This is another one of those items that I get to publicly admit to being totally wrong about. It’s always fun when I’m wrong.
A while back, my friend Michelle called me from a tack shop in Florida (what up, TackNRider), telling me about all the cool stuff they had. We are both fans of cool stuff. She sent me pics of a few things, and was gushing about these breeches, the Julie Grip from an Italian brand called For Horses. Well, really, they were tights. As soon as she said the T word, my hackles went up. I dunno about y’all, but when someone says “riding tights”, I picture some kind of hideous, elastic waistband, stretch cotton monstrosity that shows every dimple of my backside and only looks cute on 10 year olds.
Michelle had a pair sent to me anyway, as a birthday present. I opened the package and my eyebrow went up… “what in the hell are these?”. I held them up and they looked child sized. I really thought there was no way they’d fit, or be at all attractive. I set them aside for a couple days before trying them on – that’s how optimistic I was. But when I finally pulled them on I was pleasantly surprised to find that they actually fit perfectly. And they were pretty flattering. And really, really ridiculously comfortable. I wore them around my house for a few hours that evening, not really wanting to take them off, and needing some time to process my feelings.
These things are like no other riding tight I’ve ever met. There is no elastic in the waistband, it’s just the same fabric that the tights themselves are made of. The cut is very good – it’s slightly higher than normal breeches so that they don’t slide down or bunch up, and the waistband is stupid comfortable. They have silicone dots on the knee area for grip, and a sock bottom. The fabric itself is a sleek, stretchy tech fabric, so that the end result is kinda like a pair of breeches and a pair of leggings had a really nice Italian baby.
The first time I wore them to the barn I kept looking down to make sure I was actually wearing pants. They’re SO light and comfortable and breathable… by far the best breeches I’ve ever found for hot weather. If it’s balls-hot, these things are awesome. Not only are they way cooler, they also dry really quickly. I like them so much, I now have two pairs. I’ve been reaching for those breeches by default pretty much all summer, wearing and washing the heck out of them. So far they’re holding up really well.
The only thing I don’t really like about them is the little faux pockets on the butt. Well really I like the faux pockets because it gives them more of a breeches look, but IMO the little “flap” needs to be tacked down. I ended up tacking mine down with a couple stitches, just because the flapping kind of made me nuts. Maybe other people aren’t as crazy as I am about things flapping on their butt?
Full retail price for them is about $150, which admittedly maybe seems a little pricey at first glance for, uh… tights (that word still makes me cringe). But I’ve been so impressed by the fit, comfort, durability, and performance of these things that I have to say – if you live in a hot climate, they are an absolute godsend in the summer. Worth every penny, for sure. I’d love to have a pair in every color. Thanks Michelle for knowing that I would like them, despite my initial misgivings!