Ah, the joys of finding breeches that you a) actually like, b) can afford… why does that always seem to be an ongoing challenge? When I discovered Aztec Diamond I thought I’d finally struck gold, but then they changed their fit. Cue deep despair and minor temper tantrums.
My first problem is that I’m picky. Really picky. Those navy Animo’s that have been living in my closet for years have set the bar high. The second problem is that I’m horse poor. If I could drop $400 a pop on a bunch of breeches, I’d be golden. Things like entry fees and saddles and horse massages and farriers tend to take precedent though. Thus, I’ve kind of found myself on this never-ending quest for just the right pair of breeches.
I first saw the new RJ Classics Prestige Gulf breeches in January at AETA. The thing that first caught my eye was the colors – I spotted a nice deep burgundy and a hunter green. A few years ago I had another pair of RJ breeches, and while I liked the fit, I wasn’t a big fan of the fabric, so I approached the new ones with a skeptical eye. When I felt the fabric on the Gulf breeches I was even more intrigued… it was a nice stretchy tech fabric that seemed like it would hold up well. Nothing like the old fabric whatsoever. I made a mental note to try them on at some point after they came out.
That opportunity arose when I was in the Luxe EQ trailer a few months ago looking for whites… I also went ahead and tried on the merlot RJ’s. They had a little bit of extra room in the hips, but otherwise fit really well and seemed comfortable. For the price I figured it was worth a try, and I brought them home. From the first wear they pretty much became one of my new favorite pairs of breeches.
Design-wise, I really like them. The colors are great and they have the ever popular euro seat. Then length is perfect for me, the rise is also spot on, and the sport mesh on the lower leg (NO VELCRO) breathes well and is comfortable. The fabric stays pretty clean, washes up well, doesn’t stretch or sag, and doesn’t fade (another huge pet peeve). The construction looks solid, with no loose seams or hardware. I’ve been wearing them quite a bit and have no complaints about the quality or concerns about the longevity.
Fit-wise, they’re almost perfect. There’s that little extra room in the hip and some in the waist that I could do without, but luckily they don’t sag or require a belt to keep them in place. If my thighs were smaller I could probably size down, but since good ol’ Thunder and Lightning are my overwhelming majority… ain’t happenin’. If the breeches slid down or gapped considerably it would bother me more, but they don’t, so I don’t find myself thinking about it or noticing it very much. Basically – if you’re bigger in butt/thigh area, stick with your regular size. If you’re not, you may be able to size down.
I’d absolutely buy more of these. In fact, I definitely need the hunter green ASAP. And the navy. And maybe the white. Someday I’ll have room in my budget for more. They’re comfortable to wear, flattering, attractive, good quality, the fit works for me, and the price is pretty reasonable at $150. Definitely recommend trying a pair!