Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Reviewing the Tack Splurge Part 1

I've noticed a trend that while I tend to be really good at advertising when I go on a total tack binge, I haven't been as good about sharing my opinions on the products once I start using them.

In an effort to remedy that, here's an update on the random items I ended up purchasing for Windsor that I mentioned here, as well as a few other newly acquired odds and ends.  Since I ended up rambling like I usually do, I'm breaking this into two parts (and also I still have a few photos I need to snag...).

Part 1 includes the things for me! And Part two will cover the things for the pony.

Yesterday, I finally unpacked my pretties from Callidae.  I (shockingly) had to exchange my shirt for a smaller size, since their sizing wasn't as ridiculously slim and high fashion as I had feared (which immediately put them in my good graces).  Even with the slightly too large Practice Shirt - I really liked the piece.  It's polished and tailored looking, but not bulky which is appealing to me given how I layer at the barn.  But if I liked it initially, I loved it when it came in the right size.  The smaller size (still an L for me) made the arms and body look a bit more crisp without being skin tight (thank god).  It's a great cut for riding - tailored and polished looking, without being suction cupped to my body.

In other news, Santa put a selfie stick in my stocking (gasp!) I'm still sort of confused by it, but it made some ROOTD pictures a tad easier

LOVE this.  Want more.
The fabrics are gorgeous, and details are well thought out.  For $90, I strongly prefer the look of the Callidae over a high end sun shirt.  It looks a bit more traditional, while still giving a thin, stretchy tech fabric that's easy to move in. 

Also, from a design aspect, I've gotten a little jaded hearing all the higher end riding clothes claim that they can "go from stable to street."  For one thing, I look at half the items and think "nope."  But also, never in my life have I gotten off my horse, swapped my boots for a nice nude pump and trotted off to dinner in my super chic riding outfit... I like how that plays in my head, but usually I'm busy hosing someone off in the wash rack - and even if I wasn't - I've never seen the true crossover appeal with most of those items. 

But with this shirt, I sorta get it.

Realistically, I'd be just as likely to throw the Practice Shirt on with a pair of jeans and run weekend errands as I would be to grab it with breeches for a lesson.  That's a tough niche to fill in my closet, but I am impressed that this shirt seems to do it.

I will definitely be ordering a show shirt (or two..) from them once the coffers fill back up a bit from the Holidays.

(there were a lot of selfie stick outtakes... how I'm confused by such a simple thing I don't know)
THE BELT is exactly what I wanted.  Clean, classic, beautiful-but-not-distracting buckle and comes in a size large enough for me :)

That makes Callidae 2 for 2 for my initial order, which is pretty impressive when dealing with a new brand that I hadn't ever actually seen in person. 

Finally, there was also my first experience with the Piper Breeches from SmartPak.  I grabbed a color that was on sale (army green/black) and threw an extra holiday discount on top, so I think they were about $40.  I had low expectations, because even though everyone raves about them - I am oddly hard to fit in pants. 

I have relatively skinny legs compared to my waist.  Or that is to say, I don't really have a waist.  So if I buy pants that fit my legs, they cut into my stomach terribly, and if something fits around my tummy, it is usually too loose in the hip and thigh. 

My first impression of the Pipers was that I loved the fabric.  Good thickness and stretch to make everything feel firmer... and I thought the seaming was flattering as well.  I ordered a 32L because that seems to be fitting me well in Pikeur (who actually succeeds ok at my waist/leg ratio).

Breeches! (the only acceptable angle..)
The 32's fit my tummy well, and even were ok through my hip - but the knee and lower leg are legit baggy.  It's passable with my Konig boots because they are tight enough to keep everything in place, but with my other boots, the pants float around and bunch up.  I'm tempted to try to go down a size and see if that gets a better fit in the leg - but I'm 99% sure unless I drop some more baby weight I'll be self conscious about how tight the 30's are in the waist. 

apparently I have skinny knees?
(update - I have eaten enough cookies and consumed enough mulled wine that there is ZERO chance of me ordering anything in a 30L anytime soon.... oops)

So, the jury is still out.  I do love the price point and all the color options, so it's definitely a product I want to want to love.

However, all in all - these are three items that I genuinely like, and I think look sharp at the barn. 

Admittedly, I often lack the energy (and time) necessary to look like a total Hunter Princess every time I show up to ride - I do really enjoy when I can feel a bit more polished and presentable - though that's true regardless of where I am.

Stay tuned for the update on Windsor's goodies!


  1. I ordered 2 pairs of pipers in 2 sizes and both gapped at my legs like that so honesty going down a size may not help you :( I am going to post about them this week sometime.

    I wanted them to work but they just didn't. I'll have to investigate the shirt! Looks really nice!

  2. I'm not sure why so many people rave about the Pipers. I saw them and felt them at Rolex and absolutely hated the fabric. Way too thick for me. That being said, I love their color options, so I was disappointed that they weren't as enticing as I would have liked.

  3. So sad the Pipers don't work for you :( I love mine

  4. I agree with Hawk, the fabric leaves much to be desired, but they do fit my body type...short and hippy. I had the same issue with baggy legs with the recent pair of USG breeches I got, so sad!

  5. Haha, I love your description of switching out boots for pumps and heading out for wine. Who actually DOES that?!?!?

  6. I would love to go from barn to streetwear but i always wind up covered in some sort of goo from poneh cuddles!

    Gorgeous shirt & belt ♡♡♡

  7. I just ordered Pipers from the same sale and had to return them as well. The waist was too big as was the lowed leg. Of course they didn't have my size in the sale "lot", so now I'm just waiting until I decide which color I want from the regularly priced ones.

  8. So weird that the pipers gave you that problem. That's an issue I almost always have with sock bottom breeches, but Pipers seem to be one of the few exceptions. I'm with you on the fabric though. Some people don't like the thickness, but I think it really helps smooth out any little imperfections and keeps things from feeling jiggly. Haha. I hate thin breeches because they make me too self-conscious. The shirt really is beautiful though, as is the belt.

  9. nice to know you're so in love with the callidae stuff! bummer about the pipers tho - that's definitely a strange fit...

  10. I still am not convinced about pipers

  11. I don't believe it - this is ME, to a T! "So if I buy pants that fit my legs, they cut into my stomach terribly, and if something fits around my tummy, it is usually too loose in the hip and thigh." And I ordered Pipers in the exact same size as you and had the exact same problem! From waist to knee they were great and I was very excited... but there was no way the SEVERAL extra inches of fabric around the knees and calves were going to work. I had to send them back and I was SO sad! :(

    Since I'm most definitely in the breeches market, and have tried on at least 10 different pairs with zero luck, what kind do you normally wear? I thought Trophy Hunters were going to work but no, I'm between sizes (I need a 31, grrr). I really hope you have a recommendation!

    I love the Callidae practice shirt and belt and would totally wear both around town.

    1. My go to's (sadly) are Pikeur. I wish something cheaper fit me well - but I've have luck with both their high waisted and low waisted options fitting pretty nicely. I fluctuate between a 30 and 32 now, but the legs are always a nice slim fit... I'm guessing I'm going to end up with a new pair of them for show season...

  12. I'm checking back in here since I'm looking at the Dover catalog that came yesterday. They have some nice-looking Tredstep breeches on sale. Have you ever tried those? I have not and I'm just wondering if something might work... Of course the Pikeurs are on the next page but the only way I'm going to get some of those is if I find them used on eBay, argh!! :-/ Thanks for your help - it's comforting to know I'm not the only one with this fit problem.


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