Five Show Jumping Fashion Trends to Watch

With Hannah Selleck and Julia Tops


Equestrian fashion is steeped in tradition with the general show ring attire aesthetic still resembling that of centuries past. However, one look at the helmets, glance at the show coats, or feel of the fabrics reveals significant changes in what show jumpers are wearing as compared to even 20 years ago. 

From more vibrant colors to technical fabrics, the show ring wardrobes of stylish show jumpers Hannah Selleck and Julia Tops are a reflection of how far show ring apparel has come and what is currently trending in jumper fashion. 

Selleck’s own breeding and training operation, Descanso Farm, is based in California, while Canadian show jumper Tops currently resides in Europe where she attends the London School of Economics and rides and trains with her father, Longines Global Champions Tour founder Jan Tops. While Selleck and Tops are competing on different continents at the moment, their show clothes reflect similar trends seen across the sport. Here’s a look at five styles you need to know about. 

As an ambassador for Kingsland Equestrian, Julia Tops, 21, can frequently be seen competing in shades of light blue or purple. Photo © Arnd Bronkhorst Photography

1. Colored Show Jackets

And we don’t mean just green or rust. While traditional dark jackets remain the status quo in the hunter divisions, the palette of colors seen in the show jumping ring has continued to expand. 

Hannah Selleck frequently competes Elita Toscita DF (bred and owned by Selleck’s Descanso Farm) in a Cavalleria Toscana fly bonnet designed to pair perfectly with Selleck’s Cavalleria Toscana jacket. Photo © ESI Photography

2. On-brand bonnets

Across the board, rider apparel brands like Kingsland or Cavalleria Toscana have also stepped into creating horse gear, most notably fly bonnets and saddle pads that pair perfectly with what riders are wearing. Look for this trend to likely only continue to increase. 

Hannah Selleck routinely rides in brown Parlanti field boots. Photo © Kirstin Lee Photography

3. Brown is the new black

We have heard that orange is the new black, but fortunately, that is not the case in the show ring! Instead, in recent years brown has shown up with increasing prevalence when it comes to boots, coats, and even helmets. 

The brown shade of Selleck’s Parlantis is only subtly noticeable from afar. Photo © Kirstin Lee Photography

4. Technical and innovative fabrics

One of the biggest changes—and arguably best improvements—in equestrian fashion in the last decade is the use of more technical and innovative fabrics. 

Anyone recall the Velcro closures that used to be commonplace at the bottom of breeches as recently as five years ago? Today, the majority of Velcro bottoms have been replaced with sock bottoms made from technical materials that lay flat against the rider’s leg and fit easily inside tall boots. 

Hannah Selleck prepares to ride in a pair of Cavalleria Toscana breeches with the silicone knee patches that have in recent years largely replaced sewn-on cloth, leather, or suede knee patches. Photo © Kirstin Lee Photography

More and more companies are treating equestrian apparel like the sportswear that it is, and design accordingly. Jackets and breeches are made of fabrics with greater give, increased ventilation and breathability, and easier care and washing. Some are even water and dirt repellent!

In the past five to ten years, knee patches have transformed from sewn-on cloth, leather, or suede patches to the highly popular, grippy silicone knee patch.

5. Helmets

Another great advancement of equestrian fashion in the last decade is the continually improving safety technology in helmets. The days of the hunt cap, often without a chin strap, have been replaced with new designs and styles that lend themselves to not only greater protection for the rider, but also an opportunity to express a rider’s sense of style. Different helmet colors and shapes, along with the application of bling, can make a helmet a fashion statement.

Julia Tops competing aboard Delacroix AS in a Samshield Miss Shield with Swarovski crystal embellishments. Photo © SportFot

Heading into 2020, Samshield helmets, and notably the Samshield Miss Shield helmets, continue to be some of the most popular and trending helmets of choice, while other brands such as KASK Equestrian, in which Selleck rides, continue to grow in popularity as well.