Hot weather dressage outfit?

I’m a LL eventer, and while I prefer to wear my custom show jacket for dressage, I’m no longer willing to risk passing out for the privilege - esp since jackets aren’t even required at my level. The forecast for next weekend is 86F with high humidity, so I’m already planning to leave my coat at home. What shirt & breech color combos do you like to wear for your dressage test? White and white? Conservative darker breech (grey/tan/taupe) and/or subtle colored long or short sleeve shirt? I want to look workmanlike, but warming up for 20-30 min in a coat plus test time = wilting middle aged me :frowning: Photos are appreciated! PS: I don’t have someone available to hand me my coat just for the test.

I’m not sure I have any pics handy, but I usually go with light tan breeches and a gray underarmour polo shirt. I’m a dirt magnet so try to avoid white. But I’ve also worn everything from a white show shirt to a navy sunshirt without issue.


I’m a straight dressage rider so take this for what it’s worth - I prefer lighter (white, light gray, light tan) breeches with a darker shirt. I’m not fond of the white on white - especially if said combination also includes a black belt like a beacon around the middle to emphasize every imbalance. But I feel the same way about the super blingy helmets that are everywhere in the dressage ring - I feel like they are a strobe light on the top of your head emphasizing how much you are moving around and not aligned correctly.

I use every opportunity to ditch the coat - mostly for the opportunity to leave the stock tie in the bag, since they make me very claustrophobic.

I’m very happy that the shows I go to these days are very quick to waive coats - I can’t tell you the number of times in years past I’d dress assuming I’d have to wear my coat and have them waived right before I went in the ring. I’d not be wearing a show ring legal shirt, so could not just ditch the coat. Somehow I think the racer back sport top is taking it a step too far.


Light blue polo and tan or light gray breeches have been my go-to for some time. At the end of 2019 I bought a light pink L.L. Bean polo to wear also, have not had the chance yet. I’ve been keeping an eye out for light colored polos (other than yellow since yellow and tan would be as bad as white and white.)

Before I realized polos were legal to wear, I’d wear my white show shirt with tan breeches.

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Thanks all! I was just scanning some Elisa Wallace videos on YouTube. She was wearing a white show shirt with navy sleeves & white breeches at a summer show that looked quite sharp. I just found a Horze white show shirt with black mesh sleeves on sale. Think I will get that and pair it with my white or dove grey breeches. Will save my showcoat for the fall HTs!

I think that sounds nice. I usually wear white or light grey breeches and a navy sunshirt. My trainer has a grey show shirt that she wears with white breeches and looks really nice, but I haven’t been able to find a grey one I like.

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For a “ride a test” (day before show ride in front of the judge to get some immediate feedback), I wore darker taupe breeches that had subtle red accents with a black long sleeve 1/4 zip. I thought it ended up looking quite nice.

I have also worn the same 1/4 zip for an actual test, with white breeches and black belt. It also ended up looking quite sharp.

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It has been awhile (at least 10 years) but when the kiddo allowed me to dress her for horse trials, I put her in white breeches, white show shirt, and white belt with her black boots and helmet. Kiddo was small -horse was a big white (18 hh) OTTB gelding. My goal was to make her look as LONG as possible by not breaking the visual line from helmet to knee. My feeling was that any difference between shirt color and breeches would make the kid look shorter. Over thinking? Oh, you should have heard my thought process for outfitting granddaughter for Western Showmanship . . .every crystal and applique was placed for maximum effect —ahh, the good old days. Now I have only my self to dress for competitions --and there’s no dress code or custom of dress in Mounted Archery.

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I don’t like the look of white on white. When coats are waived I do white breeches with a black sleeved shirt, you still get a nice crisp look this way.

One of my favorite summer show shirts is a short sleeved seersucker button down - pale yellow stripes - from the Polo boys department. Nothing cooler than that, and it’s very neat. I always wear tan breeches these days.

Thanks for all these great examples! I agree that white on white can be a little too plain, so my white shirt has black mesh long sleeves. I think an entirely black or navy shirt would be quite hot when the sun’s out.