Does Traditional Have to Mean Plain? A Look at Show Shirts


The hunter ring is a great place to catch up on modern fashion and trends. When scrolling through beautiful pictures of gleaming riders, I discovered I found that an unassuming show shirt is key to pulling off a polished appearance.

Some of the trend changes are obvious at a first glance. The ratcatcher is OUT and the wrap collar is IN. No one better be caught in a shirt that isn’t as white as the driven snow lest they be tagged a rebel who can’t be trusted. I mean, hunters don’t even wear pink on Wednesdays. Come on! I swear you can still find a distance if your shirt is lilac.

But if we are going to insist on plain white shirts, it’s excellent news that there are some really cute ones that look nice under the traditional (read: dark, solid colored jackets). Here are some show shirts that are trendy, fabulous but still polished and traditional.

RJ Classics Rebecca

RJ Classics has a lot of really cute on-trend shirts, but I love the Rebecca with its nautical themed collar that won’t show when buttoned up and under a jacket. I like that it has the mesh vents, because goodness knows that life under a show jacket gets hot.

Le Fash

If you’re looking for a shirt that will look even better after you take your jacket off, you need a Le Fash. I am a sucker for anything grey, so I really love the sleeves on this one, but there are quite a few options in their line. Plus the hidden magnetic closure on their collars means even a clumsy accident prone person like me can’t pop a button off right before I have to get on.

Cavalleria Toscana

This shirt is clearly very nicely made, and the subtle tuxedo pleating allows for some texture and variation without breaking the no colors trend in show shirts. That is so fetch.

Talent Yarn “Cherries Elefanti”

Elephants are my favorite animal, which is funny because they are rarely known to jump clear, but how can you deny their adorableness? So I’m about to splurge on this shirt by Talent Yarn that has elephants lining the collar. The hunter judge wouldn’t know, but you would, and that’s what really matters here.

Tredstep Symphony Paris

And finally, for those of us who just want to wear pink on a Wednesday, and who can’t quite afford the super high end brands, the Tredstep Symphony Paris is here to save the day with super cute cuff and collar linings. I have a Tredstep show shirt and I love it, it looks great under a jacket or on its own.

So, there you have it. If you want to make fetch happen, you’ve got options. Eventually the pendulum will swing back to subtle colors but it’s great that the market has so many options for shirts that manage to look traditional and yet not be boring. Happy shopping!

About the Author: Jess is a professional historian and educator who lives in northwestern Virginia. They completed their undergraduate degree in English at William & Mary, and did their masters and doctoral work at the University of Florida. Jess is an event rider with a passion for thoroughbreds, and has extensive experience in community organizing around queer identities, racial marginalization, and labor.
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