I have had my tailcoat for a good long time and it was a top of the line model when I bought it in the 1990s. Yes, that makes it older than some of the Young Riders out there!! And now that everyone is getting the new, fancy, jazzy ones in all sorts of rainbow colours I was worried I would look like that old lady wearing her old clothes in the show ring this year. So I decided it was time for a change.
A friend of mine, Kiersten, was shopping for a new coat to spice up her show wardrobe and came across the idea to just change the collar and yellow vest points of her tail coat. Sounds like a brilliant idea, fairly cheap solution and so I thought I would wander to my local fabric store and give it a go.
You can count on one hand the number of times I have been in a fabric store, so you imagine how overwhelmed I was when I walked in and started to look. Kids in tow was a mistake because little kid kept suggested crazy colours and fighting with big kid, who hated everything I chose. First stop was the wall of buttons. This was a good start and we then took 10-12 button choices around the store with us while we went onto fabric.
Zig Zagging the bolts of fabric I tried a few choices with the jacket and hemmed and hawed over this and that. Finally, I chose a simple black and white pattern. Final tally for fabric and buttons: $20.
Next stop: the tailor.
I had a few other items that needed some work at the tailor, so with two jackets and two pairs of pants I was off. Over the years, I have taken my tail coat to this tailor for different reasons. To take it out after having kids, to take it back in again, to repair the tails, and various other parts. Not only did the collar need repair, but the cuffs and bottom of the tails were looking frayed and worn. It was time for the old tail coat to get a fix up, as well as an update.
A week later, I went to pick it all up. Total bill for the tail coat was $85 for some minor and major repairs as well as changing the buttons, the collar and points. I am very happy with the result and happy to debut the new look at a show this weekend.
Give it a go if you have a little bit of adventure in you and let’s spice up the dressage ring!