Finding the perfect pair of breeches is practically the holy grail of equestrianism, second perhaps only to sitting the trot properly. The right ones make you feel like like a superstar, the wrong ones are just… wrong.

Try on different brands, and they’ll all fit differently even if they’re the same size. Why? They are so many factors in designing a pair of breeches – drafting the pattern, fabric choice, who they used for a fit model, not to mention vanity sizing, which thankfully equestrian wear hasn’t prescribed to much at all (we don’t have time for such silliness!).

So how do you pick the right ones? Here are some tips:

Do some squats in the dressing room. Do they pinch/fall down/ride up? If they’re low rise, is your derrière perilously close to being exposed? Does the back of the waist band gap out away from your body?

In-between sizes? Ask the staff about shrinkability – most of the time they’re very knowledgeable about whether each style will shrink or stretch out or stay the same.

White breeches? Check for transparency. I once bought a pair that looked fine in the dressing room, but in the daylight you could see my skin tone showing through, which is frightful because I have rider Day-Glo legs. This can be remedied by wearing black panty-hose under them, which also keeps the suede part from sticking to your skin.

Let’s talk about the elephant, er, camel, in the room, so to speak. This irritating, embarrassing condition is caused by the waistband being too small. Our torso is smallest at the waist, so if you try to wear a size too small, they’ll need to be pulled upwards in order to fit. There are of course exceptions to this rule; not every pair of breeches was designed for every body type.

If you’re neurotic, like I am, you can also check the stitching. Loose threads and dangling buttons are never a good sign.

And, of course, you have to like how your butt looks in them, which kind of goes without saying.