Show ClothesLet’s face it, when you walk into the show ring you want to look good. Who doesn’t? Frumpy, ill-fitting, and out-dated clothes, boots, or tack just won’t do. The real challenge, however, is looking show-ready without spending a fortune on clothes and accessories you may only use a few times a year.

And you may not need to buy as much nice stuff as you think. If your boots shine and your clothes are in good condition and fit well, who cares what the brand is or how many pants and show shirts you own? If you need reassurance that one decent set of show clothes is sufficient – even across different disciplines – you can check out the USEF rule book and figure out exactly what you don’t need.

Here are some smart shopping tips when if comes to horse show clothing and accessories: Consignment shop, share clothes and equipment with friends and boarders, trade in your lightly used goods for vendor credit toward new swag, avoid the pricier equestrian brands, buy machine-washable clothing, and, as always, shop around and compare prices (Some reputable online retailers that often have good deals include SaddleSource.com, StateLineTack.com, HorseLoverZ.com, EquiShopper.com, TackWholesale.com, CountrySupply.com). What are your go-to stores or online retailers, and where have you found the best steals and deals?

Read the most current Thrifty Horsekeeping excerpt on show clothing and accessories, but check back weekly during the month of July for an entire chapter dedicated to reducing how much you spend on equine tack, supplies, and equipment.