Thursday, October 9, 2014

Mission Impossible: Finding a formal coat that fits

Now that Paddy is back on the dressage bandwagon, and there might actually be a rated show in our future, I'm trying to do a little wardrobe updating. I've now got white breeches I don't hate (a miracle in of itself), my boots are good, and while I don't love my stock tie, it will do for now. But what I don't have is a coat that actually fits me.

I currently own three coats. They go from bad:

Horseware Ireland Competition Jacket, size XS. Sleeve length is good, fit is loose in the shoulders and waist. I bought this for foxhunting because it's made from washable technical fabric, which is super awesome since you can trash a coat in just one hunt. I'm not a fan of how wrinkly it looks. Also, I know that short coats are all the rage, but on me this thing is MUCH too short. 

To worse:

Ovation hunt coat, size 6. I think I bought this because it was like $45 and it fit me better than any other coat I'd tried on. But the sleeves are SUPER short and it's huge in the body. 

To really frickin' embarrassing: 

Elite dressage coat, size 6L. It's just huge. The sleeves are huge, the shoulders are huge, the body is huge, and it's too long. Also, I look about as happy as a well-dressed serial killer wearing this coat.

Since obviously none of these will make Paddington look awesome, I did what any sane person would do and drove to the local Dover store to try on Every. Single. Coat. Here's what I learned:
  • I am too tall. The "in" short coats look stupid on me.
  • I need to consider stuffing my bra (how does that work with a sports bra, anyway?)
  • European brands fit me better than American brands. European brands are also more expensive than American brands. Conspiracy? I don't think so...

Dover tried to order a Pikeur Diana for me to try on, but can't get the size I want until January 2015. Since patience is not a virtue of mine, I found the coat I wanted from Dressage Extensions and ordered it.

And let me just say, I WISH THIS THING FIT ME.
Pikeur Diana Washable, size 6. Look how SMOOTHLY this thing lies. Look how TAILORED it is.

Look how tight it is in the shoulder. *cries*

The length of the coat seems perfect, but it's just too tight across the shoulders. 

Tragically, I had to put the beautiful coat back it its box and send it back. I'm trying to decide if I should order the next size up (or maybe a Long in the next size up?) or try a different brand. I'm also trying to convince my husband to let me go to the Region 9 Dressage Championships this weekend and try on All The Coats from All The Vendors. Because that's obviously the adult thing to do, right?

Soooo... tell me about your coat-finding woes! What styles/brands do you love/hate? Any advice on a dressage coat for someone who is 5'8 with wide shoulders and no boobs? 




43 comments:

  1. Damn, that Pikeur is gorgeous on you! Buy one size up and get it tailored? I wouldn't rest until I MADE that coat fit me if I was you.

    And to answer your boobs question, it's a two step process. Lift kit level push up bra, THEN sports bra.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wait, you're giving bra stuffing advice? This is rich ... ;) LOVE YOU!

      Delete
    2. Hahaha. There's no reason I shouldn't be allowed to accentuate what I got - and it takes a LOT to make boobs show up under a coat!

      Delete
    3. "Lift kit level push up bra".... BWAHAHAHAHAAH! I was thinking more along the lines of a couple of pairs of socks...

      Delete
  2. Man that Pikeur coat is so close. Buy up, get tailored.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm 5'6" with the longest waist known to mankind and linebacker shoulders, with barely any boobs. I look great in a padded bikini and retarded in a hunt coat. I feel your pain. Jen's right. Get a cheap padded bra (ebay a Victoria's Secret huge padded bra?) and put the sports bra over the top. I've been known to do this under dresses ...

    As for the hunt coat, I dunno. I find the ELT Dressage coat to fit me "okay" it's slightly too tight in the shoulders, and makes me look pretty flat. The best coat that fit me was my old Elite hunt coat. I'd bought it to fit my shoulders and tailored it to fit everything else. That Diana is gorgeous. I've drooled over them. I'd absolutely talk to a tailor and figure out some options. Off the rack stuff is just impossible...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Diana looks even nicer in person than in the pics. It's just so perfectly SLEEK. I'm definitely looking at having one tailored!

      Delete
  4. Yes - what Jen said. Buy larger and get it tailored! Very few folks fit off the rack sizes. Begs the question, why are they the standard?

    Re boob enhancement - no advice here. I only have experience in smashing them down comfortably - which almost always creates the dreaded uniboob look lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why is it uniboob or nothing? Seriously.

      Delete
  5. Go to the SHOOOWWWW, and the Victoria's secret bra you are looking for is called the "Hello Bombshell" or as I like to call it "Hello Boobies"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Husband is interested in the "Hello Boobies" bra. Sheesh.

      And yeah, I think I may have a small road trip on Saturday...

      Delete
  6. I think an equally impossible challenge is trying to find a coat that fits a 5'3", short torso'ed, short armed, broad shouldered rider with boobs. Yeah, fun times :-/

    Good luck, and godspeed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. None of us can win, can we? Le sigh.

      Delete
  7. show coats ARE a conspiracy - no question. my tailor is definitely my friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely am gonna need a tailor to make this happen.

      Delete
  8. Did Dover have the FITS coat? I feel like I remember that one being longer... Lisa has it. Otherwise agreed - buy a size up and tailor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The FITS coat is too short on me. Pout.

      Delete
    2. Stop being so tall and skinny. Problem solved!!!

      Delete
    3. I'll get right on that, along with a couple extra pair of socks in my bra, lol!

      Delete
  9. ahhh I never have problems of things being too big ;) unfortunately, no practical advise from this side of the pond - would take you to all the stores we have here and let you try some of our brands...most of them have the long version of standard sizes.... let me know when you come over ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, clearly I need a week shopping in tack stores across the continent to find the right coat. I be right over... but probably not till April! ;)

      Delete
  10. I feel your pain. But I think I have the opposite problem- big shoulders, big boobs, little (comparatively) tummy and short torso. I ended up buying a ridiculously expensive jacket a size too big, and getting it tailored around my waist and arms. I think mine's an Ascot?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, while I don't mind having it tailored, it does seem a bit obscene to pay for an expensive coat and THEN pay $100+ to have it tailored. Oh well, it's a one-time purchase, right?

      Delete
  11. The best thing I ever did was buy a cheap slightly too big hunt coat and have it altered to fit me really well. The tailor who did it only charged me like $30 too and people thought it was a way more expensive jacket than it was.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The estimate I got to have that black coat tailored to fit me was over $200, because they would basically have to take the entire coat apart and reassemble it. I WISH I could have it tailored for $30!!!

      Delete
  12. Well, I know a certain dude who would give you his boobs if you pay for the surgery to remove them!
    Wait, that sounds terribly awkward outloud...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who knew a post about jackets would turn into a discussion about boobs? Best thing ever! :)

      Delete
  13. I adore the Pikeur Diana, size up and tailor! Also, all these comments are cracking me up! I struggle with broad shoulders and a small waist, if I can actually move it looks like a box.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Broad shoulders, no boobs, small waist. WHY does nobody make a jacket that fits us??? We should clearly form a lobby.

      Delete
  14. hahaha the comments are great!!
    I have no advice... it was very hard getting a jacket to fit my 5'4" skinny (anorexic) and boobless daughter when she was competing. Looking at photos now, every jacket she ever had was too big for her. We never thought of bra augmentation...
    I'm remarkably uncaring about my appearance. I have a jacket. It mostly fits. 'Tis grand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the best set of comments EVER, I agree!

      Delete
  15. What size Diana Pikeur do you need? I have one for sale...I dont think its the washable one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Either an 8 or an 8L. What size is yours? And it doesn't have to be washable! Shoot me an email at jen jobst at gmail dot com!

      Delete
  16. That Pikeur is amaaazing, I have it in the non-washable version. I vote, at least as a last resort, ordering it a size up and tailoring it. Going to the show and trying on all the coats sounds like a good plan too!

    My shad is a Kingsland, it was more than I had wanted to pay but I don't regret it at all. The fabric is amazing- I dunno what it is but it's very cool and is stretchy so even though it's a little snug in places, I have a lot of mobility. It's also made for people wearing a sports bra so it's not baggy in the chest. I dunno if they have a short jacket and if they do, it might be out of your price range, but I highly recommend it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kingsland has a short coat that is super pretty. Of course, I can only find it in European stores, and have no idea what size would fit me. $$$$ for shipping back and forth across the pond, pout. But who knows, maybe someone will have it at the show this weekend? I can only hope! If that doesn't work, I'm hoping someone has the Pikeur I can try on in a size that can be tailored down. Because yeah, that coat is SUPER gorgeous! The lines are just so classy, how can you not love it?

      Delete
  17. Try an RJ Classics Dressage coat, I have many of the same sizing issues (wear about the same size, I am tall, but have broader shoulders relative to my body size). They have several models very similar to the Pikeur coats at about half the cost! I am very pleased with the fit of mine. A note on sizing... the sizing runs similar to a ladies dress suit sizing versus riding coat sizing. I usually wear a 6 in suits but ended up going with a 4 with the RJ Classics coat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tried on the RJs. Even the size 2 was too big for me, and size 0 is a special order - which means that if I order it, I can't return it. GAH!

      Delete
  18. The Pikeur is beautiful! If the larger size won't work, maybe a custom coat?
    I have 2 poorly fitting coats. Scrawny shoulders and big boobs does not make for a good fit :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am starting to think that there is no such thing as a "good fit" off the rack for a coat. End of story.

      Delete
  19. I consulted my boss at the tack store, who advice is as follows:
    "Maybe a Pikeur Scarlett in an 8 long? Or a Pikeur Romina in an 8 long. If her arms are long, a Gersemi show coat in a 10 may work."

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh, thanks for the advice! I tried on the Scarlett in an 8, but no long. It fit OK, but because it's only partially lined, it doesn't look as smoothly tailored as the Diana. However, if I can't find a Diana that fits, I'll try the Scarlett for sure. It's a pretty jacket!

      Delete