Chapter 10

Chapter 10


Earrings, hair accessories, pins and pendants, ties, number pins and other small accents add interest to your presentation.

Attention Showgirls: you can show without accessories… but you can't show off without them! While show guys simply select a nice scarf and they're ready to win, accessories are the small finishing touches that capture a woman's personality and make her western show outfit look different from any other in the arena.

Earrings, hair accessories, pins and pendants, ties, number pins and other small accents add interest to your presentation. And, while these baubles aren't usually required to show, they're fun to collect, fun to wear, and help you feel confident by being impeccably turned out when you step into the show ring.

Let's discuss accessories head-to-toe. Though we've talked about hats in a previous chapter, hat trims are an accessory worth considering. Today's styles in hats may be classic in construction (traditional felt or straw) but trendy in trims: colorful hats accented with crystals, whip-stitching on brims, hand-painting and applique all add a very personal touch around your face when you show, if that’s your style.

Earrings create a frame for your face, and should tie in with your outfit to add to the overall theme. Wearing leather and rhinestones? Think fancy, glitzy earrings. Sporting a southwestern vest? Then look for silver earrings with a geometric pattern that echo a design in your vest. Not sure what ear decor is best? Opt for classic silver conchos, under an inch in diameter, to go perfectly with any western outfit. Dangling or jiggly earrings are a bad idea—they'll make your ears sore and make your horse appear bouncy.


Earrings, hair accessories, pins and pendants, ties, number pins and other small accents add interest to your presentation.

Chaps cover more than half of your body, and set the tone for color and style that the rest of your ensemble should complement. Shown: Simplicity Leadline Show Chaps

Western stores, tack catalogs, and online vendors are places to start your earring search, but don't overlook antique malls and even thrift shops for interesting vintage pieces. Pierced earrings are the easiest to come by, but don't despair if you're not full of holes: look for earrings you like, then have a jeweler change the backs for you. Beware, too, of heavy earrings that will give you lobe overload. Make sure your earrings are comfortable and don't irritate your skin.

When it comes to horse show hair, there's many ways to make your 'do show ready. If your hair is long enough to pull into a pony tail, do so: gell the sides so flyaway hairs don't spoil a sleek look, then create or corral a fluffy cascade of curls in a fat elastic band. Decorate the base of your ponytail with a bow or ribbon that matches your hat or picks up a color from your outfit.

Be sure to try your 'do and hat on before the show so you know how to position the whole shebang. If you use a clip-on bow or barrette, attach it to the back of your head above the ponytail, so the barrette can't slide off as you ride. Your hat will press the bow down so it hides the ponytail band just right.

If you prefer a sleeker, more traditional look, have an experienced horse show mom or a professional hairdresser teach you how to make beautiful buns. Use a stylist’s 'donut' to build the bun, with hair pins, not bobby pins, to hold things together. Wrap the creation up in a hair net or two, spray lavishly with cheap lacquer hair spray, and you're ready for a west Texas windstorm or...your local horse show.

For a sleeker look, use our Show Bun Kit to hold things together under your hat.

Short, short hair? Celebrate your no-fuss look, or make a faux bun from crepe hair (available at beauty supply stores) that you’ll fasten to the back or your head, or even the sweatband of your hat! Trouble keeping your hat on? Make sure it's the smallest size that doesn't give you a migraine, then use bobby pins behind each ear, catching a lock of hair then continuing up around your hat's sweatband. How-to: See our Hat Pinning Video on Facebook!

Hair too short to grab with pins? A carefully applied mist of hair spray on your hat's sweatband in the forehead area helps 'glue' it in place. Still losing your topper? Consider double-sided toupee tape on your forehead, available from wig shops. And the most important hair accessory of all? A great baseball cap to hide your serious case of hat head after the show!

Some show outfits have V neck or scoop neck vests or jackets that need a piece of jewelry or a tie at the neck to complete the look. If you wear traditional blouses with collars, consider a pretty brooch pin that perhaps matches your earrings, or wear a scarf with a closure that's hidden under the collar roll. Try a regular scarf (about 20" square) rolled and knotted in the center, with the knot in front and tails tied, under the collar in back, for a jaunty Ascot look. A small scarf can be worn bandito style, triangle pointing down, with a pretty pin anchoring it in the center.

Be sure the size and style of your jewelry complements the rest of your outfit, and check that your accent piece stays in place as you ride. Pendants with pin backs can be worn with or without a chain, and won't slide around if you use the pin backing to anchor the ornament to your top's front. A great investment in western show jewelry? Silver or rhinestone earrings with a matching pin.

Show outfits with a V or scoop neck need a piece of jewelry or tie at the neck to complete the look. Shown: Icicle Vest with Sonoma Jewelry Set

Speaking of jewelry, let's not forget number pins. Whether you show with your identification number on your back or on your saddle blanket, there are numerous clever ornaments on the market that will attach that number and look much nicer than safety pins. Show tip: put your number on your garment before you put the garment on—it will be straighter and you won't run the risk of being stabbed!

Bijou Number Pins are backed with strong magnets to attach your show numbers with style.

Remember, little things add up to a lot, and if you want to make a great presentation, don't overlook even the smallest detail. Plan your wardrobe in advance, have a dress rehearsal so you know everything will be perfect at showtime, and you’ll be Ready-to-Win!