Fitting Breeches: What Size Am I in Riding Pants?


Rise, stretch, color, full seat, knee patch, breeches or riding tights—there are so many things in consideration when buying new breeches, it’s not uncommon to feel lost or confused. After you’ve found your perfect style, your perfect fit is your next step. 

Sizing new riding pants can be frustrating. Whether you are trying a new brand, or your current size isn’t doing it, like most clothes it can be a process to find a fit you are comfortable in. If you aren’t able to make it to your local brick and mortar retailer for an in person fitting or if you just prefer to shop from home, here’s a handy guide to finding the right fit for riding breeches online. 

Size Charts:

Most online retailers will provide a size chart specific to their brand. Likely it will be on the individual item page, but can sometimes also be found in the footer of a web page or a link can be found in an FAQ section. If provided, make sure to go with the size chart specific to the product you are interested in purchasing for the best results.

How To Measure at Home:

Materials You Will Need: Soft fabric measuring tape or a long string and a ruler. 

Soft measuring tape
Photo by Siora Photography

If you don’t have a soft measuring tape at home, no worries! As long as you can find a ruler or stiff measuring tape and a piece of string long enough to wrap around you, you’re in business!

Natural Waist: Your natural waist lies in between the top of your hip bones and your rib cage. For reference, it is generally the narrowest part of our middle. For the purposes of the provided charts it is measurement A. 

Hips: When measuring your hips, you want to go for the widest part of your hips to make sure your breeches fit comfortably. For the purposes of these charts, it is measurement B.

Inseam: It’s always a good idea to check the inseam measurement if provided (it can normally be found in a “Product Details” section). To measure your inseam, take your measuring tape from where the two legs would meet and run it down the inside of one leg, stopping where you would be comfortable with your breeches ending.

  • Keep in mind: Breeches that come too low can bunch up uncomfortably and breeches that end too high can cause rubbing from the end seam. Ideally, you should measure your inseam to make sure your riding pants end below your boots, around ankle length. This will help reduce friction while in the saddle.

What If My Measurements are In-between Sizes?

Say you are measuring 29” at point A and 39” at point B. In the above women’s size chart, this will put you smack dab in between a US 26 and 28 in the size chart above. So, what do you do? This is where style, material, and personal preference come into play. 

Style and Material: 

Take, for example, full seat vs. knee patch breeches with 4-way stretch and stiffer patches:

  • Knee patch breeches will likely have a little more give even with stiffer patches and you can likely size down.
  • For full seat breeches in this style and material, you may want to size up. The inflexibility of the protective fabric covers far more surface area and can reduce the amount of stretch provided, making for a tighter fit.
  • When the patches are made out of silicone or gel or have more give, you can size down and let the stretch make up the difference.

Personal Preference:

If you are in between sizes, think about how you prefer your riding pants to fit and feel. Think about your discipline, if you’ll be using them to school or show, etc. Whichever you choose, the half-inch discrepancy likely won’t leave you feeling uncomfortably restricted if you size down or with an overly baggy fit if you size up. Just remember—a proper, flattering fit is more important than the number on the label.

Phone a Friend: Comments and Customer Service

Shopping online can be frustrating, but you also have an entire community of shoppers and customer service representatives to help you.

Two riders standing by fence smiling at camera
  • While the comments can sometimes be the “Wild West” of the Internet, look through and see if there are any common themes like advice to size up or down. Many times, reviewers will leave their own measurements or sizes in other brands for comparison which can be super helpful in finding what size breeches you are.
  • Many online retailers will have customer service (even live chat) to help you with sizing questions. Don’t be afraid to reach out directly to the company representatives, they want you to be happy with their products!

You’ve Found Your Size… Now What?

Once you purchase, make sure you try your pants on and move around in them. You want to make sure they are comfortable to sit and stand in for long periods of time. Keep in mind that you will be riding in your riding pants, so your fit should accommodate for movement. No one wants their breeches getting in the way of an otherwise flawless two-point or sitting trot!

Whatever your preference, Equinavia offers riding breeches for any riding situation. Let us know your specific fit questions about our products in the comments below or contact a customer service representative on our website. We will be more than happy to help!

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