So the way I landed on these was a bit of a journey. In the first package from R.J. Classics they sent me several pairs of show breeches in both tan and white. The white whites were full seats. That’s normally the direction I would go. However none of the breeches they sent fit (though they’re my standard size in a lot of brands). They were all too big…like…huge waist gaps that would make them slide down my bum when riding…so I knew those were a no go. When I sent them back, I asked if they could send a smaller pair…and send them in a color! I had my eye on a green to spice up my show look for Jax and my Robin Hood themed freestyle and R.J. Classics delivered with this gorgeous color called Dusty Sage (which happens to be on sale right now). They are a cool sage green (aka they lean more blue than olive). When I got them, they didn’t have the color in FS…only Knee Patch…so I went with that (now they have FS…and those are on sale too so go buy them if you so desire). I can ride in Knee Patches. I’m not reliant on Full Seats to keep my butt in the saddle right?! Well I was going to show in them either way…so fingers crossed.
So style trumps function…yet again. Because I’m still a female after all and so many times we make choices to look good over being functionally at our best (though I’m learning slowly as I get older how to drop that stupid inclination). These are beautiful. The color is gorgeous. They look nice on. The pocket styling is very attractive. The silicone design is cute, not obnoxious. Style wise, these are great. Super cute. Lots of nice colors. Would buy again.
So lets go back to fit. The fit on these is not my favorite however. What’s wrong with them? They’re just not made for my body type. They’re made for girls with less junk in the trunk. Kinda like the low-rise jeans of my youth…the rise on the bum is just not high enough to contain all that I’m rocking back there. It’s interesting, because they fit in the thighs and knees and calves (and I’ve got large ones all the way up and down). If the rise was simply 1 inch higher in the back…they’d be a much better fit for me (you can see in this photo how they kinda dip down in the back towards my bum. So if you’ve got a butt like mine (or J-Lo’s) these probably aren’t going to work for you. If you’re a more normal proportioned woman…they’ll be great. They don’t look bad (they look great on actually), but I did feel a touch self conscious that my shirt might untuck and I’d plumber crack everyone as I did my medium trot away from the judge. Didn’t happen…but you know. It’s the mental image.
As you may have seen in the other reviews…I wore them and it went well. No issues whatsoever with not being able to function without a sticky but. In fact, Jax and I ended up Reserve High Point for the show with a 70.something % (I’m too lazy to go confirm the exact decimals…but you don’t really care anyways). Point is…wearing a knee patch did not hinder this dressage queen. The color was fabulous and perfect for our freestyle. They performed well in the saddle and in the heat (it was cooking!) and are as comfortable as a breech can be (vs a tight). They are a solid performance breech. I’ll wear them again and again.
Like the other items from the brand…the sizing on these is generous. With a fit for a LOT of people including regular and long length. And sizes 22 – 36 (and as I mentioned…the sizing is generous…a lot of times I’m a 32…or a 34. I wear a 30L in these. I appreciate that they come in Long because… most brands don’t have that option and most of the time my breeches are about 4 inches to short…or sometimes more… So thank you R.J. Classics for being on it with sizing to fit a LOT of people.
The quality seems excellent. I mean…you never know after just a few months of washes…but so far nothing is amiss. They look brand new after washing minus a tiny little bit of black staining from stray boot polish (whoops). They are easy to care for and wash and dry well (cold water wash, inside out, hang to dry) just like most modern breeches are. I think the price for the quality is good (especially when on sale!). They’re not a cheap breech however…but they don’t perform like a cheap breech either.
So despite the fit not being my favorite, I quite like these breeches and will be inclined to try some more styles from R.J. Classic (the full seats for instance are supposed to be a “mid-rise” vs these “natural rise” which I’m not sure what the difference is… but I’m expecting a slightly higher rise). The colors are really pretty (I mean…go check out Atlantic…Raisin…Dijon…so pretty). These are solidly in my “wear them” pile vs my “take to the tack sale” pile and I will continue to love them and the show shirt and jacket for the foreseeable future.