I have…..many breeches so this post will be quite long. I’ve never liked buying form-fitting pants – I have always preferred loose fitting, casual clothes and I hated jeans for the longest time. Mostly it has to do with me being a very hard shape to fit (mostly hourglass, a bit pear), and that I have SPD (sensory processing disorder) which can make clothes feel constricting, scratchy and itchy, so I’m very particular about fit and fabrics. But low and behold – I am a bit of a breech hoarder. Something I hadn’t quite realized until actually going through my drawers to catalog this post. Most of these I’m planning to give away or commission at my local tack store since many don’t fit anymore, but those will definitely still be included in this list. This post is about the basics – which brands/types/colors I have and their fabric, style, durability, cost, stain resistance, stickability, and fit. Also, I started this post a while back, so while styles have changed a bit, I’m trying to also provide good links for all the breeches I have.
And at the end, I list my top 3 choices so if you want to skip ahead and avoid my rambling, by all means!
My expectations and fit:
Fit is a huge reason why I am constantly on the lookout for good-fitting breeches. Despite being a bit uncomfortable sharing this, I firmly think it’s important to include my body shape/type and how things fit so that others who have my predicaments or who are not my same shape can make a better informed decision on the breeches I am reviewing. So I am 5’5″, usually a size 30-32, and I usually buy things a little roomy. Most of the time though, my size is a 31 with relative consistency, which many breeches I like don’t have that size. Unless apparently you’re in the UK and they do. I digress. Some brands fit me very nicely and are a size 30. Most brands I go with a 32 tho. I really don’t like feeling like breeches are too small and I’ll split them with one wrong move. Size 30 pants fit my waist the best since I’m hourglass, but most of the time I need 32s to fit my pear and sprinter’s thighs and butt so I’m almost always wearing a belt. I also size up because my thighs are long and my calves short, so breeches will fall down/be pulled down because they tend to taper where my knees should be and not where they are. By getting breeches that are a little bigger, I have a little more knee room and my pants don’t fall down as badly. So, now that you have that rundown, let’s go to my expectations.
As prices rise, so do my expectations. I do have a bit of a price divider – anything over $85 I expect a lot more, and anything under that I have an attitude of “you get what you paid for.” If it’s a light color breech, I am not expecting them to have the best ever stain resistance. Light colors are always more prone to staining, but for a darker color, I expect them to resist stain very well. I’d like for silicone pants to be sticky and long-lasting – especially if they’re full seats – and I expect the silicone to wear well and not come off easily. I always expect for there to be more wear in the thigh rub area since a thigh gap I do not have haha.
As just a quick aside, all of these breeches come up to or just below my belly button because low-rise breeches don’t fit me well nor are they flattering to my body shape (for me personally). So, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to it!
Ovation Aerowick tights – $ 62.95 bought on sale for less than $40
Style: summer silicone full seat , sock bottom, Euro-seat
Fit: I bought the large (equal to size 30), and they fit pretty true to size – they’re even a little loose. So if you’re an in -between-sizes person like me and prefer a bit of a tighter fit, I’d size down. These also don’t have a length choice. I do, however, like the fact that it had belt loops should you want to wear a belt and make them look a little less like tights.
Fabric: AeroWick™ – smooth ultralight spun polyester spandex (this is all I could find on fabric specifics)
Durability: I got these around a year ago but when they were on a “heading into winter” sale, and they are….not durable. Not really at all. Within about 5-10 rides the stitching was already fraying. And this was even me not putting them through the ringer and only riding in them when the dead of summer hit. They did fray in the thigh rub area first – which I expected. However, within 5-7 short rides? Eh, I must admit I expected a bit better from something that was originally over $50 (they ARE under $85 tho so I guess it’s moot?). I also just grazed a spot of fencing in the stall and there was an immediate hole. So the fabric isn’t durable either. This is probably the lowest rating I’ve ever given or may ever give, but considering threads are STILL coming out, these get a 1/5 in the durability category.
Stain resistance: Well, they are black so not many stains are noticeable if at all. So far that’s a 5/5.
Closing thoughts: I would not buy these again. Even on a sale for $40 or less. These are the “older” model; the newer ones may be a little more durable but they’re the same price point and the same fabric blend, so maybe/maybe not. The silicone was sticky for the first 2-3 rides, and now it’s not sticky anymore. They’ve gone below the stickability range of knee patch breeches, which isn’t positive for tights that are supposed to be full seats. The only reasons I wore these a lot this summer was that they were my only pair of tights, and not only was it so hot that my legs were swollen and I just felt too hot in my other breeches, but my weight was also fluctuating a lot at the time, so the tights went on easily and didn’t feel restrictive.
Final Rating: 2/5
Ovation Grip-Tech Unifleece Winter tights – $ 69.95 bought at RW for around $60
Style: fleece-lined, silicone knee-patch tights (but styled to look more like breeches), sock bottom, Euro-seat
Colors: black (in certain light against certain colors they look brown. In other lighting they look gunmetal-gray. Next to black they look black.)
Fit: I bought LG (equal size 30) and these fit nicely, if a bit loosely. Because they’re tights, they conform well without being restrictive in any given area. They were a little loose when I bought them, so again if you like a tighter fitting breech then you may want to size down. I bought them to be a little on the larger side so I could stuff my winter Under Armour tights on underneath them. It never got cold enough for me to need it haha. These breeches don’t have a length choice either.
Fabric: 95% polyester, 5% elastane
Durability: I actually haven’t gotten too many chances to ride in these. It was unusually warm in Vegas the winter that I bought these, and then the next winter Amber wasn’t rideable, so I can’t completely attest to their durability. However, the few times I’ve ridden in them they haven’t split any threads nor is there pilling yet. The silicone knee-patch feels very secure and durable, and looks like the same silicone used on their Aqua X breeches. So far a 4/5.
Stain Resistance: 4/5 so far since they’re black/brown, but still I haven’t been able to test it much so I’m doing a bit of guesswork for these.
Closing thoughts: These are okay, but I honestly don’t like them. They feel like a better quality than the Aerowick, and the fleece is quite warm. They’re tights, but look like breeches, and you can wear a belt with them if you like. I did, since they were a little big on me. I wouldn’t say these are a bad quality, but I really can’t attest to how well they’d hold up in colder climates with a lot more use. I only wore them a few times, and the last time I did sealed the deal for me. I have a lesson recap here describing how they just didn’t work at all for me. They bunched strangely underneath my thighs. The silicone grip tho – the same grip that’s on the Aqua-X breeches – DID work very well. But the grip along with the loose fit just didn’t work for me.
Final Rating: 3/5 I don’t personally like them – and someone else might – but I also feel I haven’t quite put them through the ringer to give them a higher or lower rating.
Ovation Aqua X breeches – $ 139.95 now; bought from RW at $116.95
Style: silicone knee-patch, Euro-seat, sock and mesh bottom (my old navy pair are the only ones with the mesh bottom)
Colors: navy, Aegean blue, green and tan
Fit: These breeches fit me second best. All pairs are size 32 to accommodate the summer expansion. These breeches fit well, and I don’t get the giant gap in the back. They fit smoothly and I love the look of them. I think they’re a very slimming breech, and I love wearing them. The only aspect about these breeches that doesn’t fit me is around my knees. They taper a bit, and since my thighs don’t, they’re a little tighter there and want to pull down. A belt fixes that no problem though, and these pants have double belt holders in the middle of the back, which personally is a favorite feature of mine. The only negative on fit with these is that there is no choice of length – only regular. Which is fine for me since I’m only 5’5″, but it may be a problem for taller people.
Fabric: 77% Nylon, 16% Aqua-X, 7% Lycra
Durability: I’ve had these breeches for over a year, and I’ve worn the crap out of my navy pair. I’ve washed them a LOT, and unfortunately, the silicone has started to flake off a little on my abused navy pair. But the stickability of the navy pants hasn’t gone down at all, and that pair is still my favorite. The silicone hasn’t come off of any of my other pairs, so I do wonder if that’s in part because I washed them right side out instead of inside out on their first washing. Even still, no stitching has started to fray, and they’ve held up to all the torture I’ve put them through lol. They retain their shape out of the wash with no extra stretch or extra shrinkage, and have held up very well as my summer staple. A 4/5.
Stain Resistance: The navy and hunter pairs are very good on stain resistance. 4/5. The only reason it isn’t 5/5 is because I have gotten a few tiny dots of hoof oil on my navy pair, and because the navy is very dark it’s super hard to see. Alas, tho the stain IS hoof oil and is mostly gone, it’s still a 4/5. The Aegean blue and tan are not so stain resistant. The light blue shows a lot of dirt, and maybe I’m just clumsy but I got a bit of hoof oil on those, too and that didn’t come out as well as my navy pair even tho my light blue pair went into the washer faster. My tan pair as well suffered a stain fate too, but theirs is a most amusing story. Unfortunately, it was a very hot day, and my new Kensington bareback pad along with lots of ass sweat caused the blue pad color to stain the butt of the tan breeches. I did not know this at the time, and left the pair of tan breeches sitting with that stain for about 2 weeks before I rode in them again and discovered this sadness. To give them credit tho, the blue stain actually halfway came out after like 3 treatments of Clorox 2 and 4 washes, but at least the butt isn’t so blue anymore. So, even tho it was a bit of work, the fact that some of it came out at all after 2 weeks raises the lighter color stain resistance rating to a 3/5.
Closing thoughts: These breeches are advertised as moisture wicking, summer breeches, and these absolutely fit the bill. Even my navy breeches don’t feel too hot in the summer heat. They have really been instrumental in keeping me cool during the summer, helping to wick away sweat. I love the way that they fit on me and how they look, and even though they’re a tad more expensive than I usually like to spend, I can tell that these breeches are a really good quality. I mean, I do have 4 different colors of these, and I like every single one I’ve worn. The tan ones are the coolest since it is a lighter color than the others, but they’re all great. Even though these breeches are a 4-way stretch and feel like they’d slip on a saddle, these definitely aren’t slick like some other breeches I’ve ridden in! They’re pretty sticky for only kneepatch breeches, and I feel secure and stable when I ride in these. These are definitely tied as my favorite breech to wear, and I am almost always pulling out a pair of these to wear at any given time.
Final Rating: 4/5 I wish these were still only $116, but the price is still very doable compared to other breeches of this quality.
Style: silicone full seat, sock bottom
Colors: turquoise plaid (discontinued), brown, navy & black
Fit: These breeches fit me the best. If I were to pick a breech made for my curves, this one would be it. The size 30s fit me perfectly, and if you look at their sizing chart it shows that they technically measure at 31.5 – which is pretty much my fit exactly. No wonder. They still have great room around my thighs, don’t taper as much around the knee but still give an extremely flattering look. These also don’t gap in the back as most breeches have. I like the wider waistband and the double front clasp, and they have a soft panel of fabric so the clasp back doesn’t irritate your skin if you don’t tuck in your shirt. I also like the unique X-shaped belt loop in the back that help keep your belt in place and evenly distribute pressure. The breeches don’t have a choice for length either – however, these breeches ere on the long side. Perfect for mid height and taller people, but perhaps a little too tall for someone who’s 5’3″ or shorter. These hit right at the tops of my ankle bones for length reference.
Fabric (turquoise plaid): 63% cotton, 30% polyamide, 7% elastane
Fabric (all the other colors): 93% Polyamide, 7% elastane
Durability: I’ve been impressed with the stain resistance on these so far. I’ve worn my brown ones almost relentlessly and not only have they come out of the wash looking new almost every time, but they’ve also retained their shape and fit. Neither pair have shown any signs of threads coming out or premature wear and tear, so I’m plenty happy with how these have been holding up, especially since I’ve worn the crap out of my brown ones haha. And, even with all the washing (inside out – I learned my lesson lol) the full seat stickies remain sticky. They have lost some of their initial really-stick-your-bum-to-that-saddle stickiness, but to me, they’re just the perfect, broken-in stick if that makes any sense haha. There is a bit of pilling and the silicone stickies have come off in the non-thigh-gap area, but that happens in every single pair of pants I own (even jeans) so I see that as normal (for me) wear and tear. They’ve also remained one of the few pairs that have fit me great even as I’ve gained some weight from quarantine and my ankle injury. So a 5/5 on this for me.
Stain Resistance: I’m pretty impressed with the turquoise plaid breeches. I’ve had a few brushes with silver spray and saddle color getting onto the breeches, but they’ve always washed out beautifully. My brown ones have gotten dusty and sweat-soaked and goodness knows what else on them, but so far they’ve washed out extremely well with no staining as far as I can see. Now, I do only have the darker colors, so that is a factor in my rating. I do eventually want to get the white pair that I can dye rust because I love rust breeches, and I can never find any that are both affordable or fit me very well. They do have a lovely dark green now, and I’m very tempted, but have so far been able to hold off the impulse purchase haha. So, for the colors I do have, my rating for stain resistance is 5/5.
Closing thoughts: I’m sure you noticed that I put two different fabric contents, because believe it or not the breeches actually are different. To me, even the fit feels a little different. The turquoise ones feel a bit more snug and restrictive, and can tend to irritate the backs of my knees (that area is super sensitive for me anyway, so that may not be the norm for other people). Also, because they are 63% cotton, they’re hotter with less stretch than my solid color breeches of the same model, so I really don’t wear the turquoise ones as much even though I still really really love them. But no matter which pant, the silicone full seat helps me feel extremely secure when my muscles are out of shape for jumping, and help me have good stability in the saddle when I was working very hard on building up strength for dressage last year. Probably the ONLY thing that isn’t absolutely perfect on these is that the seam for the sock bottom is placed directly above a previous injury. The injury is on my left calf, and I noticed it was pretty sore after a jump ride. But, I made sure to wear tall socks under my breeches the next time (since I usually don’t) and it became a non-issue.
Final Rating: 5/5 These pretty much hit it out of the park for me.
Horze Grand Prix Thermal Breeches – $ 139.99
Style: Silicone full seat, sock bottom
Colors: Navy (though currently they only have grey and black)
Fit: These are a mid-rise and run just a bit big, even a little bit bigger than their regular breeches. The reviews on Smartpak did say to size down, but I still ordered my normal size 30. They’re just a little big, but a little big is how I prefer for things to fit, and I especially like that in winter clothes. So it’s a plus for me.
Fabric: 88% polyamide, 12% elastane, fleece insulation
Durability: So far these are pretty durable. I haven’t needed to wear them all that much since Vegas isn’t very cold, and since I’ve become more heat-intolerant over the years I’ve certainly still been warm enough in the winter to not need to wear these much. The softshell is really nice, and holding up quite well to the general thigh-wear. So far so good for these! Just to be safe I’ll give them 4/5.
Stain Resistance: I’ve worn them various places with plenty of different horses, and I’ve never once noticed a stain, no matter what I’m handling. And I am pretty prone to getting some sort of stain at some point whenever I’m around horses. They’re also a very dark color, which helps with stain resistance in general. So a 5/5 for me.
Closing Thoughts: These are so comfortable. They’re warm enough for me to even get a little overheated in the mild Vegas winters, so I think they’d do well for the colder climes. Despite fitting a little bigger, they have the exact same fit as the summer Grand Prix breeches, so they taper at my waist and are very flattering.
Final Rating: 4/5 only because I haven’t put them through the ringer enough yet.
Style: knee-patch, euro seat, mesh bottoms
Colors: hunter & white
Fit: These are probably my 3rd best fitting breech. I bought the 30s, but again with what has happened in the past year since I bought them they don’t fit as well now and I don’t pull them out nearly as much as I used to. And, well, they were always a weeeee bit on the tighter side and were a titch uncomfortable near my knees. While the Aqua Xs did taper at the knee, those don’t hurt or bother me, but these RJs can get just a little bit restrictive for me. It may be because the knee patch is suede and not silicone so it causes a bit more restriction, but I’m not sure. So, while they fit my shape and don’t gap out at the back either, I’m sure they’ll be even better once I size up. I’m a bit skeptical tho about sizing up, mostly because I might need a 33 in these – so the 32 might still be a bit small but a 34 would probably be too big. I digress. Even still, they do seem to fit curves well, and I like the classic, slim look of these breeches. The pockets aren’t too deep, but I also like the double front hook on the breeches and wider waistband since that is a preferred feature of mine to combat the muffin-top (though definitely not a deal-breaker). These also come in regular or long.
Fabric: 92% nylon/8% elastic, clarino knee-patch
Durability: I’ve had these for about a year now, but I haven’t worn them as much as a few of my other pairs on account they’re generally just that liiiiiiittle bit too tight. However, they have still held up very nicely. The clarino knee patch retains its grip, and the pants retain their shape in and out of the wash. I haven’t seen any threads coming out, on the seams or the knee patches. The mesh hasn’t gotten any nicks in it either, and the pants have certainly held up well so far. However, since these haven’t been through the ringer, I’m giving it a mid score of 3/5.
Stain Resistance: Well, I haven’t worn these too much, so I’m not too sure how they would hold up to a few stains. In general, the enormous amounts of dust and dirt and mud and globs of green horse snot have all come out of these well. Although, I’m not sure I really got tons of snot on them, but since the ones I wore were the green ones, it’d match, right? Again, since these aren’t well-worn, I’m giving it a mid score of 3/5.
Closing thoughts: These are actually the most expensive breeches I’ve purchased, and yet they aren’t exactly my faves. I’m REALLY happy with that since most of the time the more expensive it is, the better it fits me and the better I like it haha. Such is life. Again, I’m sure if I bumped up the size they would fit me a lot better and I’d be a lot more gung-ho on wearing them. As it is right now, with finding the Grand Prix and Aqua X breeches that fit me so well and I always seem to grab, I’m hesitant on spending the extra money on these for a bigger size just to see if I really do like them. Even still, please don’t take my mid-range thoughts for dislike. I do really like the breeches – if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have kept them and worn them throughout last summer and into winter.
Final Rating: 4/5 I think they’re a very nice breech, and it has all of the same good qualities and feel of the Grand Prix and Aqua X – I just need the right size and I think I’ll wear them more often and therefore have a better judge of their performance.
SP Piper Original Kneepatch – $ 79.95
Style: suede knee-patch, sock bottoms, euro-seat, pockets
Colors: navy/emerald & navy/dove grey – used to have a grey/sapphire pair
Fit: While I do actually have 4 pairs of Pipers, these breeches fit a slightly straighter figure than they do a curvy figure. My shape is quite hour-glassed with a dash of pear thrown in, so a straighter cut isn’t necessarily ideal for me. However, I still relatively like the fit of these. They are size 32s, very conforming from my ankle up, and have enough room for my thighs and butt. However, for an hour-glass like me, the waist is bigger than I was expecting. They do gap in the back and pooch a bit in the front, but end up looking fine once you have a belt in place. Funnily enough tho, as I’ve put on a few pounds in the tummy from not riding/working out as much, the waist fits better lol. Even still, because they’re a lot bigger in the waist a belt is a must and these breeches fall down more than any other I have.
Fabric: 63% Polyester, 32% Viscose, 5% Spandex
Durability: The durability on these are so-so. My navy/emerald pair were the first ones I got, and have been my stalwart Piper pair since I got them spring 2016. They fit the best and all the stitching has stayed in place with nothing fraying or coming undone. The knee patches have stayed tightly stitched. Both pairs clean up very well, and have retained their shape well. My navy/dove grey pair have not done as well as my other pair. The stitching on the knee patch started to come undone within 5 rides. It hasn’t unraveled any more than the initial spot, but even still I’m a bit disappointed by this, tho not entirely surprised. Other reviewers on the SP website have had this happen to them as well. So that lowers this to a 3/5.
Stain Resistance: With navy as a base color for both breeches, I haven’t had any issues with staining. I think I do have some spots on them, but the color is so dark that I can barely see it. So for that, I give them a 4/5.
Closing thoughts: Even though the fabric content isn’t cotton, these are definitely a heavier weight breech. They’re not a winter breech, but these are a little too hot for me during the dead of summer. They do breathe and aren’t as hot as full cotton or the turquoise Grand Prix breeches, but the dark colors do retain the heat a lot more than the others, so for me this is a spring/fall/warm winter breech. These were my first “official” breech that I bought when I was first getting into English in 2016, and they were at an affordable price point. At $80 I do wish the quality was a little bit better, but for someone starting out, wanting some cute breeches or are very easy on their pants, then I think these are really great. I must admit tho that their biggest draw is all the matchy matchy potential and that they are quite unique. They come in so many colors that are fun and can cater to so many people, and as someone who likes things a bit unique, I do still enjoy these pants for that very reason. But, compared to my better-fitting pairs, I hardly wear these.
Final Rating: 3/5 (My original review of these breeches can be found here, and I gave them a 4/5. This rating has gone down since then since I’ve found other breeches I like a lot better that are, in my opinion, more worth your dollars than these are)
SP Piper Silicone Kneepatch – $ 79.95 (they have a different type now – these that I have are on clearance)
Style: silicone knee patch, euro seat, sock bottoms
Fit: These fit almost identical to the description I provide above – including being a size 32. The only difference is that because the knee patch is silicone, the pants fit better around my knees than the regular knee patch breeches do. This means that this particular pair doesn’t fall down nearly as much as the regular knee patch ones. I still need a belt since the waist fit is the same, but I don’t have so much trouble with these. The legs feel a little looser on this pair of breeches, so I like the fit of these better than the previous two. These also come in the option of regular or long.
Fabric: 63% Polyester, 32% Viscose, 5% Spandex
Durability: I bought this pair when I went to Rolex in 2017, and these have become my favorite Piper pair. I’ve worn them pretty well over the past year, and they’ve held up well. No threads fraying on these yet, and since there are no suede patches, the silicone has done it’s job as remaining sticky and none of the little bumps have come off. There is a little bit of pilling around the thighs, but again I’m not too surprised because that is perfectly normal wear for me, and for $80 I think these have held up better than the suede knee patch Pipers. 4/5
Stain Resistance: I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how stain resistant this pair of breeches has been. The base color is tan, which could very well stain easily, but so far they’ve cleaned up very well with every washing. I haven’t gotten any major stains on them like I have my others (WHY is it always hoof oil?), but I do believe I got a spot of yellow wormer on them at one point and it actually came out. Granted, the breeches went into the wash as soon as possible (which was still about 30-40 minutes later) but even still – color me impressed. 4/5
Closing thoughts: Out of all the Piper breeches I own, these are my favorite. I like the fit better, and I’m just a bigger fan of silicone than I am suede. Plus, because these breeches’ base color is tan, they reflect the sun much better than their navy counterparts, so these breeches I am able to wear in the dead of summer. I still prefer not to tho, considering that the fabric still is a heavier weight and I really can’t bear to think about wearing a thicker breech when it’s that hot out. I actually really like this color tan as well – opposed to other tan pants that are more beige. These have a bit of an olive/taupe tint to them, a bit of a deeper tan, and I find I really like that compared to the beige/khaki color of most tan breeches (like the tan Aqua X’s I own).
Final Rating: 4/5
SP Piper Silicone Full Seat – $ 79.95
Style: silicone full seat, euro seat, sock bottoms
Colors: dove grey/indigo
Fit: Again, the fit of these is pretty much the same as the Pipers above. These are also a little bit looser than the suede knee patch breeches, which also makes me like them a little more. These, like all Pipers, come in the option of regular or long length. Probably the only thing I don’t like as much about the fit of these is the seams on the inside of the thigh due to the full seat. Unfortunately my skin is a sensitive snowflake, and when the seams are too big or continuously press on my skin, it gets pretty sore. These seams do bother me – more so the ones on the inside of the leg that are covered by tall boots. If I get tall socks and put the socks on underneath the breeches the seam doesn’t bother me nearly as much.
Fabric: 63% Polyester, 32% Viscose, 5% Spandex
Durability: I’ve had these breeches ever since last winter. Oddly enough I bought them as a winter breech because the fabric on all of these has been thicker so I thought they would be perfect for desert winter, right? Well, while they are made of the same material and have the same percentages as the other 3 Pipers, the material on these actually feels thinner than the others. So, a thicker mid-weight breech this particular one is not. Maybe because the color is lighter…? Which is odd to me but then I have experienced lighter colored breeches sometimes tend to fit differently than dark-colored breeches of the same brand (weird, I know. Is it all in my head? Eh, probably). Either way, these are actually better for summer, since it’s thinner fabric and the light grey helps reflect the sun. So far, the stitching on these has remained tight and I haven’t seen any fraying from these, nor pilling. 4/5
Stain Resistance: That being said, I haven’t had the grey stain yet. I got some saddle marks when riding in these in my new-to-me dressage saddle, but the marks always came out. I did wash them right after I rode tho since I didn’t want them to stain. 4/5
Closing thoughts: These are a “meh” breech for me. I wish the fabric was thicker since I bought them as a full-seat winter breech option and they really aren’t ideal for when the temperatures start to get a bit nippy. Even as a summer breech they’re not as cooling as my other favorites, and I really haven’t worn them too often. I do like that the silicone is grippy, has remained that way, and none of the dots have come off. They’re fun to match. But, these are pretty mediocre in my opinion, and maybe I’d buy a darker pair to see if they’d work and be a thicker fabric, but at $100 and not meeting most of my expectations? I don’t think I ever will.
Final Rating: 3.5/5
Iridion Essential Boot-cut Tights – $ 79.95
Style: suede knee-patch, boot cut
Colors: black & brown
Fit: I bought a size large which is equivalent to a size 30. They fit just as I would expect tights to fit – not too tight or too loose. These pants come up a little higher than many of the others and hit either right at or just above my belly button. Normally, these would be a little too waist high for me, but it actually works. The waist band isn’t too tight so that is fine, but riding in them on their own they are a little slick.
Fabric: Issential™ Microfibre: 88% Polyester, 12% LYCRA®; knee patch Chamisoft™: 55% Nylon, 45% Polyurethane
Durability: I think I’ve had these around maybe 3 years now, but I’ve only used them sparingly. I actually bought these tights specifically to go underneath my western show chaps. And, well, to act as leggings for work actually haha! I’ve worn them more for work than I have for riding, and as a work tight, they do a good job. No one even notices the patches, and as much as I’ve worn them for that I haven’t noticed any pilling yet or threads fraying. As for showing, they’ve been durable for that. It could be that they’ve mostly been used underneath chaps, but they’ve still held up well. A 4/5
Stain Resistance: I have dark colors, and most of the time they’re worn for work or under chaps so I really haven’t worn them around the barn enough for a lot of stain testing. Granted I’m not the neatest person, but so far, even if I did get something on these they’ve washed out clean since I’ve never noticed anything haha. So a 4/5.
Closing thoughts: By using these under chaps, the tights provide a way for me to stay cooler in the summer, and they’re not as stiff as jeans or as unflattering and uncomfortable as “show pants” that are often used under chaps. They also cut down A LOT on bulk while riding, which I find is a lot more comfortable. They have belt loops so you can add a belt to your outfit (as many western shows require a belt) so there isn’t much of a downside to using these underneath your chaps. As for English, I’ve only ridden in them perhaps 2x, and I didn’t like them for that at all. The knee patch came too low on the calf and didn’t extend far enough up the thigh for me, and they also felt a little too slick for me to feel stable riding in them.
Final Rating: 3/5 (They’re okay tights, and the 3/5 is really due to my personal opinion)
Kerrits Flow-Rise Permormance Tights – $ 69.00
Style: suede knee-patch, wide waist band, elastic ankles
Colors: dune (unavailable/discontinued color)
Fit: For tights, these fit exactly as I would expect a large to fit – equal to a size 30. I can’t quite tell if they do come in long or regular, but it looks like it’s only 1 length. Unfortunately, these are a very thin tight, so if you’re like me and not fond of the thigh cheese, these don’t do anything to hide it. I actually have a few pictures of me in these pants and you can clearly see my kick mark through these as opposed to my other fav breeches. Perhaps the style has changed a bit, but when I first bought these the waist band was very wide, and very restrictive. While the rest of the tights fit well, the waist band felt like those tummy control things you wear underneath dresses or something. It was very uncomfortable for me and the band would curl and do all sorts of weird things when I rode.
Fabric: 91% Polyester, 9% Lycra/ knee patch 100% Recycled Ultra-Microfiber
Durability: These pilled pretty quickly, being polyester. The stitching was okay, but some of it around the ankle did come out a little. I was wearing mostly paddock boots and half chaps at the time, so that could be part of it, but I was still expecting a little better from these. 3/5
Stain Resistance: These were pretty stain resistant as far as I could remember (I finally sold them after I didn’t wear them for like a year and a half). They washed up well. 4/5
Closing thoughts: Being over 90% polyester made them slippery for me. I remember feeling like I was sliding all over the place in these, and they were either too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter. I don’t know. They were a bit odd, so for me probably just a spring/fall tight. Perhaps it’s weird, but my legs felt….jiggly….whenever I wore these haha! When I wear my others, I feel fashionable and I feel good about myself in those. These just…..really not. I wouldn’t buy them again, probably not even if they were on a $10 clearance sale. And that’s really saying something because I love sales lol. These are probably great for people just starting out, but they seem a little too expensive for me and not quite the quality to be worth nearly $70.
Final Rating: 3/5
Devon Aire Versailles tights – $ 34 – $ 48 (depending on size/color price can be a little more or a little less)
Style: clarino knee-patch, elastic ankle, draw-string waist
Colors: sea blue & charcoal
Fit: These do not fit curvy me. Or I should say that they do fit curvy me, they’re just not very flattering to my cellulite and jiggly-ness lol. The drawstring waist creates a narrow “band”, narrower than sweatpants or gym shorts to give a comparison. The elastic ankle is thankfully not Velcro, so that’s a plus in their favor. Other than that, they really don’t have much shape.
Fabric: 90% cotton/10%lycra 4-way stretch, clarino knee patch
Durability: The cotton 4 way stretch has relative durability, but I would still get little nicks here and there. Mostly picks from Velcro if I ever wore any, but these really weren’t half bad. I remember them being really good when I was a teen. 3.5/5
Stain Resistance: I’m pretty sure these were good on stains haha. Since I don’t really remember because I stopped wearing them about 4 years ago, a 3/5.
Closing thoughts: To give a bit of history, I used to wear these tights as a kid and up until about 14 or 15 when I stopped riding English and switched to western. I remembered liking them and that they fit well, so these were the first ones I looked up when I started back into English. Also, they were $30 or less and at the time I couldn’t imagine spending more than that on pants (I still cringe at $50 for a pair of jeans yet breeches for $119/$150/$130 are totally acceptable prices for me. I know, I’m weird). So I nabbed 2 colors and started wearing them. They were infinitely cooler than jeans for one, and the heat still got to me pretty badly so I wore these even when riding western. But, the cotton remained a little too hot for me, and I’ll admit around that time was when I found a lot of blogs that outlined their fav cooling summer clothes. So, I put these aside. Now, I do think these are a good starting-out breech, perhaps even better than the Kerrits. These weren’t as slick to me as the Kerrits, and I like the clarino knee patch better than the suede microfiber. These would be especially good for kids, since these are a less expensive tights and definitely won’t break the bank as they continue to grow. I think these would be fine even for an adult starting out that isn’t completely sure they’re going to keep riding or ride a lot. They’re just not for me.
Final Rating: 4/5 (mostly for affordability lol)
So, there you have it! My very long guide to all the breeches I have. There have been quite a few of them over the years, and I’ve now settled more ore less on the ones that I like/love. So, to condense it, my top three breeches from this list are:
Either way, if you even got to this last paragraph, congrats haha! It’s certainly a super long post!