After spending some time in Wellington, Fla., this winter at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, I was inspired by some of the cool European style breeches. Red with black full seats? Bright blue? Yes, please!
Of course, I can’t afford the $200-plus price tag that often comes with those breeches, so when I came across the Smartpak Piper Full Seat Breeches, I thought I’d give them a try.
I really don’t like spending more than $150 at the very most for breeches, so the $89 price was a definite plus. I was a little unsure about the Smartpak brand though because I’ve heard horror stories about the fit of their other styles of breeches.
But I picked up my first pair of Piper’s late last year anyway, the charcoal with light grey, and they’ve fast become one of my favorites.
The breeches are described as low-rise, but they fit me more mid-rise and this particular color fit true to size. I’ve heard some people have issues with gaping in the back, and while I’ve never had that issue with other brands, there was some slight gaping with the Pipers. Nothing a decent belt couldn’t fix though!
The 2-inch wide waistband was appreciated as was the mesh lining at the calf, which helps my precisely-fit tall boots go on smoothly. I also really love the contrast stitching, which makes me feel “daring” but not crazy in the color department!
After I purchased my first pair, Smartpak came out with several more colors, so I decided to try another pair. I bought the blue jeans with brown color. When they arrived, they were a brighter blue than the photo, which was fine, but they did NOT fit! I ordered the same size, but the fabric seemed to be less stretchy than the charcoal pair I had.
After sending those back, I exchanged for the black with white piping, which I think looks really sharp. They fit more like the charcoal pair.
There are several more colors I’d like to try, including maybe the tan or the military green, which I think would be appropriate for a recognized event. I’ve worn the charcoal pair twice to schooling shows and I think they look great with a black polo.
I would highly recommend the Pipers, but would caution that the fit might be a bit different on certain colors based on the amount of stretch in the fabric.
Since I had luck with my first pair of Pipers, I also tried the Smartpak Bradley Full Seat Jeans Breeches, and WHOA! I have never had such a baggy triangle in my crotch area as I had with those. They were such a bizarre fit. Ah well, I’ll continue my quest for my first pair of affordable denim breeches.