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Back in the day before cars, people rode horses places. Duh. But did you know women had a specific ensemble exclusively for riding horses?
With origins burrowed back in the 17th century and an end lodged in the early 20th century, the formal riding habit had quite a long reign in the womenswear kingdom.
Originally, the habit consisted of long hose called calenÃ§ons, a tailored jacket, an equally tailored blouse, a hat, low-heeled boots – this is quite the mouthful! – gloves, and a cravat or stock. One source even reports that it included a mask to protect one’s complexion.
Through the centuries, the habit’s shape poofed and slimmed, but no matter its look or specific accessorizing, it always drew inspiration from the fashionable menswear of the day. Eventually, this menswear influence became so pronounced, that woman took to – gasp – wearing pants (circa 1914), and the once ubiquitous formal riding habit proceeded to become defunct.
Would you wear a riding habit?
definition, obsolete fashion, terms
i would keep the fitted tailored jacket and the cravat! ive always wanted to rock a top hat, but not sure how…lol
In the equestrian world, riding habits are now kind of like a suit coat (English riding). I used to wear mine a lot as it was so classy.
of course i would wear it,look how glamorous,lady like yet practical it looks
I love the obsolete fashion posts! They are so fun 🙂
A hundred percent yes! Gorgeous!
I work in a Victorian house and I love talking to guests about the ladies’ fashions, especially the riding habit! So lovely and elegant, it really made any sized woman look good!
Though not quite the same riding habit, I still wear one for Dressage. Except we wear britches and top hats are only for high level riders.
Marie Antoinette made these popular in her time. She was criticized because the riding outfits looked to much like a mans. Antoinette even wore pants for a time. There is a great painting of her in paints that I have in a book.
I would love a jacket that was tailored like a riding jacket and riding pants!
I used to love wearing these as young lady. I loved the long, full, fluttery skirts that swirled as I rode.
I love that type of look already, but I love horses even more. To be able to have a horse and look good would be perfect!
I positively adore the idea of multiple outfits in a day, and the riding habit was part of this lifestyle. The riding habit’s fitted and tailored jacket is classy and modest, yet it offered women a chance to participate in a male-influenced fashion and sport. It paved the way for more practical female fashions.
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