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Dressing Nice At The Barn Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive

Dressing Nice At The Barn Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive

Lauren O'Malley

By Lauren O’Malley

Looking professional and approachable at the barn is important. However, I think all us
equestrians can agree that it can be difficult to find clothing options that are suitable for the barn that are also affordable for everyday wear.

Horses and riding in itself is already a pretty pricey sport, but luckily there are ways to save some money on your barn wardrobe and still look good while doing it. Whether you are dressing for a lesson, a clinic, or for work, there are ways to stay within a modest budget if you do your research.

As a recent college graduate, a new military spouse, and a barn manager at a dressage facility, I certainly know what it’s like to be on a budget. I’ve pulled together some of my best tips that allow me to dress appropriately for my job, but not spend a small fortune in doing so.

Check out your local thrift store

Depending on your location, the success you have shopping at a local thrift store may vary. However there are a lot of options available if you look close enough. I can honestly say all of the jeans that I wear to work have been purchased from a thrift store. Depending on the brand, jeans at a thrift store can be found for a very low cost. I got mine for $4-$6. The jeans are professional looking, clean, and comfortable. I cannot justify spending a lot of money on a pair of jeans I wear to work that I know will ultimately end up getting stained, ripped and worn out.

Thrift stores also may offer discounted athletic clothing, which could include nice polo shirts, V-neck tops, sweaters, vests, and nice long-sleeve shirts. If in good condition, these items can be perfect options for the barn and typically are priced fairly.

Sales are your best friend

This one is a little more obvious, but truly keep your eyes open for a good sale. Join all of the mailing lists you can. Equestrian retailers will be running sales when the end of a season is approaching. They also have a “clearance” section on their websites that is updated frequently.

Be A Maxxinista

Retail stores such as TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Old Navy, and Ross all offer a great selection of
clothing that can be worn to the barn. I constantly check the “athletic clothing” section at these stores and have a lot of luck finding polos and shirts that are typically meant for tennis or yoga enthusiasts.

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Equipment Equestrians Can Borrow From Other Sports

I have also found good quality leather belts for a lot cheaper than I would have found
at a tack store. Besides not having an equestrian brand attached to them, these clothing options are perfect for the barn and look just as professional. They are often a lot more affordable, but can be just as durable.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to splurge or buy full-priced or brand-
new clothing items for the barn. However, it is good to have these options in your back pocket for when you are needing a few new items to refresh your wardrobe, but aren’t wanting to spend a lot of money to get them.

Looking professional at the barn is important, especially if you are an employee or a working student, but that doesn’t mean we have to break the bank to do it.

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