One thing that’s been on my shopping list for a while is a new competition jacket, made from a modern technical fabric (my jackets are all non-stretch, and probably qualify as ‘vintage’ now), so I paid a lot of attention to what was on offer at BETA.
These were the ones that really caught my attention.
John Whitaker competition jackets. These are technical fabric, lightweight, machine washable, and come in various levels of decoration. The most restrained styles are around £100, the most embellished go up to £150.
There are options such as a pink suede-effect touches on the collar and pockets, or diamanté effect at the waist (as on the jacket in the centre of the photo above), or on the collar. So, you can go as snazzy or blingy, or not, as you choose.
The fabric is quite thin, so won’t cover a multitude of sins, but nor will it be overheating. These are long-line, unlike most of the jackets which were on display at BETA, and they look like a very nice jacket for the money.
The show-jumpery shorter-in-the-body jackets are the most popular shape now, but if, like many of the e-V team including me, you’re long in the body and not a size 10 or less, short jackets finishing above the hips, at the widest point, just aren’t the most flattering shape.
In a blazer, paired with a flattering top and well-cut jeans, I can just about get away with it, but with cream breeches… argh, they just make my bum look even bigger!
If you’re short-waisted, or really slim, then the ‘bum-freezers’ that will look good on you are everywhere.
e-V team member Lucy and I absolutely loved the look and superior quality of the Horse Pilot range. The company is owned by a French rider, Aurelién Guillon, who has an eventing background (he used to ride for Tiny Clapham, but has defected to show-jumping now that he’s busy running his own business) and he does the designing too, he said.
These jackets are in a fantastic fabric, exactly the right weight and stretch, much nicer than many of the others around at the moment.
There’s a great choice of customisation: for instance the contrast fabric detailings on the elbows and back ‘strap’ are optional, but I thought they were a lovely touch, just a bit out of the ordinary.
All jackets are made to order, in exactly the colour choices, arm length, and size you require. Another huge bonus is that they are machine washable. I just wish they would do them in a longer length… then they’d be absolutely perfect for me! They’ll retail at approximately 400 Euros.
The Union Flag jacket was to show off their fancy tailoring, and was definitely very snazzy… I wonder if we’ll see something similar as a Team Jacket one day?
Spooks jackets are always very desirable, and the ones they showed this year were no exception, although, for me, they are unfortunately too short in the body.
The fabric did not feel quite the same as the Horse Pilot jackets, so possibly isn’t as forgiving if you’re not supermodel-thin, but if you are the right body type, there’s the trademark neat silhouette, and the refined edging on collar and pocket are lovely touches. The Edwardian black band and pie-crust frill at the neck of the shirt in this photo are possibly A Little Bit Too Much for eventers, but you can’t deny that they’re very nice!