Thursday, January 12, 2012
All the Pretty Things
I’ve always loved fashion and clothes. It’s genetic; my grandmother owned a shop filled with fabulous women’s wear, so my mother grew up with first hand access to the latest styles. As a child, one of the highlights of going to visit my grandmother in the north of England was diving into a big wooden trunk filled with dozens of party dresses my mother wore to dances in the nineteen-fifties, selecting something twirly-skirted and fabulous, then wiggling into it before catwalking up and down the long hallway that overlooked a big square patio. Sometimes my friend Jillian would come over from across the street and we’d play on the swing in the garden, enjoying the way the wind whooshed with my mother’s satins and silks. In fact, until recently I still had a beautiful black lace outfit my mother wore to a particularly special party, but since it didn’t fit me or my daughter, I gave it to my slinky-figured younger sister who wowed the crowds when she wore it to a party last summer.
As I get older I don’t buy as many clothes as I used to. While lovely little designer dresses still tug at my heartstrings once in a while, most of the time I’ll just give them an amorous fondle and put them back on the rail, because chances are I’d wear them once in a blue moon, so what’s the point? My wall to wall wardrobe is filled with clothes that I’ve had for years but hardly ever wear, because - most of the time - my lifestyle revolves around jeans and jodhpurs and sweaters and tee-shirts. Where do I go day, after day? I go to the stables, and I go grocery shopping. Apart from occasional weekend evenings when my husband and I will see friends or maybe go to a restaurant, that’s about it.
Nevertheless, wherever I go, whatever I do, I always like to look nicely put together. And since the thing I do most is ride, I like to look nice while doing it. Although I tend not to be organized enough to match my clothing colour scheme to my horse’s colour scheme on a day to day basis (I have a friend who is!), I’m picky enough to switch a red fleece blanket for a navy blue one if I happen to be wearing my plum riding coat instead of my dark green one. I wouldn’t want to give Qrac, myself or anyone around us a colour-clashing induced headache!
I’m gradually developing a pretty impressive collection of colour-coordinated saddle blankets and bandages. It’s probably a dressage thing, but I love to see Qrac elegantly decked out. I love grooming him until he’s super-shiny, painting his feet with black hoof oil, and spend ages brushing out his long, thick mane and tail, occasionally using a dollop of Cowboy Magic (I love that stuff! They don’t sell it here, so I brought a huge bottle back from America when I visited last summer) for a super-swishy effect. When it comes to tacking up, if I don’t have bandages to match a particular saddle-blanket, I’ll compromise with white or off-white. I go through phases when I like to dress him in bright colours, such as the bright turquoise he’s wearing in this photo…
Most of the time, however, I prefer more subdued, classical colours. Last weekend I bought a lovely sandy coloured saddle-blanket edged with white and pale blue, which is great as it works with quite a few sets of bandages. I also bought a vanilla coloured one edged with blue striped piping that will look gorgeous with matching vanilla bandages! I also ordered a lovely black one edged with silver, which I’m considering having embroidered with his name. It probably sounds really silly, but when I’m driving to the stables, I often find myself planning Qrac’s “outfit” for
the day. Shall I dress him in the dark grey with the white edge? The chocolate brown?
How about bright red? Or maybe that nice old brown and blue saddle blanket? He’s not worn that one in a while. Hmmm… Decisions, decisions!
How about you? Are you interested in clothes? Do you like to play dress-up with your horse?