Bosley Brangier Custom Hand Tailored Apparel

Bosley Brangier
PREMIER EQUINE PUBLICATION FOR THE CAROLINAS
[email protected] • 803-640-2339
In the hunt field and show
ring, one of the most distinctive and
signature elements is the neckwear
known as the stock tie. Always white,
it is worn with formal attire when
foxhunting or with a swallowtail
and/or a shadbelly in show rings or
dressage competitions. It completes
the appearance of the well-turned out
rider, whatever the discipline, and
lends the assurance that you are ready
for whatever challenges you face on
horseback.
Stock Ties come in several forms,
some of which are already shaped to be
fitted to your costume. The traditional
one for fox hunting is a four fold stock
tie. When competing in the show ring
or dressage, the same style carried over
from foxhunting. Today the stock tie is
Custom Hand Tailored Apparel
The Stock Tie
worn in the hunter show ring when the
rider is wearing a swallowtail or a frock
coat in a Classic, or an appointment
class at one of the Hunt Nights. In
dressage the stock tie is worn in most
classes of the competition. Some of the
lower levels accept a lady wearing a
white show shirt with a choker.
The four fold stock tie that men
and women wear with their formal fox
hunting and show coats is traditionally
a piece of fine white cotton fabric,
which measures two yards long by 10
inches wide. (Ladies may wear a tie
that is eight inches wide.)
To create the folds, you simply
iron the fabric, and once the wrinkles
are removed from the entire piece of
fabric fold it in half lengthwise pressing
a crease along the fold. Then, with
Once the fabric is folded, find the center, or midpoint and place it, with the closed, or folded,
edge up, at the front of your throat, over a shirt
with a banded or stand-up collar or a turtleneck.
After placing the center point of the tie at the
middle of your throat, the two “tails” of the tie
are wrapped around the back of your neck...
Then tie a knot pulling the tails taught around
your neck.
Taking the top piece of fabric, unfold to its full
width. The fabric is slightly bunched close to
the knot. Pull the edges by this point creating a
small pleat from right to left. Pin each corner to
the shirt collar underneath using the small brass
safety pins. The collar of your coat will hide the
pins.
A shaped tie can be tied in a
similar fashion, taking into account it
will not open the same way. Here is
another method for tying a shaped tie.
Some ties have a small button hole
on the front inside as on the choker of
a rat-catcher. If yours does not, place
the center of the narrow piece at the
center of your throat. Pull the ends to
the back of your neck, if your stock has
an opening in the neck piece put the
opposing end through, crossing and
returning to the front. Pull taught and
make a simple knot.
Fold each of the pieces to create
small “rabbit ears”, one to the right,
one to the left, each just off center
overlapping half of each side. Make
their height the same as the neckpiece.
Place the stock pin in the center of the
the fabric flat, fold each side to the
center crease and press creating two
additional creases. Now fold the fabric
in half along the original crease and
press a final time. These are the four
folds making a four fold stock tie. The
tie may be folded to a convenient size
for storage.
Tying the Stock Tie is easier than
some may think. Before you begin,
have a stock pin and several small brass
safety pins on hand. The pin should not
be a kilt pin. A ladies’ stock pin is 2 1/2”
and a gentleman’s pin is 3” in length.
The design of the pin should be simple
and of solid or gold fill. The method
I will describe of tying is a traditional
English style.
...and crossed over and brought back to the front.
Place the stock pin though the top layer, the
center of the knot and out the other side. Always
place the stock pin horizontally to prevent
accidents. If it is pinned vertically there is a risk of
the pin going into the throat or chin should the
rider fall off. Pin the top piece of fabric in several
places to preventing the ends from coming out of
your jacket.
knot. Use small brass safety pins to
attach the ends to your shirt preventing
them from riding up and out the front
of your coat.
While the traditional fourfold stock tie offers some practical
advantages over the pre-shaped
varieties, both represent the crowning
touch to your formal riding attire.
Bosley Brangier
PREMIER EQUINE PUBLICATION FOR THE CAROLINAS
[email protected] • 803-640-2339
Custom Hand Tailored Apparel
Fox Hunting Style
by Patricia Bosley
Each discipline of equestrian
activity has its own specific
requirements for riders’ attire, and they
vary considerably. For the purposes
of this article, I am going to explain
the correct terms, style and fit of
Fox Hunting attire. While specific
hunt clubs may issue individual
modifications, there are generally
acceptable standards.
Cub Hunting Attire
During cub hunting season the
dress is informal – tweed hacking
jackets worn with ratcatchers for
women and shirts with neckties for
gentlemen. A ratcatcher is a lady’s
riding shirt with a standup collar with
either one or two buttons. Usually
the shirt is accompanied by a choker
that is worn over the collar. They may
be either plain colors or a variety of
patterns. In more temperate climates
ratcatchers and polo shirts without
riding jackets may be allowed.
A cubbing or hacking jacket has
slanted pockets with a three-button
front. Traditionally, women’s jackets
had side vents and gentlemen had a
center vent on their jacket, but today’s
environment provides an opportunity
for the wearer – man or woman – to
choose what looks best for his or her
body shape. If one has a pronounced
backside, side vents are more
aesthetically pleasing.
When choosing a hacking jacket,
select a color and pattern that is
complementary to your build and
coloring. Shirts can be any color
and pattern that looks well with the
jacket. A patterned or colored stock
tie is sometimes worn during cubbing
season. Tattersall vests may be worn,
as well. The stock tie and vest are good
ways of making the rider warmer as the
days become cooler, especially during
the regular hunting season.
Riders wearing tweed jackets
should wear dark brown, cordovan
or British tan field boots, but black
dress and field boots have become
increasingly acceptable. The rider
may wear three-buckle boots instead
of the field boot. Both dress and field
boots are tall boots, which reach to just
below the knee; the field boot has laces
at the ankle and the dress style has
none. With either style, boots should
be tall enough to hit just at the back of
the knee when the rider’s leg is bent.
Breeches are to be rust or tan;
there are several shades of tan that are
acceptable. Fashion colors and patterns
on the breeches are not allowed. Young
riders, usually riding ponies, wear
jodhpurs and dark brown paddock
boots with brown garters.
Formal Hunt Attire
During a formal hunt, a member of
the “field,” (the general membership or
guest, not the staff of the hunt) should
wear a jacket that is dark in color. The
jacket can be either a blue or black
hacking jacket or a proper hunt frock.
A frock coat has a tailored top, a waist
seam and a slightly fuller skirt. The
waist seam of a
hunt frock sits at the
top of the wearer’s
hip bone. The skirt
tends to be longer
in length than a
traditional riding
jacket to assist in
keeping the rider
warm and dry in
inclement weather.
Traditionally
women wear navy
blue with plain
buttons, men wear
black. Charcoal gray
is also accepted.
Members of the field
wear frock coats
with three buttons
and round corners.
The huntsman,
whippers-in and
field masters
generally wear
scarlet coats,
sometimes known
as “pinques,” with
the hunt’s colors on
their collars. Some
women field masters
have decided to
wear navy blue
frock coats with
brass buttons. For
many years women
were not allowed to
wear scarlet or brass
buttons.
Canary breeches
are the traditional
color for scarlet and
formal coats. Today
it is difficult to find this color, often
white breeches are substituted.
All staff and any members of the
field who wear scarlet coats should
also wear black dress boots with tan
or brown tops. (Women members who
have earned their colors should wear
black dress boots with black patent
leather tops.)
Buttons and the shape of the
front corners on a frock coat inform
other riders who the wearer is in the
hierarchy of the hunt. This identification
system goes back to English military
uniforms. A coat with five brass buttons
on the front and square corners is
the huntsman. Only the huntsman
wears this many buttons on the jacket.
Whippers-in and field masters wear
four brass buttons and square corners
on their coats.
Other members of the hunt who
are allowed to wear scarlet coats are
men who have earned the privilege to
wear their hunt’s colors and engraved
brass buttons. Women members who
have earned their hunt’s colors wear
the colors on the collar of their navy or
black coat with engraved black plastic
hunt buttons.
The fabric of formal hunting coats
is determined by the type and amount
of abuse that the jacket will undergo,
be it from terrain or hounds and the
climate. Traditional fabrics are cavalry
twill and Melton wool. Cavalry twill
is available in many weights up to 32
ounces, which is
very heavy. Fabric
is weighed by the
yard, there is an
average of two and
a half to three yards
in each riding coat.
Under the
formal coat the rider
often wears a canary
vest. This vest can
have brass buttons,
plain or engraved. It
may have wool front
and back or it might
have a satin type
fabric in the back.
This is determined
by how warm the
rider needs to be
when hunting.
Generally a
shirt with white
cuffs is worn under
the vest for formal
hunts. A white
stock tie is placed
on top of this. A
four fold stock tie
is traditional. This
style goes back to
the beginning of fox
hunting.
Those who
either do not want
the added bulk,
maintenance or feel
it is too difficult to
tie, wear a version
of a shaped stock
tie. Unfortunately
the shaped ties do not have the extra
benefits the four fold offers.
The four fold stock is a piece of
white fabric that is ten inches wide and
two yards long. In addition to its use as
an article of clothing, the stock tie has
many other potential applications. It
can be used as a bandage for animal or
human, being white one did not have
to worry about any dye leaking into the
wound. Broken arms and collar bones
were common injuries while chasing
the fox, making this piece of fabric
handy as a sling or as a figure eight
bandage. It can be used as an extra rein
if a leather one breaks. And it can be
used to lead an errant hound.
The stock pin ought to be a simple
safety pin design in brass or gold. It is
always placed horizontally. If used in
a vertical position the wearer takes a
chance of jabbing it into the throat if an
accident should occur. This pin may be
used to fasten the fabric when used as
a bandage.
Many riders enjoy the comfort of
gloves. They are worn to protect hands
from weather or rough reins and to
improve the rider’s grip on the reins.
During warm weather a glove with a
crocheted back and leather palm is
recommended. Formal hunts require
either white string gloves or dark
leather.
For formal hunting, most hunts
require black dress boots, although
some hunts are now willing to accept
black field boots. Because most riders
acquire their boots ready-made from
stores or catalogs, the selection of
styles and finish details are serviceable
but somewhat restricted. If you decide
to have your boots made to your own
specifications, there are several key
considerations.
For foxhunting boots, the best
leather has the rough side out. This
does require a bit of extra work on the
part of the person polishing the boots.
One must have an old bone that has
been properly prepared for such work.
Boots with the rough out are handy
for they hide all scratches and small
tears due to brambles. When the polish
is applied to the leather it is rubbed
into the leather with the bone, thus
eliminating the scratches and scuffs
made during the hunt.
Shirts have the collar and cuffs
that are snug enough to eliminate
the possibility of cold air to flow
down the neck or up the arm. A snug
arm hole eliminates the bat wing
effect. This allows the jacket to fit
more comfortably and reduces the
annoyance of the shirt pulling out of
the breech’s waistband.
Vests are to be long enough to
cover the small of the wearer’s back
and their belt buckle in front. Once
again a trim fit is recommended for
comfort and aesthetics.
A properly fitted jacket has a trim
silhouette on the body, this does not
matter if the person is small or large in
size. Along the shoulder blades there is
to be enough room to move the arms
forward when jumping over a fence.
The sleeve length allows for a small
amount of cuff to be visible when the
arms are bent at the elbow holding the
reins. The back of the jacket is to fall at
the crease in the top of the thigh where
it joins the buttocks.
As you plan your foxhunting
wardrobe, you have many options
to prepare to “ride to the hounds.”
A few options are your local tack
stores, online and direct mail specialty
catalogs and consignment stores
specializing in the needs of the
foxhunter. For those who desire more
selection there are custom tailors and
boot makers. In the case of both boots
and clothes, the expense can be greater
when purchased as items made to
your specifications, but the end result
is a garment that fits you better and
lasts longer. It can be well worth the
investment, both in terms of quality and
in the peace of mind that comes from
knowing that you are every bit as well
turned out as your mount.
About the Author:
Patricia (Trish) Bosley is the
President of Bosley Brangier Custom
Hand Tailored Apparel located in St.
Michaels, Maryland. Founded over 12
years ago, Bosley Brangier specializes in
custom-made business and equestrian
clothing for both men and women.
In addition, Trish provides individual
wardrobe consulting advice to business
professionals throughout the MidAtlantic region.
PREMIER EQUINE PUBLICATION FOR THE CAROLINAS
&
Bosley Brangier
Custom Hand Tailored Apparel
[email protected] • 803-640-2339
The Shadbelly
To most people, the terms
“swallowtail” and “shadbelly,” may
conjure images of endangered birds
or an exotic species of fish, but for
experienced riders, they represent the
epitome of elegance in proper attire.
The famous English gentleman’s
fashion designer, Beau Brummel,
popularized the shadbelly and
weaselbelly tailcoats in the U.K. as
daywear during the late Georgian/
Regency period. Weaselbelly is the
term for a man’s shadbelly. These
tailcoats became strictly formal wear by
the 1860s. European Royalty adopted
the formal coat for everything from
portraits to horseback riding.
Today many equestrians use
the terms swallowtail and shadbelly
interchangeably when referring to
their formal tailcoat when riding in
important events. The following is a
“How To,” to show you off to perfection
in the dressage arena, the fox hunting
field and the hunter show ring.
While they are similar in many
ways, swallowtails and shadbellies
are distinctly different long-tailed
coats intended for different purposes.
Although many clothing manufacturers
have compromised the features to
create a combined coat that may have
become acceptable to some Masters
and judges, it is worthwhile knowing
the differences as you select just the
right clothing to achieve perfection in
the ring. It is possible to purchase these
coats from some off-the-rack clothiers,
usually available through your local
tack shops, but they are becoming
increasingly expensive, and you may
want to consider having this particular
item in your riding wardrobe made
especially for you.
In foxhunting, the swallowtail coat
is for women or men who have earned
the hunt’s colors, although relatively
few men wear swallowtails in today’s
hunts. These coats generally are worn
for “high hunts” such as Opening Day,
a holiday, or a special joint meet with
other fox hunting clubs. While men’s
coats are scarlet, women’s are navy
or black. (Junior riders, under the age
of 18, are not generally allowed wear
a swallowtail in the hunting field.)
The buttons on a swallowtail have the
hunt’s insignia and the colors of the
hunt displayed on the collar. Ladies’
buttons are black plastic with engraving
that has been filled with white; men’s
buttons are engraved brass.
To withstand the rigors of riding
through brambles and woods without
snagging, and to protect the rider from
the cold, the fabric is generally medium
to heavy weight. It should let go of dirt
and mud easily with a good brushing
after airing out a day or so. Among
the preferred fabric choices for the
swallowtail are cavalry twill, whipcord
and covert. Many fox chasers choose to
line their coat tails with leather making
them easier to clean after a long day
Swallowtail
A Picture of Elegance
of hunting. Goat leather is a good
choice due to its color availability; it is
durable, lightweight and pliable.
Foxhunting riders who wanted
to show off their horses in more
competitive
ways originated
show hunter
competitions;
these riders
wore the same
swallowtail
coats from the
foxhunting
field into the
show ring.
Today’s show
riders’ coats
are sewn from
a much lighter
weight fabric
to improve
comfort and
maneuverability
in the show
ring. Going
back to their
origins in
Victorian
England women
wore black
only when
they were in
mourning. So,
in historically
correct terms,
navy blue is the correct color for a
woman to wear. In practical terms, due
mainly to mass production, many of
today’s swallowtails are black, despite
the funereal connotations.
Those who are willing to go to the
extra step to have a coat cut and sewn
specifically for their measurements
have the option of choosing a nontraditional color, generally charcoal
gray or dark green. These coats are
strictly for the show ring. Special
linings can be chosen specifically
for the coat that is custom designed.
For example the body of the coat can
have a wild and bold pattern with
a conservative lining on the tails.
Conservative does not necessarily mean
a solid dark color, only something that
is not too garish.
The tails on the swallowtail are
of a length where they can fly behind
the rider as their horse jumps. Before
these coats were manufactured for the
masses, the tails would cross at the
bottom to imitate the actual bird’s tail.
The buttons often are covered with the
matching fabric of the coat.
Under the swallowtail the rider
should wear a vest whose points show
beneath the front of the coat. Women
in the show ring now tend to wear only
vest “points” attached to the front by
buttons or snaps, creating the effect of
a vest without the added bulk. For fox
hunting, the vest is either canary yellow
or the colors of the hunt. In either case,
a tattersall vest is inappropriate because
this is a formal coat.
In the show ring, riders have
another opportunity to display a little
individuality in the choice of fabric
and color when selecting their vest
points. Many
are reversible,
a traditional
canary wool on
one side with a
variety of other
choices on the
other side. Some
extremes are
double layers of
brocade silk to
coordinate with
a fancy lining
on the tails.
Also in the show
ring, linings in
swallowtails
tend to be bolder
than in the fox
hunting field
or the dressage
arena.
Sleeves
should be a
length that
allows the arms
to extend fully,
still showing 1/4
to 1/2 inch of
shirt cuff, even
(and especially)
over a jump. Some riders require more
sleeve length than others due to their
particular riding style. Above all, it is
essential to remember that this is an
athlete’s garment, not simply a fashion
coat. It should be made well enough
to permit all of the movement that
is characteristic of the activity in the
hunting field or the show ring, without
restricting the rider or bagging out
and stretching after repeated uses. At
the same time, the swallowtail coat
should show off the rider to her (or
his) most elegant effect. In terms of the
impression it should create in ring or
field, it is well worth the extra time and
trouble it may take to find just the right
garment.
To complete your elegant
appearance, the rest of your outfit
should match the formal look of the
swallowtail. This formal coat is worn
with dress boots not field boots.
Breeches are tan, beige or canary – not
white, with a traditional fit. White shirts
and stock ties are correct. They are to
be a neat, smooth addition to the outfit.
Many women enjoy wearing French
cuffs with these formal coats.
For fox hunting and in the show
ring a protective helmet is worn with
the swallowtail, since the horses and
riders navigate over jumps and other
potentially dangerous obstacles. The
helmet matches the color of the coat,
navy or black. Often riders don a
“Topper” at the Hunt Meet and change
their headgear just before the hounds
move off to begin their day of fox
chasing. In the Dressage ring, top hats
are worn with the shadbelly. The hat
matches the color of the coat, either
black or navy.
In Dressage competitions, the
rider wears a navy or black shadbelly
which, while similar to the swallowtail,
has some very distinctive differences.
Unlike the swallowtail, the tails of a
shadbelly are squared at the bottom,
a detail left over from the military
uniform from which these coats were
derived. For men, the shadbelly has
brass buttons, and fabric-covered
buttons are accepted on ladies’ coats.
The buttons are plain without engraving
or decoration. The tails are weighted
keeping the tail close to the rider’s leg,
adding to the visual elongation of the
rider. Some dressage riders will add
leather on their shadbelly tails to add to
the weight.
The fabric for this discipline does
not have to be as durable or heavy
since the coat is worn in a controlled
environment. Barathea is a formal
weave that holds its shape well.
Gabardine is another good choice
of weave for shadbellies, when the
wearer wants a small amount of sheen.
The fabric is generally plain; a subtle
woven stripe or herringbone pattern is
acceptable.
Since Dressage is a very traditional
discipline, there are no options in
the color of the vest points – they are
canary. Often they are sewn into the
coat rather than being detachable.
It is important the waist seam sits
on the top of the hip. When the front of
the coat is the proper length, it creates
a clean transition from the vest points
to the breech – your shirt and belt
should not show. The vest points cover
the belt line.
These coats need to be functional
as well as elegant. There should be
room in the back so the rider may
extend her arms comfortably. A wellmade, well-fitted coat will offer a little
extra room tapering from the armhole
to the waist to furnish the rider the
necessary comfort and flexibility.
When a rider in any equestrian
discipline wears a correctly fitted
shadbelly or swallowtail, he or she
shall be a picture of elegance and
grace.
About the Author:
Patricia (Trish) Bosley is the
President of Bosley Brangier Custom
Hand Tailored Apparel located in St.
Michaels, Maryland. Founded over 12
years ago, Bosley Brangier specializes in
custom-made business and equestrian
clothing for both men and women.
In addition, Trish provides individual
wardrobe consulting advice to business
professionals throughout the MidAtlantic region.
Bosley Brangier
PREMIER EQUINE PUBLICATION FOR THE CAROLINAS
[email protected] • 803-640-2339
Custom Hand Tailored Apparel
Caring For Your Riding Apparel
by Patricia Bosley
Whether you buy your
clothes ready-made or have them
created for you by a custom
tailor, you can take a few simple
steps to insure their longevity.
Given the hectic pace of today’s
life, it can be tempting to send
everything to the cleaners
each time you wear them, but
this can lead to premature
aging or disintegration. A few
precautionary measures can add
years of useful life to all your
garments.
A Few Tools
• A quality clothes brush,
preferably with real hair bristles
that are stiff enough to loosen
up any dirt or mud that might set
up on the surface of the fabric of
your coats.
• A steamer, which you can
use to remove wrinkles and the
occasional dirt or stain that has
worked its way into the weave
of your fabric. These are now
readily available at local stores
and are reasonably priced.
• Properly sized clothes
hangers, preferably of wood,
make all the difference in
maintaining the correct shape
of the shoulders in jackets and
the drape of pants and trousers.
The frame of a good hanger
should stop at the top of the
sleeve head where the sleeve
joins the shoulder of the jacket,
and it should have a slightly
bowed or wishbone shape to
accommodate the natural drape
of the jacket or shirt.
Some Habits of Care
This is simply a matter of
getting into a few basic routines
each time you wear any garment.
• At the end of the day hang
your jacket on its hanger where
air can circulate freely around
the garment (often the shower
rod works nicely). Do not hang it
in the closet until it is fully aired
out.
• Trousers and skirts should
be treated the same way. Hang
them from a hanger that has clips
to hold the trouser either from
the waist or hem; skirts should
be hung from the waist.
• Drape sweaters across
a shower rod or the back of a
wooden chair – wherever air
is able to circulate through the
fibers, allowing odors picked
up from the body and the
environment to be released.
• The next day, brush or
shake the garment to loosen any
remaining dirt. Use the steamer
to freshen and release any lasting
odors and wrinkles in the fabric.
Storing Clothes
• When hanging jackets,
leave them unbuttoned and,
when it’s necessary to cover them,
try to use cloth covers. Plastic
and vinyl bags are great to use
when traveling because
they keep any liquids
from reaching the
clothes, but for
l o n g e r- t e r m
storage, they
are not as
desirable. If
you have to
use them,
leave them
open
or
unzipped
to
ensure
as much air
circulation as
possible.
•
Cotton
shirts, especially
if you don’t want
to wash and iron
them yourself, are best
laundered without starch. Fine
cloth will age and disintegrate at
an accelerated rate when its pores
are filled with starch. One of the
beauties of cotton and linen is
how they breathe, keeping the
wearer cool in hot weather.
• Silk blouses and shirts
should be hand washed or dry
cleaned only when they require
more attention than a steamer is
able to do.
• Gentlemen’s neckties
should only go to the cleaners
as a last resort; there are
establishments that hand wash
ties, but you can make most
spots and stains disappear
yourself using your steamer
and/or some careful cold water
“blotting” techniques.
Tailored Garments
and Dry-Cleaning
Most better-quality men’s and
women’s jackets are constructed
by attaching the jacket fabric to
an interfacing (either a canvas
or other woven fabric) that gives
shape and body to the garment.
In some garments, this is done
by fusing the two materials
together by using high pressure
and high temperature. In other
garments the two materials are
actually attached to each other
by stitching them together.
When these garments are
“dry-cleaned,” the heat and
solvents that are used may
cause the interfacing to come
away from the jacket fabric
and create a puckering effect.
This usually happens when the
cleaner either uses too much
solvent in the cleaning process
or too much heat in
drying the garment.
With a garment
from a mass
manufacturer,
this puckering
problem can
almost never
be corrected.
On the other
hand, while
most custom
made
jackets do
not have this
problem, the
tailor can fix
it if it occurs
– one of the
“hidden” benefits
of custom-made
clothing.
A Word on Feet
Or, more precisely, footwear.
Leather footwear requires its own
special maintenance to keep
it healthy, especially the boots
that traipse through manure and
urine. It is important to clean
leather as soon as possible
after your activity. It is equally
important to let the boots dry at
normal room temperatures.
Clean the leather with a
pH neutral product. This limits
the damage from urine and
sweat. Be especially careful to
clean along the area where the
leather “upper” joins the sole
of the boot. Once the boot has
dried overnight, you should
apply whatever combination of
conditioner, polish and oil that
your bootmaker – or your own
experience – suggest.
If you are not riding
regularly, it is a good idea to
use a conditioner followed by a
paste wax polish approximately
once a month, depending on the
amount and conditions of wear.
If using a creme polish, it is not
necessary to use a conditioner,
since it is part of the polish.
When boots are new, rub mink
oil into all of the leather and
then more frequently along the
joining of the sole and the boot.
For those who ride in the
elements and those who want
to achieve the highest possible
“gleam” in the show ring or
dressage competitions, waxbased polish provides the dual
benefit of protection from damp
conditions and a relatively high
shine. But the key to longevity
for all of your leather footwear
is to keep the underlying leather
properly conditioned and
shaped.
Wherever possible, use
wooden “trees” for all of your
boots and shoes. There are
many types of trees available.
Some bootmakers still supply
wood trees at the same time
they make a pair of boots, but
this is becoming increasingly
uncommon. So, even if you
have to resort to commercially
available trees, they are still far
superior to plastic trees or the
rolled newspaper solutions we
have all seen. Newspaper causes
mold by absorbing the moisture,
creating a wet environment
inside the leg of the boot. Plastic
trees are spring-loaded and can
cause the leather to be pushed
out of shape.
The relationship between
wood and leather is symbiotic.
Wood absorbs the excess
moisture from the leather
keeping the wood from drying
out and allowing the leather to
release the proper amount of
moisture to keep it healthy.
Perhaps even more than with
your clothes, quality footwear is
an investment. If you purchase
high-quality boots and take
reasonable care of them, they
can last for many years. But, just
as with your clothes, they will
serve your needs best if you give
them the kind of care they need.
About the Author:
Patricia (Trish) Bosley
is the President of Bosley
Brangier Custom Hand Tailored
Apparel located in St. Michaels,
Maryland. Founded over 12
years ago, Bosley Brangier
specializes in custom-made
business and equestrian clothing
for both men and women.
In addition, Trish provides
individual wardrobe consulting
advice to business professionals
throughout the Mid-Atlantic
region.
`