I have won 3 white saddle clothes over the years and they are all still in the plastic. I think white looks bad on Com ;) Plus they have branding on them and I am not really for that if I am personally not sponsored by them haha
As I was only competing at associate level, all you need is safe gear, a bit/bridle that are allowed and one whip of certain length (cant remember the length but my whip was the right size). Colour is not important.
As for Com's mane there is no way I am going to pull it to be able to plait it. He is his mane! I have had judges come out of their cars to come meet him and comment on how lovely he is. Never had a comment of our turnout and this is the third dressage I have been to dressed exactly like this. I guess it is a little different here at associate level, it is all about having fun :) And that is what I did
The only thing that bothered me was that there wasn't a sand warm up arena but 4 of the 5 arenas where sand! Com hasn't been worked in sand for about a year. Our first test on the grass he was great, but as soon as we entered the sand arena for our novice test he felt like a different horse :S He was all choppy in his strides and kept trying to stop and he did! At least our halt was ok hahaha. And it was so windy but that didn't phase Com, he is such a star!