Monday, November 3, 2014

Pet Peeve: Shadbelly-Belly

Since the whole walk-walk-walk-walk-walk, trot-trot routine is not all that thrilling to document, I figured I'd move onto one of my pet peeves that has reared its (totally unattractive) head while I've been busy streaming the big indoor shows back east.

Shadbelly Belly. 

Oh the horror. 

I think my sensitivity might be due to my equestrian upbringing in the land of eventing and dressage, where Shads are worn only at the upper levels and are a reflection of the formality and impeccable turnout that goes hand in hand with competing at that level. But regardless, my preference for Shadbelly style and fit is strongly influenced by that background.


How I think Shads should look
mmm, belt free and streamlined.
Now, I am the first to admit that there will never (ever) be a reason for me to wear a Shadbelly in either of those disciplines.  I am simply not a good enough rider to earn the right to wear one for dressage, and I don't have the balls to get there on the Three Day stage...

So trust me when I say that I am THRILLED there is a (reasonable) chance that at some point I might be able to justify the purchase of (and wearing) a Shadbelly for some sort of Hunter Derby type thing. 

I acknowledge a relatively limited understanding of Hunter Land and all of its traditions and nuances, but it seems that while the Shadbelly still carries an air of extra formality - a much, much higher percentage of competitive Hunter riders will have an opportunity to (appropriately) bust out the tails at some point in their career.

Which brings me to my pet peeve -  Shadbellies worn with low rides breeches that result in an unsightly peek at not only one's belt, but also one's shirt between the two.

what the crap.
I have a personal dislike for all things low rise (especially breeches) but that is mostly due to my total lack of a waist and general abundance of love handles which render low-waist-anything sort of horrific.  However, I find Shadbelly Belly unsightly and sloppy looking even on those riders with waify, equitation-perfect figures, so being skinny doesn't really solve the aesthetic issue for me..

My first, not so generous, assumption upon noticing the horror of herds of Junior riders scampering around with crop-top shads that prominently displayed half of their shirts along with some blingy belt - was that this unsightly gap between shad and breeches could be blamed on an irreverence for good turnout and a general misunderstanding of formal attire. 

I turned  to google to find appropriate examples of this trend and was horrified to learn  that even the catalog pictures for "hunter" shads show them worn with low rise breeches. 

wtf??

So am I to understand that is this a deliberate style???

If so my grandmother is for sure rolling over in her grave and I suddenly feel very old and sort of want to shake my fist at those darn kids and their fancy horse riding coats....

But seriously, these are catalog photos... Which, dare I say are less extreme examples of Shadbelly Belly than what I see scampering around at the shows - but still, this is how Shads are marketed to the Hunter crowd?  I'm so confused.

put your g-- d--- belt away




Any seasoned Hunters out there have an explanation?  I have noticed that several of the pros tend to wear their Shadbellies with high rise breeches, and sometimes even with a real vest (gasp, I love that).  But most of the juniors and ammys run around sporting the exposed belt/belly look.

I have a feeling that even is the shirt-gap-belt-showing thing is "correct" its one of those looks that I'll never, ever quite get used to. 

Fortunately for me, my whole super-short-waisted thing means I'll never have to worry about this issue personally.  Well, that along with the fact that I would need to be showing 3' + before I even worry about this to begin with, but I digress...

What do you guys think? Who has a shad and cares to share?

23 comments:

  1. I am totally with you - shad to breeches, the whole way. Show your points, not your shirt and belt. (And while you're at it, go ahead and ask me how I feel about technical fabric coats, lol!)

    And yes, I am insanely jealous of my hunter friends with shads. I wanna wear a shaaaaaad (insert whiny noise here), but it seems unlikely that I'll ever ride at a high enough level to do so. Pout.

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  2. I have no Shad experience myself, and I doubt that I will ever make it to that level (but heck, you never know), but I agree with you completely. The whole low-rise and belt coupled with what appears to be a shorter than normal jacket, looks like utter $hit.

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  3. So allllllll the breeches are too low for them. All. The. Breeches. Even my mid rise TS breeches are too low and I'm not sure where I'd find a true high rise.

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    1. VTO Saddlery's Royal Highness breeches. Can be had for $50 on sale. Comfy. Long wearing. High waist. They are my savior.

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  4. It's all about body type, most of my breeches are older style higher rise and I'll be sporting CANARY breeches from the 70s when I finally hit a derby! That being said low rise breeches on me don't look as low as they do on mostpeople.

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    Replies
    1. Unless canary gets deemed "informal" and therefore not acceptable to wear as formal attire [there are two proposed rules that would do so this year]

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    2. Don't kill L's dreams! lol but I agree about the belly nonsense, it reminds me of the whale tale phase in high school, can you not!

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  5. I'm not a hunter, as I hail from the land of dressage, but I can safely say I am not a fan of this look, and if I ever WAS a hunter in a shad, you would see nothin' but breech below that cropped waist.

    Anything else just looks so... Tacky. And sloppy. So much untidiness. It makes my inner OCD Dressage Diva writhe in pain. ;)

    bonita of A Riding Habit

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  6. I think that most breeches are made lower and a lot of the shads are cut higher. Not a good combo. That said even low rise isn't really that low on me so it's a lot about body type.

    I probably won't be in a position to own or wear a shad any time soon but if I get there there won't be any shirt/belt action showing. Good post.

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  7. Wow, that look is totally trashy. I can't ... I can't even.

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  8. Yeah, that looks so wrong. How could you take such a classic look and make it look so trashy?

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  9. I have never noticed this before, but it looks like the shads are actually shorter than the first two you presented... It looks weird with the tail being still the same length yet the shad part being short.... Just odd

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  10. Or you can be me and just sort of hate shads unless they are in a leadline class on a braided pony. ;-)

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  11. the belt / shirt / shad combo looks too busy, and draws attention to exactly the wrong place.... but i also get the 'when in rome' sentiment, esp when breeches are cut too low, and shads so high... fortunately i'm not ever likely to need to worry about it :)

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  12. This is one of those things that I never noticed before, but now will notice all the time. =P

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  13. Wait, why are kids wearing shads?

    This look seems really out of place in a discipline that usually sports very classic attire.

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    Replies
    1. Shads are formal attire for hunter classes, so you will find them in hunter medals and Pony Finals. Most kids have shads for Pony Finals ;)

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  14. I'm always too busy admiring horses to ever notice what the riders are wearing... but now that you point it out... yeah I don't like that!! I like the traditional dressage look like that first photo.

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  15. Totally with you on this. I don't want to see anyone's belt or shirt peeking out from under their points.

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  16. Totally agree with you, it just looks sloppy to be showing off your belt and a few inches of your shirt while wearing a shad. Either get one that is long enough, or get breeches that go up to your belly button. Whatever it takes, hide your belt and shirt!

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