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How to Buy Equestrian Show Shirts: Size, Fit, Style Guide

How to Buy Equestrian Show Shirts: Size, Fit, Style Guide

Every equestrian competition requires a highly specific dress code whether you’re riding dressage or participating in a hunter jumper event. For each event, a smart and well-fitting equestrian show shirt should be worn. With countless brands, styles, and fits of show shirts available, it can be a bit overwhelming when deciding what kind to buy. This guide covers everything you need to know about equestrian show shirts, including the various types and what you should look for when shopping for your next show shirt.

What is an Equestrian Show Shirt?

An equestrian show shirt, also called an English show shirt, is designed to be worn while horseback riding. These shirts are typically made from lightweight and breathable materials, such as polyester and spandex blends, to help keep the rider cool and comfortable while riding. Equestrian show shirts often have a fitted and tapered silhouette with a button-up front and a stand-up collar. They may also feature a variety of design details, such as lace, embroidery, or subtle prints, to add a touch of elegance and style to the rider’s appearance during more formal competitions. In addition to their aesthetic appeal, English show shirts are also functional, providing moisture-wicking and quick-drying properties to help keep the rider dry and comfortable during competition. These properties also help riders regulate their body temperature for maximum performance and endurance. Some show shirts may also have UV protection to shield the rider’s skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

Types of Show Shirts

Equestrian show shirts come in a variety of styles. Read on to learn about each.

Long Sleeve Show Shirts

equestrian long sleeve show shirt

Long sleeve equestrian show shirts are perhaps the most common type of show shirt in the sport. Long sleeve show shirts can be worn alone when jackets are waived during a competition or they can be worn under show coats in fair or cold weather.

Short Sleeve Show Shirts

short sleeve show shirt Just like their long sleeve counterpart, short sleeve equestrian shirts can be worn with or without a jacket during events, though you should always check regulations to make sure short sleeves are permissible at a specific event. Some riders prefer short sleeve show shirts to long sleeve ones so they can stay cooler and more comfortable while riding.

Sleeveless Show Shirts

sleeveless show shirt

Sleeveless equestrian show shirts are less common but nonetheless useful when riding and training. These shirts prevent bunching and chafing when wearing a show coat and help keep riders cool on particularly hot days. Sleeveless shirts are not permitted to be worn without a jacket.

Show Shirts by Discipline

Each equestrian discipline has its own specific dress code, down to the type of show shirt you should wear when competing.


You can wear any color show shirt under your jacket during dressage events, though you must avoid bold patterns when jackets are waived. Additionally, your show shirt should include a tie, choker, stock tie, or integrated stand-up collar.

Learn more: Dressage Show Attire, Dress Code, and Style Tips for Riders

Fox Hunting

The dress code for fox hunting events is rather strict. You should wear a white long sleeve show shirt and tuck it into your breeches. A stock tie fastened with a horizontal stock pin is required and can be in white, solid-color, plaid or patterned.

Hunter Jumper

White or light-colored show shirts are usually worn during hunter jumper events. Long sleeves are standard, but some organizations may allow short-sleeved equestrian show shirts.

How Should an English Show Shirt Fit?

Equestrian show shirts are meant to improve your riding performance and provide a polished, professional appearance in the saddle. As such, English show shirts should fit snugly but comfortably without being too tight or restrictive. The shirt should allow for freedom of movement and not restrict your arms or shoulders while riding. You’ll want the show shirt to move with you as you ride, allowing for a full range of motion. When trying on a show shirt, make sure to check that the shoulders and sleeves fit properly without any bunching or pulling. The collar should fit comfortably around the neck without being too tight or too loose, and the shirt should be long enough to stay tucked into your breeches while riding.

Features to Look For in a Show Shirt

How do you pick the perfect equestrian show shirt? Check out the features below to help you decide.


As mentioned previously, you should look for an equestrian show shirt that has ample stretch that moves with you as you ride. Polyester and cotton blends are typically the best materials used for show shirts as they allow for freedom of movement while staying conformed to your body.

Sun Protection

Sun protection is extremely important during equestrian events as you’re typically outside in the sun for hours at a time. Even in the winter, UV rays can cause skin damage. Look for show shirts with built-in UV protection that can keep your skin protected from the sun.

Moisture Wicking

Whether riding on hot days or performing in intensive show jumping events, a good moisture-wicking show shirt will help keep you dry and comfortable as you ride. Make sure you choose an equestrian show shirt that is specifically labeled as moisture-wicking if this is something you want in a show shirt.


You can also find equestrian show shirts that are specifically designed for thermoregulation. Mesh panels and other features can help you maintain an optimum body temperature that is ideal for peak athletic performance and endurance. You’ll find many of our show shirts feature our patented 37.5® thermoregulation technology to help give you that performance boost.


Don’t forget to showcase your personality and style! Look for equestrian show shirts in your favorite colors or ones that have patterned collars. Unique features like this help you feel more confident in your riding gear.


Show Shirt Size Chart

Need help finding your show shirt size? Check out the sizing charts below to help you find the perfect show shirt size for you.

Women's Tops
Top Size Bust (inches) Waist (inches)
XXS 30-31 24 ½ – 25 ½


32-35 26-28
S 35-37 28-30
M 37-39 30-33
L 39-41 33-35
XL 42-43 35-36


Girls Tops
Top Size Chest (inches) Waist (inches)
XXS (2T-3T) 20  ½ 20
XS (3T-4T) 22  ½ 21
S (6-7) 24  ½ 22
M (8-10) 27-28  ½ 23-24
L (12-14) 30-31  ½ 25-26
XL (16-18) 33-34  ½ 27-28
Women’s S 36 29

Show Shirts for Peak Performance

Equestrian show shirts are an essential feature of each discipline’s dress code. They not only provide a professional appearance but also help riders stay comfortable and cool while riding. When shopping for your next show shirt, be sure to consider the specific requirements of your discipline, the fit of the shirt, and the features you need to enhance your performance. Whether you’re a dressage rider, a fox hunter, or a hunter jumper, R.J. Classics provides high-quality equestrian clothing for riders of all disciplines and experience levels. Find your new favorite equestrian show shirt today →


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