Ah, the Smartpak Piper breeches. I have heard that people either love them or hate them. I’m going to be one of those rare sort-of-in-between people. They’re not my absolute love, but they’re pretty damn close. In all actuality, I don’t have a pair of breeches that I absolutely love-and-must-have, but these are up there.
The biggest thing I love about these breeches are the colors. I absolutely love that they come in a huge variety of super fun colors. My second favorite thing about Pipers are the pockets.
They have 4 pockets: two in front and two in the back. What I also like best about these pockets is that they’re contoured to the Euro seat stitching so you don’t have to worry about your phone hitting the saddle and falling out of your pockets. And since the pockets are contoured, the stitching won’t rub on your saddle, either.
I also love that these breeches have sock bottoms. No Velcro for the win. I have some breeches that have the Velcro, and let’s just say I’ve been enlightened to the loveliness that is a contoured sock bottom. It fits so much better underneath my half chaps than breeches with a Velcro bottom.
I bought my first pair, the charcoal and bright blue, in November 2016. So far they’ve held up well, though I haven’t worn that pair as much as I thought I would. I’m not much of a grey person. Plus, they’re a size 30, and the Pipers are a little more comfortable in a size 32 for me.
The dark breeches are all classic knee-patch, but the taupe and turquoise pair has the silicone knee patch. I’ve ridden in them once so far, and I like them. I got them in a 32, but I think for the silicone I could’ve sized down to a 30. They’re just a bit big.
They’re just the right length as well. They fit my calves well. I really like the fabric – more than I thought I would. It’s a mid-weight breech, great for fall and spring and winter – at least winter here in Vegas since it rarely gets below 40. Since the fabric is a mid-weight and the breeches fit a little tight around the thighs, it also hides that unpleasant thigh cheese. Or cellulite. Or flaws. Whichever you want to call it. For me, these hide the dent in my leg from when I got cow-kicked by a coming two-year-old. Unfortunately, I’ve found the navy doesn’t work for summers here in Vegas. It just gets so hot that the dark sock bottoms absorb all that heat and create friction on my lower legs – even if I take off my half chaps. Stings a bit. So I won’t be wearing the darker colors in the heat of the summer, but I don’t usually wear dark breeches in the summer anyway, so nbd.
The only thing that doesn’t make these a must-have-all-the-time for me is the fit. They fit well if not a little tight in the thigh, and though they give ample room if you have a big butt too, the back of the breeches stick out. While I don’t like that they do this, it’s nothing new for me. Because I’m hourglass shaped with a butt and thighs and then a small waist, I have a really hard time with pants in general. The only brand of jeans that fit me like a glove are Wranglers and even then it’s a very specific cut of pant. So I’m really used to things not fitting well. But because Pipers don’t sit flush with your skin around the waist, you do need to wear a belt and they will slip a bit if you’re curvy like me.
Despite the not-perfect fit of these breeches, I still think they’re a very flattering look.
As you can see, I’m not a skinny-mini (and it makes me laugh because Amber and I look the same in the pic above; we’ve got some toning to do!) but I still like the way they look on me. I do think these breeches would fit better on someone who is built a little less curvy and a little more straight. But I like them. I like that they’re not $100, and I really love those back pockets. I mean a lot.
I bought the navy and dove pair the beginning of March, and they’ve pretty much been my staple pair for the majority of the past 3 months. A bit of stitching is coming out of the kneepatch; it’s really disappointing because I was hoping they wouldn’t do that until much later. Reviews have said some of the stitching comes out after only a little while, so while I’m disappointed, I’m not too surprised. I was aptly warned. Perhaps this would be a bit different if it were a pair with silicone knee patches? I’m not sure, but I really just knot up the extra stitching and go about my way.
Honestly, I think it’s what you like and are willing to put up with. For a lower price point, super fun colors, back pockets, wide belt loops, sock bottoms and euro seat – I can totally deal with a few stitches coming out and a bit of pilling (though none of mine have started pilling yet). They also have a little more “grip” than some of the more expensive breeches – at least for me. So while they may not be the best breech on the market, and perhaps I shouldn’t have to “settle” for a breech that doesn’t hold it’s stitching, they make me happy when I put them on. So, 4 stars for me.