Big Style, Slim Wallet

Alright, here I am  to lay it out for you.  Your own personal bible to budget shopping in the equestrian world.  I wish.  Unfortunately, I do not have all the answers or the ability to make you look like Georgina Bloomberg on a backyard budget.  What I do have though, is a unique set of skills (cue Liam Neeson voice) to help you dress your best while keeping your wallet happy.  Here goes nothing:

  1. Know when to splurge and when to save.  For instance, new tall boots or paddock boots that you will wear nearly every day and possibly on multiple horses?  Splurge and get good quality products that will hold up to the wear and tear you expect to put them through.  Fun t-shirt or a new belt? Those are definitely items you can spend a little less on and even usually find in non-equestrian specific stores, which often makes them cheaper.  Which leads to point 2…
  2. Equestrian stores are not the only place to buy stuff to ride in.  I’m sure you all know this, I know this, but I have to often remind myself of it.  Some athletic shirts make the best summer shirts (check out more on that here), you can find some fabulous belts for cheap at department stores or stores like TJ Maxx et cetera.  This is perfect for picking up #rootd worthy pieces at a discount so you can spend a little extra on some tough breeches or just save up for that next lesson.
  3. Make sure you are actually getting a good deal.  Plenty of retailers will list the “retail” price of an item and then “their” price and you think you’re getting a good deal because you’re paying “their” price which is cheaper than “retail.”  If you do a little research though, you often find that everyone is selling at the same price.  For instance, Dover gives the list price of these contrast-patch Tailored Sportsman breeches as $224, but then gives their price as $189.  If you look on SmartPak, they have the same breeches for $189 as well.  The lesson is, do a little research and make sure that the deal you think you are getting is really a deal!
  4. My go to rule when putting together an insta-worthy #rootd is to pick one “focus” item to be the key piece of your outfit.  For example, if you get a really gorgeous and trendy new belt, keep it low key and classic with the  breeches and top.  If you’ve got a cute and funky graphic tee, let everyone focus on that instead of trying to put together too many statement pieces.  The goal is to look put together and cute (for me at least), not like a flashing billboard that just wants to garner as much attention as possible.
  5. Own it.  This is the cheapest but sometimes hardest way to make your look work.  You’ve got to embrace whatever it is you are wearing and that is what will make it look amazing, not the brands or what you paid, but how much you own and appreciate what you are wearing.  Everyone is different and so is their style, so find yours and embrace it!  Even if you haven’t quite found your specific “look” yet, embrace the process!  This is supposed to be fun, remember that and rock whatever it is you’ve got on.

 

Like I said earlier, these are not the end-all be-all tips to making you look perfect every time while spending no money, but they are some things I have learned along the way that I think can apply to everyone.  Keep an eye out for future features on fabulous companies, how to hunt down the best deal, and on trend riding looks for less!  Comment below to let us know what your favor budget tip is.

Sun & Summer (and shirts)

It’s midway through the summer and you’ve spent the past couple of months roasting in the summer sun.  By now you know that the heat and humidity is no joke.  You end up covered in sweat before you even fully tack up.  And not the glistening, light, ladylike sweat, but the sticky, gross, sweat that makes you regret even stepping outside.  However, you are in luck!  Here at Cute to Boot, we have put together a list of our favorite budget friendly summer riding tops that are sure to keep you cool and complete that perfect ROOTD.  Check them out below:

Tailored Sportsman Icefil Shirt – $65 at SmartPak

tailored_icefil

Alright, I know this bad boy isn’t really “budget”.  To be fair, it is cheaper than the ever-popular EIS shirts which ring in at an icy $85.  I got one of these shirts on sale when a small business was closing and it is honestly one of my favorite shirts to ride in.  The fabric is smooth and thick enough that it is not super flimsy, but light enough to wick away moisture and keep you cool.  The mesh under the arms helps keep you cool as well but has stood up to multiple wears and washes.  I had a Dover brand cooling shirt much like this one but the fabric felt much thinner and cheaper and the mesh under the arms ripped after a few rides.  The shirt also offers 50+ UV protection, which is a plus if you have sensitive skin.  This is certainly one of the staples in my closet during the summer and I always look forward to riding in it!

 

Ariat Sunstopper Shirt – $50

ariat_sunstopper

Ariat has quickly become one of my favorite brands for equestrian clothing.  It seems silly I know, since they are such a staple of the equestrian community.  However, I used to only  turn to them for footwear.  These shirts retail at $50, however you can find them on sale for $33.71 at Stateline Tack.  This shirt also features under arm mesh to keep you cool and has special moisture wicking material to ensure that sweat disappears quickly and you won’t end up slick and smelly.  Especially at the sale price, this is one of the best sunshirts on the market for the price.  It also comes in a variety of colors and patterns that spruce up any outfit.

 

Under Armour Tech Twist Shirt – $20 at Under Armour

 under_armour_shirt

I own at least half a dozen of these shirts.  I am not kidding.  And I want more.  I bought two on Zulily for about $15 and have been in love with them ever since.  These shirts are everything that you want in the summer – they are lightweight, fitted but not too tight to be constricting, they wick moisture better than any other shirt I’ve tried, they come in a variety of colors, and are cheap! If you can grab them on sale, they’re about $15 but even not on sale, they are only $20.  I wear them practically every day during the summer, they’re perfect for riding in the morning and then running some errands or going to a horse show to watch or groom.  I’ve had mine for over a year now and through multiple, and I do mean multiple, washes they still look brand new!  Seriously, you need to own at least one of these shirts.

 

 

 

So there you have it folks – some of the best shirts to rock during the summer months to keep you cool and your outfit on fleek (is that how the youth’s use that word?).  Feel free to comment below with some of your favs! Keep a look out for some fresh summer rootds and more budget friendly tips.