One of the most frequently asked questions we receive at Stockinjur usually involves either matching colours in an outfit or what colours best suit a horse. Answering these types of emails used to be a little simpler, but as fashion and gym-wear have found their way onto many equestrian brand design boards, more and more looks and garments have flooded the market. Over the past decade, equestrian fashion has become a huge deal, booming in both matching rider wear and horse wear. The term “matchy matchy’ can be found across all social media platforms, riders striving to match their beloved steeds.
From base layers to fly veils, leggings and hat silks to saddle pads and bandages, the only thing better than matching your horse, is to match your horse with the right colour(s).
This can sound a little daunting, spending out and then not quite sure of you have invested in the correct look. Rest assured it really isn’t that complicated if you stick to the rules surrounding the ‘colour wheel’.
Used in fashion and design, the colour wheel offers different answers depending on its rules.
Soft Colour Matching
If you want a more subtle colour to your overall look, then analogous colours are the answer. These are positioned next to each other on the colour wheel. They possess a similar common hue. So take a chestnut, for example - the colours positioned next to the orange hues are reds, or on the other side, golds/yellows.
Stand Out and Make a Statement
Making a statement is the often preferred route to take when competing with your horse. Complementary colours are definitely the way to go if you want to stand out. These are colours positioned opposite each other on the colour wheel. So if we take a bay this time (browns are shown as darker orange on the wheel) and use the complimentary rule, the opposing colours would be light blues to a darker medium shade of blue.
Another great look is to choose monochrome colours. If you think ‘monochrome’ you might envision a black and white universe cast in grey shadows; however, the word ‘monochrome’ actually indicates any single colour. The past few seasons have seen single colour themes dominating many fashion houses, their coordinated looks stemming from the use of varying hues of a single colour - this offers a stylish way to add depth. The equestrian world has seen riders use this to get affect, matching their horse wear with matching base layers, hat silks and breeches/leggings.
So if you rode a grey, adding similar grey and silver shades to you and your horse’s look would offer a fantastic coordinated finish.
Grey and Black Horses
Of course, grey and black horses are easier to choose a more personalised colour for and you don’t need to adhere to the colour wheel.
Whilst black horses can carry off virtually any colour, from light pinks to purple, greys are a little harder to choose for. You can't go wrong with lighter pastel colours for grey horses, pinks, sky blues and mints working well. If light colours aren't your thing, darker colours like burgundy and purple work well too.
If you have chosen a single colour throughout your entire look, how about adding a highlight colour? Again, if we go to the colour wheel and take a colour positioned opposite your choice, you could add this highlight to either the piping on your horses saddle pad or fly veil, and match it with either stars or patterns on your base layer and hat silk. Picture a bay and its rider donned in royal blue attire - not a bad look by any means, but now mentally add yellow piping to the saddle pad and yellow stars on the rider’s base layer and hat silk. Not enough yellow to take over; just enough to tie the whole look together.
When we answer customer questions it can be a little daunting to us too, knowing someone will take our advice and may spend money on it - what if they don’t like the finished look? Or what if they don’t think it’s a good match? We always go from experience and what colours thousands of our customers have used. We receive hundreds of photos of customers either hacking or competing, and whilst there are no rules when it comes to personal preference, throwing the colour wheel and rules into the equation will always ensure you and your four-legged partner are a match made in heaven.