functionality at a competitive price point.
As Vogel explains, “Our chief complaint was that we couldn’t wear our riding clothes in the city. The industry had adopted high-tech fabrics, but the cuts were very low, it was super synthetic, and literally see-through. We were looking for clothing with appeal for all riders and suited for any occasion.”
The transformative moment for Schwartz and Vogel was a conversation that they had with a young mother of two. She told them that she felt compelled to wear Spanx shape wear under her breeches. This encounter gelled their resolve to launch a line of elegant equestrian clothing that appealed to a variety of body types, lifetsyles, and age groups.
Free x Rein breeches are designed to flatter. Strategic seams and pockets produce clean, slimming lines. They are available in two fabrics: Italian Ponte knit and Indian cotton. The breeches are midrise and available in black, tan, and white. The Ponte fabric is luxurious in texture and generous in its four way stretch. Indian cotton is durable, cool, and gives in the right places. Form fitting and modern, these pants are perfect for all riders to go with style from the ring to reality.
In clothing the top half of the rider, Free x Rein brought the street to the stable in their bodysuit design. While new to the equestrian world, bodysuits have been a part of female attire since the 1950’s. Schwartz and Vogel explain, “Bodysuits have stood the test of time because they were designed to be a formfitting one piece that could serve as undergarments, active wear, or a flattering alternative to a shirt that would never untuck from skirts and trousers.” Free x Rein bodysuits are riding shirts and thong with a front closure. The snap closure is situated high enough that it will never be felt by or interfere with the rider. The designers state, “Everyone who wears the bodysuit tells us that they forget that they are wearing it. It is that comfortable.” The riding shirts are available for schooling and competition in cool, breathable fabrics and are cut generously around the middle for comfort.
The Free x Rein product line has taken equestrian apparel to the next level in style and comfort. Innovative designs, figure flattering materials, and equestrian minded details comprise the best new clothing company on the horse show scene.
About the Author: Sissy is a Princeton University graduate, a lifelong rider and trainer, a USEF R rated judge, a freelance journalist and an autism advocate. Her illustrious resume includes extensive show hunter and jumper experience. She lives with her family in Unionville, PA and Wellington, FL.
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