A new brand is always exciting for me as there is always endless potential. You can find new favorites…which I’m always thrilled to do. You can find the product fails to meet expectations, which happens sometimes too. The company I’m talking about today is a new luxury apparel brand Nikovian and their new limited edition Invictus line. If you want to skip the reading and go straight to the Youtube video, it’s down below (it also covers the other Nikovian products I am going to review in the next few months.
After getting the product in a beautiful gift box, I had high expectations and the products did not disappoint. I’m not going to discuss them all here…I’m going to focus on the Nikovian Invictus Equestrian Summer Breech, which I received in ever-useful black. I was excited to feel these on arrival because the fabric is very similar to my favorite breeches. The fiber content is almost exact as well. However they do feel a bit different and maybe not quite so naked…which for some of you will be a bonus.
The hardware is all shiny gold including some heavy duty zippers. There is a large elastic waistband inside the waist of the breeches which gives extra support and firmness in that area. The buttons and logo on the back are custom Nikovian hardware (one way to tell a quality product as custom hardware isn’t cheap). The sewing of these is good. I took a good look at all the stitching on these as for the price…and a similar fabric to my favorites…the quality better be exceptional (granted my favorites have terrible sewing quality). The sewing was perfect and the stitch was a much heavier duty high quality sewing job than I see on a lot of breeches these days…so I don’t expect the seems to fail on me quickly. Which is excellent, because when you’re paying this much for essentially a summer riding tight (though certainly with more style and a bit more structure), they better be impeccable. These are very pretty and in style. Honestly…I was concerned about the gold as I’m not a “glam” gold loving kind of gal…but I really like these. They feel very in style…more in style than I usually am…and I wasn’t embarrassed to head off to do some shopping while wearing them.
Speaking of impeccable…the silicone printing on the seat of these is perfect. Not a smudge…and not cheapening out on the amount used either. These are VERY sticky. Also impeccable…the embroidery “Invictus Equestrian” on the waist band. While we’re talking about the logo/text… I have noticed a lot of brands lately are doing large branding on both shirts and breeches (and saddle pads)…which is TERRIBLE for AA riders with dicey AA rules supposedly clarified…but then not really clearer at all. These breeches ONLY have the stylized logo on the belt loop in the back and that embroidery. The embroidery is easily covered with a belt and then you’re just left with the gold logo, which isn’t in your face. I could actually wear these at a dressage competition and I appreciate that. Please release some gray ones next so I can wear those to a show! Or…pink? Yeah…dressage riders are lucky now that we have more color options available to us for showing.
Okay…now that’s all before I put them on. I was worried I ordered too small a size when I picked them up as they look really tiny…but many they have stretch. So don’t worry. They’ll fit. The summer weight ones especially have a lot of size forgiveness (they also come in XS to 3XL…so there’s some for you most likely and I’m always there for size inclusion being on the chunkier end of the rider spectrum). The fabric isn’t quite as smoothing as I would have hoped and expected based on their similarity to my favorite tights…but they’re not bad either. The fit however isn’t going to be the best on all body types. For me specifically, I’m super short-waisted (like if you looked up short-wasted in the dictionary there might be a photo of me)…so these tend to sit a little too high and the wide waist-band actually makes me look thicker. They’re not super flattering on me in the saddle because they ride up over my ribs and emphasize my mommy tummy in a way none of my others do (this doesn’t bother me in the saddle…just bothers me in photos). The summer weight ones do this a lot less than the regular weight ones. However if you have a normal torso or long torso, you’re going to look fabulous in these and the waist-band is going to hold you in and support you.
The zipper area tends to pull and not lay flat…which is pretty normal for 4 way stretch breeches. You can even see on their model in the photos of the product on the website she’s having the same issue…so there you go. Personally, it’s fine, especially for schooling, but I’d be disappointed to have a pair for showing that didn’t lay flat. A brand sometime will figure out how to fix this issue that a lot of brands seem to be having. It’s just a nit picky thing for me and I have a lot of breeches that do this.
These summer weight ones are very comfortable both in and out of the saddle. The weight is very light and you won’t overheat in these and the fabric is very soft to touch. They ride great. Like seriously as comfortable as my favorites. I don’t feel restricted, tight or discomfort anywhere and have full range of motion in these. I can literally do the splits in them. I appreciate that they made an effort to reduce seams on the sock bottom as that area is always annoying, and this is for sure more comfortable. It’s super noticeable in the reduction of irritation on my lower leg after taking my breeches off. The sticky bum printing is no joke. They’re almost too sticky and getting in and out of the car is a little difficult. Ha!
They do attract a bit of dust, which is fine (they are black after all). It is easy to wipe off with a cloth. Everything has washed super well so far. I washed them all in a washing machine with cold water. As instructed (because the stick seat can get damaged) I washed them inside out. I hung them up to dry. All three items came out looking brand new. All three dried very quickly on the line (granted it is hot summer here still in California) and I was able to wear them the next day. So caring for them is standard with what I do with all my other riding gear.
I really like the Nikovian Invictus Equestrian Summer Breech and am looking forward to purchasing more in other colors when they release them (the burgundy color is not going to be cute on Jax so I’m passing on those). I can certainly recommend the brand to you, especially if price isn’t an issue for you (they are rather pricey). The quality and performance is good for the price and I don’t think they are overpriced for the quality of the product. And if you have a longer waist, these are going to look really good on you…and I am mad at you for it. Joking! Sorta 😉