I was lucky enough to get the chance to try the new Dainese Molvedo (also called Cigar on some sites) breeches for Tried and Tested.
I have never really been a breeches snob and though friends tell me about Cavallo, Eurostar, Pikeur etc. I have just always smiled and ignored them because frankly I would never pay nearly £100 for something I am most likely to stain after a couple of days. Every now and again I get a super bargain off eBay like George Schumacher breeches, ones which have lasted and done the job.
That is until now.
I bet you read hundreds or tried and tested reports and think ‘yeah, yeah, free stuff to try, of course you are going to like it’. I certainly read the ones in Eventing magazine with a degree of scepticism, as nothing ever gets below four stars. But honestly having had these breeches, I have had to re-evaluate my breeches collection and I find it distinctly lacking after my Dainese breeches.
Firstly, I am a chunky monkey. I average about size 14-16 and have solid attributes to go with this. I will never be thin. I tried once, when I was single and lived in London and despite 2 hours every night in the gym and living off air, I still only got down to size 12 and ten and half stone. I am not someone who looks good in breeches. Yet the Dainese ones look better than any pair I have ever had. They seem to suck you in the right places and because the material is a high quality stretch material they never look wrinkled. I had the Chocolate ones and combined with the light knee patches they looked flattering. I have had friends who noticed my breeches straight away and said how nice they looked. This has never happened before! They are also super comfortable. In fact I notice my other breeches are not half as comfortable as they do not have the stretch which moves with you.
I have spilt a variety of things on them by accident including hoof oil and olive oil and they have come up as good as new after a wash. I have used and abused them as my day to day breeches and they still keep looking great. I have even fallen off in them in mud. The things I do to really test these products!
They do not have Velcro at the bottom but instead a silky type material with grippy rubber to stop them riding up. I have washed them probably 30 times and the rubber is still sticky and grippy. This means my socks do not get stuck to the Velcro and start fraying. I am a sock over the top of my breeches wearer (which my other half hates especially when I am doing the weekly shop in them. Mint pumps, bright socks and breeches. It’s a fetching look.)
The breeches come with belt loops which makes me very happy. One of my bizarre OCD things is riding with a belt. The belt loops are also wide enough to have a proper belt rather than a piece of string. These breeches are quite low cut so a belt does make them sit better.
The knee patches started with this rubbery grippy stuff on them which wore off after several rides in them but the knee patches themselves are good quality with a clever cut to make them more flexible. They have not frayed, lost any stitching or blackened. The front knee detailing seems to serve a purpose as I did not have that tight over the knee feeling you can get with breeches and I actually like the detailing even though I would not normally say it’s my style.
They have pockets which fit a mobile phone in and I can still text while out riding and put the phone away with one hand.
The sizing is typically Italian so I normally wear a 30/32 in breeches and ended up with a pair of 48.
So now the secret I am going to let you all in on. I LOVE these breeches. They have ruined me for life. I am going to stop being such a cheap skate and buy decent breeches from now on. I must start thinking ‘flattering investment’ rather than ‘boring essential’. This weekend I went through my horse clothing and pulled out 6 pairs of breeches that I do not like or wear and they will be going on eBay to fund some decent competition ones. They are expensive at £154.99 but honestly there is no going back for me. My only gripe would be they don’t do cream ones, because even though they are flattering there is no way you will see me in white breeches.
In fact I am so convinced by Dainese, I coughed up and bought a body protector, but hey that’s a whole different story!
I, on the other hand, was already an inveterate breeches snob. I have multiple pairs of Pikeur and Cavallo for competing, in different thicknesses depending on the weather, plus Kerrits for at home and competitions (the warmest and stretchiest ever, plus they’re super-sticky if I’m on one I really don’t trust to keep going in a straight line under normal circumstances!) Also, denim Pikeurs for at home and for clinics. I believe in spending money on breeches. My Pikeur ones all cost £140 and lasted well over 10 years, and some of the comp ones are 20 years old and still going strong… whereas cheap pairs have cost me £30 and didn’t even last a summer.
So, I was very interested to see whether these would match up to my favourites.
Firstly, the stretchy fabric around the calves. It’s absolutely great. No more getting rubbed raw by velcro that has been sewn on with the scratchy side facing inwards, so when it pops apart when I flex my calf, it starts shredding my skin. (Like Lucy, I favour the ‘long socks outside breeches’ look.)
The colour (Chocolate) and style of the Dainese are SO flattering. I have NEVER had two different people come up to me at a clinic and say “your breeches are gorgeous! Where did you get them?! What make are they?” before. Never. Ooh, I feel like a supermodel. In fact, I loved this so much that I wore them to Burnham Market for course-walking (before changing into cream breeches to compete in) and again got complimented. 🙂 🙂 🙂
Unfortunately, despite my very best efforts, on and off (which I fully realise is the problem), I am not a size 10 either. I am more a 12-14, in a very ‘junk in the trunk’ (as the Americans so delightfully put it) kind of way. These breeches are REALLY flattering.
Put it this way, for a demo where I’d have stand holding my horse in front of a few hundred strangers, I wore these. They are the comfiest and most flattering I own…
The sticky patch inside has smoothed out a bit, the rubbery bits wearing off slightly, but that hasn’t affected the feel of them at all. I was addicted to a full sticky seat but actually these, with the sticky part finishing a lower, allow a bit more movement in the saddle for lateral work, which I found I really liked.
I use a belt with them, I think they need that. It looks smarter and without it they do pull down a bit (probably because I went for the smaller size, aiming to lose 1/2 a stone, which hasn’t shifted quite yet).
Another great design is the patented ‘Tra-in’ popper button. You’d think this was unimprove-able, it’s just a press stud, surely?! No, this one slides unobtrusively and locks into place, so it can’t pop open on its own. Just a tiny detail but very nice and reassuring.
Yes, it’s official. I love them. Really really really LOVE them. They are unisex and come in Navy, Chocolate, Stone, and White.
If you want to be really comfortable in the saddle, and look great, these are the ones to go for. You can get them direct from Dainese or on Amazon or eBay, and some tack shops such as ForelockandLoad are now stocking Dainese too. You won’t regret it.