Those new hi-tech all-singing, all-dancing breeches may stretch in places you didn’t know you had places, but are they a treasured part of family history?
Do they comfort you when everything else is mud and misery? Will your children be wearing them long after you’ve hung up your boots? And, even more importantly, do they bring you good luck?
If you find yourself appreciating the quality of an old riding jacket in a shop or at a fair, proceed with caution — once you’ve bought your first vintage piece, it’s a slippery slope to obsession from there.
If you want the look, but the family either aren’t equestrian or aren’t ready to hand over, try these suppliers of vintage equestrian clothing, including second-hand jackets for those whose children are growing quickly.
- Foxy Attire
— Devon-based supplier of vintage and second-hand hunting clothes and equipment, www.foxyattire.co.uk
- Sporting Collection
— rare vintage and antique equestrian items, www.sportingcollection.com
- Jessie Western
— vintage Western riding apparel sourced direct from cowboy country, www.jessiewestern.com
- Field and Country
— Lincolnshire-based source of vintage, antique and second-hand hunting clothes and equipment,
- The Side Saddle Association
— has a network to help track down vintage habits, www.sidesaddleassociation.co.uk
Having a jacket made to measure is more expensive than buying off the peg, but you end up with something that will keep you smart, snug and comfortable and will eventually do the same for your children.
Allow at least six weeks for the process, more if you are having hunt buttons made.
These days, different degrees of tailoring are available from supplying your measurements online to having them taken and subsequent personal fittings by the tailor, with prices varying accordingly from about £300 upwards.
- The Hunting Stock Market
— Dorset-based online company takes you through the whole process, including ordering hunt buttons and fitting by Mears, with prices from £440. www.huntingstockmarket.co.uk
- Bernard Weatherill
— the most famous of equestrian tailors. Expect to end up with a unique item that won’t let you down.
Tel: 08009 535842 or www.bernardweatherill.com
— supplies the British Olympic equestrian team, tailors hunt evening coats to hacking jackets, either online, from its Walsall workshop or London representative. Tel: 01922 476930 or
- Bookster Equestrian
— affordable bespoke hunt and general equestrian coat service. You can start with a website order and customise it as desired, including fitting on site in Ross-on-Wye if required. A pure wool made to measure jacket costs from £330. Tel: 01989 562212 or
- For hand-made hunting whips
by David Thorne in Devon, www.huntingwhips.co.uk
To read the full feature about vintage kit see the current issue of H&H (4 January 2013)