Oh, to live a life of constant splurging. Of single-use pristine breeches and a closet full of a rainbow of show jackets. Unfortunately, most of us need to carefully allocate funds between board, lessons, mortgages, rent, and food – that pesky eating thing we need to do in order to have the strength to stay on our spooky horses.
The leftover budget for ‘nice things’ is usually minuscule, which begs the question: how do we spend it wisely?
Save – because they will get wrecked, anyhow
Anything white: I know, I know, those white breeches are fabulous. But how long will it really be before you drowsily spill your morning coffee on them? Or watch helplessly as your saddle faintly stains them brown on the seat? Same goes for your show shirt, with an added advantage that you can hide drool/ketchup/dirt stains under a show jacket. It feels amazing to be fully kitted out in the best of the best when you strut into the show ring. But no one will really be able to tell brands and design details of either of those garments when you’re in the saddle anyway.
Save – it’s the little things
Accessories: I know that itchy feeling – of just needing something new to spice up your #rootd. While it’s tempting to snap up a whole rack of candy-colored shirts, a belt or a cool pair of socks can go a long way. I know, you hate me right now. But what about that adorable, helmet-head-concealing baseball cap? If you can satiate your shopping addiction with $20 instead of $200, that’s pretty cool. More dollars for your horse’s vet bills (Ah! Don’t hit me!).
Splurge – the things that matter
Cold/wet weather gear: Up here ‘north of the Wall,’ AKA Canada, we have a saying that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear. And we get some horrible cold weather. Good coats, jackets, mitts and socks mean ‘more.’ More insulation, more waterproof seam taping, better materials and more durability. The ridiculously expensive wool socks I bought myself five years ago are still going strong – keeping my tootsies warm even if they get soaking wet. I am irrationally fond of those socks.
Safety: I’m not saying that pricier safety gear is safer by any means, but having current equipment in good condition can quite literally save your life. If it’s a toss up between replacing your questionably-dented helmet and buying the (luscious) new color of Tailored Sportsmans, go with the melon bucket. If you’re an eventer balking at the high price of an air vest, I hate to break it to you – they do work. While I’m all for suffering for fashion, dahling, I will make a very firm exception for this.
Splurge – higher resale value
Show jacket: It seems counterintuitive, that the garment you wear the least is the one you should spend the most on. But a show jacket is the most visible item of your show wardrobe, the piece de resistance. And let’s face it, a perfectly-fitted jacket with tasteful design details is pretty swoon worthy. What’s more – since it gets carefully hung and dry cleaned, it will be in the best shape to resell when the time comes.
Boots: There’s nothing wrong with buying lower-end boots. And from what I’ve heard through the grapevine, the fancy ones don’t even seem to last much longer than their cheap counterparts. However, there’s a very sexy aspect to that boujee, buttery leather. And if you manage to take care of them well, they can fetch a reasonably high price on consignment.
So there we go. I may have squashed some of your shopping dreams, but added fuel to the fire on others. Writing this has gotten me all worked up to do some spending… See you next month, when I’m broke.