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I'm off to college in a mere 7 months or so, and I plan to compete on the riding team. I'm going to need some show clothes. My favorite pastime is drooling over catalogs like Dover Saddlery and having heart attacks at the prices. My question is- should I go cheaper (I dont mean super cheap, but nothing over $200) for a show jacket (I'm getting both a dressage and a H/J jacket) or go the expensive route? Does price necessarily mean quality? Is a $150 coat going to last me as long as a $350 one? How long do your show coats usually last you? I'm looking for something to last me all four years of college. What show jackets (for both H/J and Dressage) do you guys prefer? What do you use?

~Ashleigh
 

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If size doesnt become an issue one jacket should last you all four years and longer. I would look at ratings of different coats and see what people are saying in their reviews. I see no reason to go the expensive route if you can find feedback on less expensive things.
 

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I've had the same jackets since I was 17 years old and I am now 24. If you want to go inexpensive but want the quality of an expensive coat, go to a consignment store or try ebay.
 

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It seems to be with coats, price often reflects quality. Sorry but the $50 coats just look terrible next to the $400. That doesn't mean that you need to spend that much! like Void said look on ebay or consignment places (tacktrader.com for example). I got my $400 Ariat new with tags on a ebay clearance sale for $150. It looks beautiful, fits me wonderfully, and I get tons of compliments. I'd say stick to the better names, but find a better price.

Ariat, Tailored Sportsman, Elite, Grand Prix, some RJ Classics. All good brands. All fit VERY differently. Ariats were made for my body, Grand Prixs are hideous. A good fit is crucial! Go try some on if you can.
 

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It seems to be with coats, price often reflects quality. Sorry but the $50 coats just look terrible next to the $400. That doesn't mean that you need to spend that much! like Void said look on ebay or consignment places (tacktrader.com for example). I got my $400 Ariat new with tags on a ebay clearance sale for $150. It looks beautiful, fits me wonderfully, and I get tons of compliments. I'd say stick to the better names, but find a better price.

Ariat, Tailored Sportsman, Elite, Grand Prix, some RJ Classics. All good brands. All fit VERY differently. Ariats were made for my body, Grand Prixs are hideous. A good fit is crucial! Go try some on if you can.

I got a $500 Pytchley Coat for $160 at a consignment store and fits me like a dream. <3 it.
 

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I went the expensive route for my hunt coat, and the cheap route for my dressage coat.
I have the Devon-Aire dressage coat; it cost me less than $100 and I actually really like it. It doesn't look or feel cheap at all.
My Grand Prix hunt coat retails at $400, but I got it a couple of years ago from a Dover sale catalogue for $150. Keep an eye on eBay, Dover, Tack Trader, and Bits and Barter - there are always lots of nice coats for sale!
 

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I got both my coats consignment. My dressage coat was like $100? It's totally custom made and fit me really well. I just replaced the buttons and poof! It's super good quality and still looks now, although it's very old.
My hunt coat was like $50. Same thing, good quality, fits well enough and I didn't even have to replace buttons on it!
When you are a generic size, consignement is the way to go! Because I am petite I can also shop at those huge pony club sales - love 'em!
 

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I recommend going middle of the road for the coat. Some of the very inexpensive brands just don't have the body(shape) that will stay over a period of time and cleanings. Any ready-made coat can also be a little boxy in shape so if you would like a little more of a custom shape have it altered to tuck in the waist a little.
 

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I went the super cheap route and went to Goodwill and picked out one of the men's coats there. You can get in tailored. You may have to pay more for a dressage coat though. Expensive isn't always the best.
 

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I went the semi-expensive route and got a custom tailored Ariat jacket for dressage/stadium. totally worth it! i have had it since 2004 and I have had no problems
 

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I had always gone to goodwill, and if you have more than enough time, I would do that. I've spent about $20 on coats, four of them, as I grew from age 6 to age 15. I finally bought a coat for real last season, when I began eventing. Goodwill has always come through for me, as long as I looked early. Just throwing that out there. xD

On the other hand, show coats do vary in quality and the price reflects it. I spent around $100 for mine, consignment, and that's the best $100 I've ever invested in a piece of clothing. =] Consignment/used is the way to go, IMO.
 
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