Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.
Yes. I’m a self-admitted shop-a-holic. But they say that the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem, right? Ok, ok, so I do love the feeling of going from store to store and looking at all of the clothes. It may not be in the budget to bring a new wardrobe home, but looking never hurt anybody. Famous last words, I know.
Something that can be a little frustrating when I’m out actually looking to bring home some additions to my wardrobe, is the fact that every store seems to have a slightly different sizing scale. Which means that I have to know ‘my size’ for each store that I’m walking into, since it seems to vary.
Going a step further, I may even take different size tops or bottoms within each individual store, based on the various styles and fits that are available. It’s enough to make my head spin at times! So I’ve imposed a rule – try before you buy. Even though I may not feel like hitting the fitting room, it just saves time to try everything on…because having to return clothes that do not fit is a total pain.
Over the years, I’ve (slowly) become less obsessed with size – because it is only a number. Even a few years ago, I would cringe if I ‘had to go up a size’ at a certain store whose clothes tend to run smaller. Or I might even fist pump into the air if I can ‘go down a size’ in a different store. Instead of being so concerned with a number on the tag, I’ve learned that clothes look best when they truly fit.
Try fitting into something that is too small, and it’s going to look (a little) silly. And something that is too big can just look a little sloppy. Which is actually an issue that I’ve come across even when trying to find a new pair of breeches. As someone who has a figure that could be considered curvy, I have to carefully consider fit when picking out a style that works for me.
Just last year, I had an interesting experience with breeches. I tried on a pair of full seat breeches in my normal breeches size, and was dismayed to find that they were too small. I mean, I could pull them on and zip them up, but they were Just. Too Tight. Yet when I tried on the same brand of breeches in a knee patch style, they fit oh-so comfortably.
As far as I feel like I’ve come with my ‘fit is more important then size’ mantra, I still let it bother me a little that I had to size up in that particular pair of full seat breeches. But I have found that when I find breeches that are cut to fit, that I really can fit into ‘my right size’. So I was really interested to learn about the newly introduced line of Dublin breeches.
The first time that I had a chance to see the new offering of breeches from Dublin was back in January at the AETA trade show. I was pretty excited to learn that with Dublin breeches, a rider can select from three different fits – so that they can get a pair of breeches to fit their body type!
Cue excitement from this rider…because I realize that many breeches don’t necessarily accommodate my own curves. What’s more is that I had the chance to see something incredibly cool at AETA. The three breech fits available–Slender, Signature, and Shapely–could be seen on three different models. And the best part? The models all had different core body shapes, but they were all wearing the same exact size of breeches!
This demo really allowed me to be able to SEE the difference between the three fits. It exemplified that the same size breeches can fantastic on three different shaped women…because the fit was well matched to each of their different body types. And I could relate, because I found out that I also wore the same size as the models.
After some fit tests, I found that my fit is…drum roll, please…shapely. When I pulled on the shapely fit breeches, they were generously cut in order to accommodate my curves. And not only did the breeches fit, they also flattered since they were tailored specifically for my body type.
I think the concept is really pretty awesome that the Dublin line not only recognizes that women have different body shapes. They also offers three different fits to try to help individuals find the fit that is right for them. Finding your right breeches match doesn’t stop with the fit though–because with Dublin, once you find your fit, THEN you find your fabric.
With choices of Everyday, Active, and Performance, you have options to pick from, based on the type of riding that you are planning on. The names are pretty self explanatory for the lifestyle that each is appropriate for. Everyday is an easy-care stretch woven fabric that is both comfortable and abrasion resistant.
I’ve personally been riding in both the Dublin Active Shapely and Performance Shapley Euro Seat Breeches – and here is the down low on each. The Active fabric is highly breathable and durable, and it offers a four-way stretch and shape-retaining features. I find that the two-inch waistband, along with the mid rise of the waistline is comfortable to wear, and offers a flattering appearance.
The Active breeches also offer a no-chafe seamless polyester knit calf panel, that acts as an integrated sock. But my two very favorite features are not exclusive just to the Active breeches. First, I am a (big) fan of the Core Embrace panel – which helps to smooth out the tummy area for a smooth look. The Core Embrace panel is offered in all three fits and all three fabrics…because who doesn’t feel a little more confident with a little more smoothing.
My other favorite feature is specific to the Shapely fit – and it is the Tri-Stretch Technology that is integrated into the waistband. Tri-Stretch is actually an extra stretchy triangle shaped panel that sits directly on either side of the hips. Which help to give the waistband the extra stretch to hug the curve of the waist, and provide just the right fit the whole way around.
The Performance breeches offer the same great fit that hug and flatter my curves, but they do so with the help of a technical, high performance woven fabric. The fabric is also breathable, abrasion resistant, boasts a four-way stretch and offers shape retention as well. The other style differences are more subtle – such as the no-chafe seamless polyester knit calf panel that cuts up the side of the breeches, rather then having a straight cut.
Again, I’m very happy with both the Core Embrace panel and Tri-Stretch Technology that the Performance breeches feature as well. Both the Active and Performance breeches also feature two angled front pockets, Dublin logo buttons, belt loops, a small metal Dublin logo bar, as well as an embroidered Dublin logo circle on the back along the waistband.
From the first time that I fit tested the Shapely fit breeches back at the trade show in January, I was really eager to be able to bring some pairs home to ride in. And since I’ve been wearing the Shapely fit, I’ve been very happy with their fit and performance in the saddle. The fit is comfortable and works really nicely with my figure, thanks to the generous cut in the hips coupled with the Tri-Stretch Technology.
And I’ve found that both the Active and Performance fabrics offer a nice amount of stretch, and they really do hold their shape nicely, even after use after use (after use). The fabrics are both durable, and still look terrific even after being worn to ride in, and do light barn work in as well.
Dublin Active breeches are available in Black, White and Beige, and they have a retail price of $99.99 for any of the three fit styles of Slender, Signature or Shapely. And Dublin Performance breeches are available in Beige–they retail for $129.99, again for any of the three fit styles. The Slender fit is available in sizes 24-32, Signature is available in sizes 24-36, and Shapely is available in 28-38. You can shop the entire collection of fits and fabrics here.
Go Breeches that FIT and flatter the figure. Go Dublin. Go Eventing.