“ Manufacturer: Mark Todd / Type: Competition Breeches „
I compete in the discipline known as dressage. If you are not familiar with it or have never seen it, it has been classed as sitting on the horse looking pretty! Granted it is not as fast paced and exciting as showjumping or eventing but for me I enjoy it. Appearance is incredibly important for the discipline as it does reflect on you depending on how well you are dressed/presented - yes incredibly shallow but it is something you have to put up with! General dressage attire is pretty straightforward breeches/jodhpurs, shirt, stock/tie and jacket of course there are colour variations but the breeches/jodhpurs need to be certain colours i.e. white, champagne but not black, navy etc.
I have several pairs of white breeches I wear for competing - I always wear white I have never worn any other shade just personal preference really but I find white is such a smart colour to wear provided it is clean! My one pair of competition breeches (I have yard, everyday breeches and competition breeches) were looking incredibly worn and a bit tatty so needed to be slung in the bin and a new pair bought. Like most things looking for a new pair of white breeches can be hard task when there are hundreds of pairs to choose from. I have quickly learnt in the equestrian world the cheapest is not always the best so I am quite happy to pay a decent amount of money for a pair of breeches which not only will last but are comfortable.
Having searched around I was given a recommendation from a friend of mine who swears by the Mark Todd range of breeches. If you haven't heard of Mark Todd then he is an international event rider based in the UK although he is New Zealand born. Like a few other international riders he has brought out a variety of clothing ranges for riders (and casual wear for non-riders) together with a vast selection of products for horses. I already own a few of his products so I wasn't concerned about the quality but I needed to make sure the fit was good. After trying on several pairs in my local equestrian store from the Mark Todd range I opted for the Mark Todd High Waist Competition Breeches as I found over all they looked smart and gave the best fit.
The High Waist Competition Breeches have been described by Mark Todd as "an ideal competition or daily breech". I bought mine solely for competition wear as I bought the white pair but it is nice to see that they are a versatile pair of breeches that is of course if they are comfortable enough! The breeches are available in white, canary and coffee which I personally think is quite limiting as the coffee shade are probably the only colour suitable for daily wear and I wouldn't buy them in that colour so it would be nice to see a few more colours added to give them more of a variety for daily use especially as you wouldn't really wear white around the yard!
The breeches are made from 66% Cotton, 26% Microfibre and 8% Lycra - these three components help make the breeches incredibly comfortable yet durable which at the price you pay you definitely want them to last. The three materials combined do make a lovely pair of breeches, I tried them on in store (before buying online for a cheaper price!) and I noticed how easy they were to get on. Some breeches I have tried need severely pulling on and then needing to be surgically removed - there is skin tight and ridiculously tight! These breeches however apart from being soft are easy to get on (and off!) and are incredibly comfortable. Obviously getting the right size helps but I find their sizing is quite realistic.
To add a little design feature to the breeches there are two zip pockets on either side which sit around the hip area. Personally I don't use the pockets as they are simply too small and impractical they just add a bit of a feature but perfectly harmless! The breeches have belt loops as standard for those like me that ride wearing a belt. You do need a slender belt for these breeches and the gaps between the loops are just long enough to keep the belt in place. The breeches also feature an extra wide 'V' shape waistband, these breeches do not sit on the hips, they are designed to sit on the waist which for me is perfect as I like to feel secure wearing them. The waistband is a great design feature as I have found before thinner waistbands once done up tend to dig in when riding whereas the 'V' shape is far more supportive and doesn't restrict you once seated.
To add to their overall design is the four way stretch seat which is a slightly different material on the reverse of the breeches known as the 'seat' and contrasts slightly against the breeches so you can see a difference. The four way stretch seat has been designed to give maximum comfort whilst riding which if you are in the saddle for long periods of time this is a definite must. The breeches do up with a simple zip fastener and a hook clasp making them secure, so far my zip still works perfectly fine as I do find on most of my breeches it is the zip that is first to go but these are still going strong. The design of the breeches as a whole is great, they look smart and really do look like an expensive pair of breeches especially as they are so well made.
I have had mine for around 6 months now and they have been worn on a regular basis and I do find them incredibly comfortable. The fit is great as although they are not overly tight they are not baggy either making them ideal to wear as they give a little when riding which is what you need as there is nothing worse than feeling restricted. The waistband again is another plus as I don't feel like I am being cut in half when riding in them! The breeches wash really well although with having a white pair I am very careful what I wash them with so I do tend to stick them in with only very, very colours as well as a stain remover just to keep the white, white! They haven't shrunk or changed shape in any way although I don't put them in my tumble drier I always let them dry naturally just in case they do.
Overall, they are a wonderfully comfortable pair of competition breeches which are nice and soft to wear but supportive all at the same time. They are incredibly well made and certainly look the part when out competing, it is just such a shame that they don't do them in more colours as I'd happily buy another pair for regular wear around the yard but as Mark Todd do quite a few other ranges I'm sure I will give those a try at some point. If you are out competing on a regular basis then I would definitely recommend these as they are ideal and they are not as pricey as some of the other leading brands but they still look just as good. If I could give them 10 stars I would but will have to settle with the 5!
~ Useful Information ~
Brand: Mark Todd
Price: RRP £76.99 but worth shopping around
Colours: White, Canary & Coffee
Availability: Mark Todd stockists online and in store
Sizes: 24" to 34" (waist sizes)
* This review will appear on Ciao under my user name PerfectPeaches01 *