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Louise’s Badminton Survival Guide 1 – Fashion!

It’s time for Badminton, woohoo!  A veteran of 10 years, I relish the shopping, the socialising and sometimes I even get to see horses!  Since Ted and I are now bone fide eventers *ahem* this year I am attending with a view to strutting around with the eventer swagger, making comments about how I would tackle the water (at a walk, then a limbo, then a splash and a swim) and ensuring that I am dressed in suitable eventing groupie fashion.  Ahhh, fashion and Badminton, or eventing in general, are, in all honesty, not two words that usually go together.  Fashion faux pas is more like it and being a helpful soul I thought I would kick off my fantastic series of tips and hints with some pointers!

  • Buying your father an *Unpaid Groom* hoodie may be funny at the time but walking around Badminton in one will make him look like a plonker.  In fact comedy worded hoodies in general are never a great idea even 5 minutes after purchase…I know…I bought one that said “Happiness Is A Horse And A Rich Husband” from Badders a couple of years ago.  Needless to say I chortled at the time, winked at the husband and didn’t give it another thought.  When I wore it to my local town I suddenly realised that some people may think I was bragging about having a rich husband (I don’t, not in Branson terms) and was worried I might become an immediate mugging target…. I only wear it under a coat these days, I don’t fancy two black eyes, a broken nose and my wallet stolen, even if it is usually empty!


  • Unless you are under 18 with legs like a supermodel please do NOT wear Timothy Foxx tweed hotpants with the silk fabric gusset that looks like you have a sanitary towel attached to the outside of your attire as it is not attractive.  The silk fabric is supposed to be a cheeky twist, of which only a flash is apparent every now and again.  If these shorts are strained over large buttocks the silk area becomes the only focal point, and people will just stare….you have been warned!


  • Are are coming straight from the yard?  If so there are two things I would like to request you leave behind…your yard boots/coat and your dirt.  Come on, Badminton is not just *popping into a local show*, it is a revered event and surely you can stretch to some soap for the occasion, a clean jacket and some boots that have never seen urine in their life…If it is hot and you have the aforementioned items on YOU WILL SMELL, and even worse I WILL SMELL YOU!  So shower, please, and put some civvies on!


  • Along the same theme is breeches….PURLEEEEASE, you didn’t have two minutes to change out of your breeches and into a pair of jeans?  Of course you did!  I know your game, you are hoping that WFP is going to spot you and ask you to ride his horse in/out from the stables or school him so that tricky canter work can gain a 10…Not.Going.To.Happen….EVER….  Don’t look so ridiculous, change into some jeans!  The only horse you will have the opportunity to ride is Trigger the mechanical horse and you can wear shorts and trainers on him!


  • When we have been in drought for 3 weeks and there is no rain forecast there is NO reason to wear Dubarrys other than to show off to people that you can afford them…they were made for wet, cold weather.  Wearing cheap knock offs just make people pity you the more and your feet are going to sweat so much your toes will shrivel.  You are not going to be near a horse, wear flip flops if you are one of those amazing people who can walk for hours in them, if not just a pair of simple plimsoles will do!


  • Wearing an ear warmer, especially one in tweed and adorned with a union jack flag, when the ice cream seller has sold out and people are going various shades of pink is NOT chic.


  • Don’t forget to brush your hair.  Yes some of you may be camping but a hairbrush will remove that birdsnest backcombing look that really isn’t flattering and in fact just makes you look like you have been dragged through a bush backwards!  And yes, I am absolutely aware that backcombed hair is to the modern Sloane what Alice bands were to the 80s version, but seriously, please do look in the mirror and consider the reflection without being influenced by your hair 🙂


  • Head to toe tweed will only succeed in telling other spectators you have spent vast amounts on your outfit, it is not, however, a good look.  Yes, the Moloh and Dubarry girls look gorgeous, but they also have enviable figures and are wearing merchandise that costs a fair whack of money and they are styled to within an inch of their lives AND they are under 30.   If your thighs wobble, are white and you are over 30 do NOT try and emulate the cute mini skirt/waistcoat look.  Whilst it can look great outside of events, with thick tights, it takes a special kind of person to pull off the ensemble in the day time, in the sun, at a casual event, without looking like a try hard.  And always remember that tweed can be very stylish but (too short) skirt, waistcoat, jacket, matching bag and ear warmers or matching hat are a step too far.


  • Onesies…If you are seriously considering wearing one to Badders then please go and see your G.P. as a matter of urgency.  Only acceptable for sleeping in whilst camping, not for partnering with heels, trowled on make up and back combed hair as one girl was wearing at Olympia.


  • Heels…I mean really?!  The only person I have ever seen walk beautifully in heels on grass was Princess Diana and she was akin to a mythical creature.  If you are adamant that you HAVE to elongate your legs then please do the sensible thing and wear wedges, no one thinks a woman walking like a baby giraffe after 6 too many vodkas looks elegant…unless you live in the world of Geordie Shore.


  • Adults in blouson jackets with their name and horse name on.  Anyone over the age of 12 shouldn’t be allowed to buy one of theses.  Sponsored jackets are fine, but named with horse name….no.  Again, WFP isn’t going to come up to you and say “Darling Cassie, I see you have a horse called Lady’s Luck.  Well, isn’t this my lucky day, you MUST be an amazing rider and I MUST have you come and ride for me immediately.”  Not.Going.To.Happen.


  • If you want to be uber safe you can wear the eventer’s uniform.  This comprises of a pair of jeans and a top from Joules or Musto.  You can be a little more dashing by adding one of the rather fun/cringe animal knits, but this still will not make you stand apart from the crowd.  At any given time I will bet there will be at least 10 other people on site with the same ensemble as you…like I said, uber safe!



So there you have it, there is no excuse for you to look like a plonker, a scrubber or a wannabe Sloane this bank holiday weekend…you are welcome!

 Tomorrow I shall give you my best hints and tips for surviving the madness of a 4* event 🙂
P.S.  Don’t forget to enter our HiHo competition for a chance to win an invite to their party on Friday at Badminton!

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