Lane you rock.
Yea, I personally like that blue slinky.
Normally, women wear lighter colored hats for Western, but some of it depends on your circuit.
Is it true AQHA have banned felt hats?
A decent straw hat is always safe though.
I think western isn't as gaudy as some people say. Simplicity is always a good thing. For instance, don't go with a belt that has all kinds of silver and rawhide on it. A simple black or tan belt with a tidy buckle will look ten times better. It will also be less distracting in Horsemanship.
If you want to stand out, do it with bold solid color, not with sequins and silver and busy multi-colored outfits.
As far as tack, I use a Circle Y show saddle and a matching headstall. If you want to go nutts, you can blow $10 grand on a Phil Harris custom or a Blue Ribbon. Not recommended if you're on a budget
. Light oil tack never looks bad, but with lighter colored horses like palominos and some paints, its good to off-set it with a dark saddle pad.
You have a lot of options as far as a blanket/pad. Solid colors are always a win, but they do get boring after a while. I'm personally into checkers. Try to get it to match your outfit as much as possible. Black is good for this.
Yea, if you're going to do pleasure and horsemanship, don't bother with the breast-collar. Its not really used anymore.
Well good luck with your showing!