Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Show Shirt Review

After a poor experience with a show shirt at my last show, I decided to do a review! And I'd love to hear what your favorite shirts are.

Essex Classics Coolmax Wrap Collar

http://cdnll.doversaddlery.com/images/l/0200297.jpgI've completely switched to wrap collars in recent years after losing my collars so many times. They're just so much easier! Essex is definitely a great, well-known brand. Their shirts are super comfortable, well proportioned and great fabric. They are not cheap (though I did get this one, like everything else I own, on sale!), but certainly not as expensive as some brands, and well-worth their price. The collar fits well (I have tried shirts in the past with really tight collars!) and stays stiff without any ironing. I usually wear a 36 but fit fine in a 34 as well, though I would say that they're correctly sized. The only issue I have is that the wrists are so tight they have to be unbuttoned every time I want to put it on or take it off, though that's quite minor in the grand scheme of things.  

Conclusion: Highly recommend!

RHC Wrap Collar Shirt

Me wearing it for a schooling show
I was really pleasantly surprised by this shirt! It is a very affordable price (only $40!) and has stood up well to use. The fabric isn't as soft as the Essex, but it doesn't look like it and I've gotten quite a few compliments on it from other horse people. It is still comfortable, just not as silky as the Essex shirt. It washes well and while the collar could probably use a bit of an iron, it still stands up fine while buttoned up. I absolutely love the color and collar pattern that I got.

Conclusion: Great cheaper show shirt, definitely recommend for the price! I will probably buy more of these in the future.

 RJ Classics Prestige Collection Wrap Collar Shirt

I have this one with the pretty aqua lining
This is my most recent purchase. It was on sale and in my size and with my favorite color as the lining of the collar. So far, I have to say I am not pleased. It fits true to size. The fabric is fairly nice, not as soft as the Essex shirt but nicer than the RHC shirt. What I am not pleased about is the snaps on the collar. I undid the collar after my last ride and the snaps tore out of one side of the collar. Keep in mind that I wasn't ripping it open or anything. I think that I can sew them back in, but overall it was just poorly done. I still can't believe they came out. I haven't washed it yet, so I can't comment on durability.

Conclusion: Do not recommend, unless you're looking for a more casual show shirt where you don't want to button the collar or you don't mind reinforcing the snaps. The quality is nice and it's more affordable than the Essex shirt, but I would spend the little bit extra to get a better quality shirt.


Shirts I'd like to try:

Essex Classics Talent Yarn Competition shirt

I love that the buttons only go down part way. It sounds like it's made of nice fabric and I like how it looks like a more fitted style. Of course I love Essex, so I'm sure you can't go wrong with it, even if it does have a $130 price tag.

Ariat Aptos Short Sleeve Show Shirt

I'd really like to have a short sleeve show shirt for summertime to wear under my coat. I really like the look of this shirt and the price tag! Plus I've seen good reviews on it.

Alessandro Albanese Free Button Competition Shirt

http://cdnll.doversaddlery.com/images/xl/0200097_2.jpgI'll admit it. The sole reason I want to try this shirt is because of the magnetic button. I love magnetic closures! Too pricey for my budget at $139 to just get because of that, but maybe someday I'll find it on sale ;)

Middy n Me Sweet Virgina Show Shirt

This is my "when I win the lottery shirt" that I buy just because I think it's adorable. I love the color and patterns (pink and aqua blue are my two favorites!) and I love the silhouette.

So, what are your favorites?


  1. Thanks for this post! I need a show shirt to complete my outfit for this year and I've been struggling to figure out what to buy :)

  2. I agree, this post has perfect timing! Thanks for sharing. Also, LOVE the last shirt. Doesn't quite fit in my budget, but seriously-so cute.

  3. My RJ shirt has button problems too. They melted at the dry cleaner and now I have to replace them totally, a bummer!