Equestrian fashion has changed a great deal. The ‘traditional’ colours tended to be dark and drab, with outerwear meaning a choice of a tweed or waxed fabric which was non-breathable and heavy.
Clothing today is flattering and most importantly for riders, functional. Paola Portelli, the owner of Equikamen, is an Italian rider who was looking for apparel which bridged the gap between sportswear and equestrianism.
She said, “I started Equikamen because I felt like I had to make something for this sport, for my sport. I used to wear riding breeches for a lot of hours during the day at the stables and I wasn’t comfy, I was feeling stuck in this thigh, thick pants; very painful when you are not a super skinny woman!”
Paola considered what was the best kind of clothing for women. It was finding the balance between practical and comfortable, looking good in and out of the saddle. She wanted a fresh approach to equine wear and turned to other sports which she enjoyed which also tie in nicely with horses, such as yoga, Pilates and running.
Layering is a key part of the thinking; the clothes feel like a second skin which means clients are happy to stay in them for longer. She said, “I get inspired from a lot of American brands, most of them are from different sports. In my collection I love to have a bit of everything, I like basic stuff, basic and useful, like my leggings, you can go everywhere, you can go jogging in the park when you wake up in the morning and then stop by a Starbucks for a coffee and go straight to the stables to ride your horse.”
Having clothes which fit your lifestyle is game changing, helpful additions such as a phone pocket in the riding leggings. Equikamen’s range offers a modern twist on classic styles. The fabrics are tailored to be stretchy and breathable. They bring longevity which means value for money and in an age where we must think carefully about the damage ‘fast fashion’ is doing to our planet. This range has durability.
Paola said, “My products are first of all sporty, I always try to find the right texture and the right cut to have the perfect riding performance and then I add the fashion details to it, I’m a big fashion lover and I like to mix contemporary, glamour fit with sporty comfort.”
Paola had noticed that today’s materials have changed a lot, as have people’s tastes. Within the equestrian community people were looking for more modern look, equestrian has moved away from its military roots. Paola recognised people like herself, women and men who want to look good when they riding, they want to be elegant and beautiful. She wants to make this possible for any client.
Even better, the quality of the clothes means they are easy to clean. There really is something for everyone and it won’t be long before your Equikamen wear becomes a staple part of your everyday wardrobe. Paola added, “I love the fact most of my items are very easy to care for, they dry very quickly and you don’t need to iron them at all, this is unbelievable!”
Practicality and style can be combined, Equikamen has proved it.