Leslie Wylie test-drives a riding jean that is anything but ordinary.
I remember the moment so clearly: I was in the Netherlands covering the Boekelo CCI3* for Eventing Nation, and it was the Wednesday horse inspection. Team USA rider and 2015 Pan Am Games Gold Medalist Marilyn Little strode up the jog strip looking fantastic, as usual, her long palomino mane softly billowing, the expression on her face as chill as the crisp October air. Another day, another opportunity to show the world what America is made of amid cutthroat international competition — no big deal.
Boom. That’s what you call team spirit. Marilyn for the jog win and possibly a 2016 presidential nomination as well.
All credit goes to the made-in-the-USA Olympic Knee Patch Riding Jean by 2kGrey, a brand I immediately became obsessed with. I needed/wanted/had to have a pair for myself.
My most immediate gravitation was toward the Ava Knee Patch Breech, which I quickly and happily assimilated into my riding wardrobe.
I have a deep appreciation for denim riding pants, which seem to be less conspicuous in public places than full-on traditional breeches. My barn friends and I have a weakness for stopping by the pub to talk shop on our way home from the barn and it’s nice to be able to blend in with the bar crowd. The tapered leg passes for a perfect-fitting skinny jean, perfect for tucking into a boot or even pulling off with a heel or sandal.
Blending in with the barn crowd in the Ava Breech, on the other hand… not so much. These pants are packing way more pizzazz than any denim breeches on the market. Like Marilyn’s breeches, the Ava is all business in the front, party in the back, with bright fuchsia stitching and beautifully embroidered back pockets.
I’m a fool for pink AND bling– check out these photos of my fashion hero Sanna Siltakorpi rocking a hot-pink coat and sparkly matching helmet at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France…
… so I LOVED the Ava’s sassy splashes of color against the hand-distressed indigo denim.
Of course, looking fresh and feeling fly is only half the battle; comfort and function are key as well. I’ve never worn a riding jean, or a jean at all, that was softer, stretchier and more figure-hugging-in-a-flattering way than the Ava. They’re 68% cotton, 29% Polyester and 3% Spandex which, speaking from experience, is a magical combination. The last thing you need to be thinking about when you’re cantering up to a monster oxer is whether you’re breeches are going to work with you or against you when you fold forward over a big jump.
One last thing I ought to mention: care. It’s easy. Just turn them inside out and throw them in the washer. And then you let them tumble dry. For me, this is great news, because I can destroy a pair of breeches like nobody’s business. (Don’t ask me about my last pair of FITS, I’ll start crying again.)