|breeches make a difference|
I'm told that more expensive pants wear better, but I'm pretty sure the law of diminishing returns comes in to play in a hurry. Plus it seems that people who are most impressed by durability actually do the least things, you know? Like "omg these breeches lasted me 10 years!" but they only ride one horse for 20 minutes twice a week.
Full disclosure: I spent the past couple years working in a pro situation, which meant 8+ hour days on the regular, all in breeches. I'm currently LOVING the ammy life and I ride my one horse 5-6x a week and do practically no barn chores.
I want a breech to be stretchy enough to not unduly restrict me, firm enough that any unacceptable lumps are smoothed out, durable enough that I can use them for 1-2 years, AREN'T LOW RISE, are front zip, and have sock bottoms. Need normal rise. Hate velcro bottoms. Don't need hips looking wider/more awkward (here's looking at you, side zip).
|Tredstep breeches in action|
List price: $89.95
What I paid: ~$75
I was in desperate need of breeches last year and hit a 20% off sale at Bit of Britain. I like Tredstep half chaps, the breeches were well reviewed, and I needed SOMETHING.
I'm normally a 34, I got the 34 and they fit fine. These breeches have a nice sock bottom and an ok rise. The color is fine. They are definitely pants.
That said, they are my least favorite breeches of the lot. The fabric doesn't really have any give to it, which means it's constantly pulling at my knees. It "stretches" out quickly and looks unattractive. The breeches slide down even with a belt on. And despite being stiff and uncomfortable, they really don't flatter anything. I guess the durability is fine, in that I only use them when I desperately need to do laundry, so they're unlikely to wear out soon.
I would not buy these again. It's possible the top fo the line tredsteps are much improved, but if you can't impress me at $90, I'm not shelling out $200.
|Equine Couture in action|
List price: $89.95
What I paid: ~$75
These are the product of the same Bit of Britain sale. I basically picked things with a price I could stomach and color I could deal with and clicked order.
Again, got 34 and the 34 fit fine. These breeches also have a sock bottom. It's double layered and doesn't really have a seam at the bottom, which makes them smooth under paddock boots, but it's a minor PITA to put on. Not a deal breaker.
I actually quite like these breeches--they smooth what needs smoothing, give where it matters, and look sharp day in and day out. They don't sag or wear strangely and I really love the grippy silicone knee patch thingy. It grips without making me hotter, which is fantastic.
That said. They are low rise. Not the lowest rise ever, but HELLOOOOOOO MUFFIN TOP. You'll note I only ever wear them with baggy shirts because wow yeah, no one needs to see that. If you are a short-waisted low-rise-loving person, these are the pants for you.
I might buy these again, but I wouldn't pay full price. They do come in nice colors. They have also started to pill somewhat, but since they work twice as hard at the Tredsteps (at least), I'm not too concerned.
|sadly no fantastic in action shots yet|
List price: $79.95
What I paid: ~$64
I'm the queen of the 20% off sale. What can I say? Even with cheap breeches, I can't stomach full price.
I have reviewed the Piper breeches before. I kind of liked them. After I wrote the initial review, I liked them less because I was working in a barn and the pipers definitely have a crotch sag issue (no bueno) and they wore out pretty fast.
|old pipers in action|
So here's the updated review.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the colors. Who doesn't? Fun colors, good price point. My objection to the old fasteners is gone--they covered the painful metal things with fabric and it's all good there.
The Pipers hit every single one of my must have list in breeches--the rise actually works for my long-waisted self, the sock bottoms are spot on, etc.
So what's not to like?
|another old piper shot.|
I will also say that while this fabric is fantastic for the first few hours, it does sort of stretch out and look less flattering after a while on long days. It snaps back when you wash it, but if you're an industry pro, I wouldn't choose these breeches.
As a one horse adult ammy, I pretty much love them.
|also not buying more of these|
So there you have it. Three kinds of breeches under $100 each. It can be done.