Before You Shop For Show Clothes

It can be helpful to know your measurements before you go show-clothes shopping.  With big shows coming up, with vendors offering lots of shiny new show clothes, it can be hard to resist temptation.  If you do decide to shop, make it easier on yourself by knowing your measurements before you try on or order show clothes. With show clothing, it is important that everything fits correctly. If something is too tight or loose, it can compromise your overall appearance in the show pen.

Buy a flexible measuring tape from your local craft or fabric store for the most accurate numbers. When measuring yourself, wear the same undergarments that you show in. Enlist the help of a friend to take the most accurate measurements. Be sure to write them all down and keep them with you while you are shopping.

The basic measurements women will need to find a well-fitted jacket are: waist, bust, neck, hips, front width and back waist. It is important when measuring to not pull to tightly on the measuring tape. This is called a skin measurement.

  • Stand relaxed, but with good posture.
  • Start with your waist. Your natural waist is located between the bottom of your ribcage and your pelvis. This is the smallest part of your abdomen. Keep the tape parallel to the ground.
  • Next, move to your bust. When measuring your bust, stand with your arms at about a 45 degree angle away from your body. Measure across the fullest part of the breasts, tape parallel to the floor. Your bust is not the same thing as your chest.

In addition to Nicole's secrets, Brad and Valerie Kearns explain why showmanship is the perfect event for people who can’t afford an expensive horse in AQHA's FREE Showmanship Basics report.

To measure your chest, stand with your arms in the same position as before and place the measuring tape around your back and under your armpits. The tape should go above the breasts and be pulled a little snug.

Measure your neck to find the height most comfortable for a collar. Measure the base of your neck, not the middle, to find the circumference. To find the height put the measuring tape at the indentation at the front of your neck up to where it would feel comfortable for a collar to rest.

For the rest of these measurement descriptions and a video of what is in style in the show pen, go to America's Horse Daily.

Photo: Parris Rice sports a nicely fitted jacket in the 2011 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show trail finals on Javah Mon. Journal photo.