My Latest SmartPak Haul

I know I’m not alone in coveting new gear for myself and my pony, right? For those of you shaking your heads, take a good long look at yourselves and be honest. I know you want pretty things. That’s right. I’m calling you out.

Myself, I’m an unabashed clothes hound. I used to covet dresses and pretty blouses, but that hoarding tendency has transferred 100% to horse gear. Since I’m half-leasing for the time being and much of Addy’s gear is taken care of, this tends to manifest in lots of riding clothes.

And that’s where SmartPak comes in.

I could write an ode to their fast shipping, fantastic return policy, or lovely selection that amuses me on their website for hours on end. But that’s not what this post is about. Instead, I’ll share my latest haul(s) and tell you exactly what I think: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Piper Knee-Patch Breeches by SmartPak


I got these in the merlot-charcoal color based on an emphatic recommendation from Jenn at Stories From the Saddle, and haven’t regretted it for a minute. I also got another pair in iron-champagne thanks to Allison from Pony’tude, and am eying a couple other color combos on the website.

The good: so super comfortable. The sock bottom make them fit really well under my super tight tall boots, and the material has just enough stretch to make them great for all-day wear without getting baggy after a few hours. I’m also a huge fan of the colors- the merlot is straight up pretty and a fun different color, and the iron is perfect for hiding dirt without looking like you’re trying to hide dirt. You know, that effortless barn chic we all crave (sadly it looks like this color is discontinued. I’ll try not to gloat too much). Basically, I feel like a fashionable rockstar in these; everyone looks better with a little euroseat stitching to give some shape.

The bad: the waistband is a bit gappy. I don’t have much of a badonkadonk so this isn’t too bad, but my friend had to return hers because the gapping was so extreme. I just throw a belt on and it fixes the problem for me. For the price ($70ish but there’s regular 20% off sales!!), I ain’t too mad about this.

Overall rating: 4/5 will almost definitely add more to my collection

Piper T-Shirts


I recently snagged three of these on sale in black/gray, blue jean, and coral pink. In fact, I wore the blue jean tee yesterday and currently have the black/gray tee on.

The good: literally everything. They’re way softer than anticipated, fit nice and close to my body, have just enough of a vee-neck to be flattering, they’re long enough to tuck into low-rise breeches, and the colors are great. Not to mention the price- with the sale and my USEF discount, I paid roughly $7 per shirt. The black/gray also perfectly matches the piping on my merlot Piper breeches, so I’m psyched to be the matching queen.

The bad: I didn’t buy more while the sale was on. Seriously, I can’t think of anything wrong with these. I guess my coworkers sometimes ask why there’s a horse on my shirt (the Smartpak logo)??? But that’s their problem if they haven’t realized I’m a crazy horse lady, so I refuse to ding the shirt for that.

Overall rating: 5/5 will DEFINITELY add more to my collection

Sunshield Longsleeve Shirt by SmartPak


Picked this up (also on sale) in the royal blue color based on strong recommendations from Jenn (there is a pattern here. She is my enabler).

The good: in love with the color. Especially with my snowy white pony (listen, I can dream about her someday being clean, don’t burst my bubble). It’s fairly lightweight and I don’t get too overheated in it.

The bad: While it does protect me from the sun, I definitely know that I’m wearing a long sleeve shirt in the middle of July. It’s much better than another long sleeve would be, but the breathability isn’t as high as I was hoping. Also, the sizing isn’t great- I got an XS and it’s still super boxy.

Overall rating: 3/5 will maaaaybe add more to my collection if there’s a sale

USG Bonnet


I’m showing in the jumpers more often, so we need to have a bonnet. Right? I’m a big fan of playing dress up so we’ll go with it. I lucked out that my barn colors were available (navy and burgundy) and the price was right, so I pulled the trigger and ordered.

The good: the ears fit really nicely and it’s a good size overall. There’s plenty of material to go under the crownpiece, so I never worry about it getting loose. Like I said, the colors were ideal. The materials were good too- Lycra ears which stretched just right and cotton woven front.

The bad: maybe I’m just bad at bonnets, but I couldn’t get this to lay flat and pretty. Part of this may be due to Addy’s big poofy forelock that I didn’t adequately tame prior to our ride, but it just didn’t seem quite right. I’d be curious to see how other bonnets fit to see if this is something wonky with the bonnet, or something wonky with Addy’s giant head.

Overall rating: 3/5 not unhappy with my purchase, but will probably spring for custom next time

Ariat Prix Classic Polo


Got this in navy to wear to our first jumper show- I really lucked out that my barn’s colors are navy and burgundy, since most things come in navy and it’s my favorite color. Boom.

The good: nice weight, has held up really well in the wash, and definitely long enough to tuck into low-rise breeches. It’s a pretty navy and I like that it has 4 buttons instead of the classic 3. I now have an official barn polo that I’ll likely wear in shows, but I love wearing this in lessons and for schooling- it looks very sharp and professional.

The bad: SO HOT. I know a medium-weight dark polo probably wasn’t the best choice for a hot summer show, but I was sweating like a pig in this thing. It’s not the shirt’s fault for that though, it can’t help the way it was made. I also wish it was a little cheaper, but I’m the type of person who hates paying more than $10 for a shirt (but apparently I’m fine with dropping $200 on pants without blinking). For the quality and comfort, it really is a very fair price.

Overall rating: 4/5 will likely grab another if I find myself in need of another polo

27 thoughts on “My Latest SmartPak Haul

  1. Allison Stitzinger 07/27/2015 / 9:29 am

    Great reviews! Yes the massive waistband gap on the Pipers was why I sold them to you! I have heard similar awesome things about the Piper t-shirts though and will be keeping my eye out for sales on those. 🙂 My go-to source for polo shirts is Aeropostale… fun colors and stupid-cheap (under $10) when they go on sale. Since you are small like me you can get away with a M or L in those!


    • hellomylivia 07/27/2015 / 12:15 pm

      Fun colors and stupid-cheap sound perfect to me, I’m def gonna go find some good schooling polos there!


  2. Jenn 07/27/2015 / 9:41 am

    Great post! I think your good and bad points are totally fair for each thing and I think your reviews are accurate.

    I will say though, that I sometimes find the Sunshirts to be less hot than my polo shirts. Like you said, you definitely know that you’re wearing a long-sleeved shirt, but I definitely sweat less in the SP Sunshirt then in a regular polo shirt. Also, those SP Piper t-shirts are the best thing in life, amiright?

    And if you have crowned me as your SP Enabler, I will lace that shit up and wear it. Proudly.
    Worry not, friend. There is more enabling on the horizon.


    • hellomylivia 07/27/2015 / 12:16 pm

      Agreed- the sunshirt is definitely not as bulky as my regular polos. It was definitely a better summer option. Piper tees are my new life obsession. I’m wearing another one again right now. Can’t stop won’t stop. Keep the enabling coming 🙂


  3. Hillary H. 07/27/2015 / 10:21 am

    I tried to like the pipers but mine us stitching coming out at the knee patches before I even got on a horse. The gapping was a problem too. Glad you’ve enjoyed the rest of your hail though! I haven’t tried the Smartpak sun shirt but love my Kastel shirts.


    • hellomylivia 07/27/2015 / 12:17 pm

      I’ve heard of other people having trouble with the stitching, I’m just crossing my fingers that doesn’t happen! I’ve heard really good things about the Kastel shirts too, I think those are pretty high up on my “to-try” list 🙂


  4. Amanda C 07/27/2015 / 10:42 am

    The Pipers gap hilariously bad on me, since I’m thick in the thighs and tiny in the waist. The fit combined with the fabric (which I think is pretty heavy, being in Texas) made them a no go for me. Which is too bad, because they’re cheap and I like the colors. Oh, and I feel the same way about the USG bonnets, I just think they never quite lay perfectly right, no matter what you do.


    • hellomylivia 07/27/2015 / 12:18 pm

      I can’t even imagine what I’d ride in in Texas, it’s hard enough dealing with the VA heat! I’m glad to hear I’m not just crazypants about the bonnet, I was so sad it was gappy. One more excuse to spoil the pony with something custom though!


      • Amanda C 07/27/2015 / 12:22 pm

        The ADE are my favorite, they’re thinner. But I also just really can’t wear anything cotton based, I sweat so much it looks like I wet myself.


      • hellomylivia 07/27/2015 / 12:26 pm

        The ADE are so pretty, I love all the colors they come in! I may have to snag a pair, I also tend to look like I peed myself. It’s a really great look, impresses all the hunks at the grocery store after my lessons.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Karen M 07/27/2015 / 12:55 pm

    You’re totally right about the Ariat Prix polo–love the fit, hate how hot the navy one is!


    • hellomylivia 07/27/2015 / 1:38 pm

      Maybe if I tweet at Ariat a couple hundred times they’ll make the same fit in a sunshirt material! But then it probably wouldn’t hang as nicely….darnit, I just want it all.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Erin 07/27/2015 / 1:34 pm

    Shopping spree! I love a good haul. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I wish there was more options up here for online shopping.


    • hellomylivia 07/27/2015 / 1:39 pm

      I can never resist a good spree! Come on down for a visit and we can totally go crazy on the shopping together 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Erin 07/27/2015 / 1:46 pm

        This is a great idea! … and slightly damaging to the pocket book. lol!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Liz Stronach 07/27/2015 / 4:39 pm

    I always feel so betrayed that SmartPak doesn’t ship to Canada. Love the merlot breeches.


  8. CallyJumps 07/27/2015 / 8:25 pm

    You can usually find Old Navy’s school uniform pique polis for like $10 this time of year. They’re great for the price.

    Glad the Pipers fit you! I end up with terrible Beiber drop-crotch in them. One day I forgot a belt and nearly lost them 😦 the colors are so cute though!


  9. emma 07/28/2015 / 10:50 am

    i have the same two piper colors as you! i love love LOVE the iron/champagne, but not so much the merlot color. it just takes more planning for color combos, whereas the iron seems to go with everything. also – i feel similarly about the SP sunshirts. i have the blue and white and like the colors and cut, but i’ve caught myself rolling up the sleeves one too many times to think they’re great for hot weather. they are reserved for either showing or more mild temperatures


    • hellomylivia 07/28/2015 / 12:38 pm

      Woot Piper twins! I’m loving the iron, absolutely nothing shows up on them so I can pretend to be clean for oddly long periods of time. Glad I’m not the only one who thinks that about the sunshirt, I’m thinking it’ll be really great for riding in the fall though!


  10. nbohl 07/28/2015 / 12:26 pm

    Love a good riding clothes haul!


  11. Tracy - Fly On Over 07/29/2015 / 8:34 am

    Pipers = life


  12. rachelum33 07/30/2015 / 1:10 pm

    I love SP and therefore I wanted to love the piper breeches but as an owner of a badonkadonk I am not happy with the gap. I went up a size bigger and it helped so that I don’t get total plumbers crack but I have been told by friends that they can see a gap. As for the piper shirt I LOVE it!!! I literally have it in every color they offer!


    • hellomylivia 07/30/2015 / 2:26 pm

      Badonkadonks seem to have many pros, but the occasional con. SP needs to learn to love the badonks! Yesss I can’t stop wearing the tees, I’m obsessed.

      Liked by 1 person

    • hellomylivia 07/31/2015 / 7:12 am

      The breeches seem to be pretty love-em-or-hate-em, but the tees are all love, all the time 🙂


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