My daughter is getting back into showing after a couple years hiatus. We used to show lower level AQHA, open, and 4-H. We're doing an open buckle series (stock horse,) POA, and possibly some low level AQHA. I can't believe some of the stuff I see! I don't care what color people wear. I don't care if they have sparkles or glitter. I don't care if the outfit cost $10,000. BUT........... FIT IS PARAMOUNT! I see kids wearing expensive outfits that would look really nice, but they don't fit. Tailoring is cheap. Buying used show clothes is a great way to save money, but you've got to get stuff tailored. Shirts should not gape. Sleeves should not come to your knuckles and hang off your shoulders. Pants should not show your boot tops. Chaps should be form fitting (for WP/ all around stuff.) Low waisted jeans aren't flattering on the ground... let alone on a horse, especially with a shirt tucked in. Sparkly butt jeans don't belong in the show pen. Jeans should be dark and starched. They should stack on your boot when mounted. Q Babies are a great jean for showing. Sparkly blinged out belts aren't for showing. It is a bad idea to bisect your body. You want to look long and smooth. Belt buckles are great on a plain belt. Sparkly blinged out shirts look ridiculous with jeans. A better look is a crisp starched fitted button down. If you're bigger chested, consider a hidden zipper. A scarf is nice touch. A well shaped hat is a must (unless you're a helmet wearer.) A flat topped, flat brimmed hat is awful. Your hat should flatter your face. Learn how to care for your hat. Keep it in a hat can. Don't leave it in a vehicle. Put it on correctly. No blingy hat bands. No feathers. If cost is a factor, buy used and reshape or get a high quality straw hat. My favorite hat makers are Greeley Hatworks and Shortys. Hobby Horse hats are made by Greeley Hatworks. Hats are an investment piece, so consider buying a neutral color, like black or buckskin. You don't need silver tack. You need well fitting clean tack. Know your bit rules. Know how to correctly hold your split reins. Know what equipment is allowed (this means no roping reins, sport boots, braided tails for WP, HMS, Trail, and Western riding.) If you're going to do showmanship or halter, make sure your halter fits; show halters fit much more snugly than an everyday halter. Know how to hold your lead (big loose coils.) Introduce your horse to a chain before show day. Wool show blankets look great over an everyday work pad. I prefer the patterned pads. I choose one that goes with the plain button down shirt. Numbers should be on the saddle pad for riding classes or on your lower back for showmanship. Bonus if you have a number on both sides. Most shows don't give you two copies of your number, so keep a sharpie in your show kit to make a copy. Show clothing and tack truly doesn't have to be blinged out, sparkly, and expensive. It has to fit! I wish more people knew this.