Jump to content
BC Boards

Dress code for trialing?


gcv-border
 Share

Recommended Posts

Please excuse the newbie question, but I was wondering about the different outfits that handlers wear at a trial. Specifically, I have noticed that outfits can range from casual (jeans & shirt) to "dress" (suit jacket and trousers) and anywhere in-between. I have no opinion on which is 'better', but in my eye, I always note the contrast between the work aspect (dog, sheep, grass, mud, etc.) and the dressier outfits (suit jacket, nice hat, etc.) I like the juxtaposition of rough and smooth.

 

I have been to a few local trials and, of course, have viewed any pictures posted here of national-level trials. The handlers seem to "dress-up" more the more important the trial. [As it should be, and as I would too if I was ever to achieve that level (no worries there :rolleyes: )]

 

Sorry for the long-windedness, but my questions are: Is there an informal, or formal, dress code for handlers? If so, what is it? Any history on a dress code (if such a thing exists)? What do you think about when you choose your outfit for a trial (local, regional, national)?

 

Jovi

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dress code seems to be nice-casual for first rounds, then quite nice for double-lift and final rounds. The bigger trials see handlers dressing nicer. I usually wear non-work jeans and a nice shirt, but I'm only in Pro-Nov and Nursery, no Open yet.

 

Some handlers are known for dressing quite well, or for wearing amazing hats, etc. Then there's the Palm Cottage Trial in Cottage Grove, OR, which has a Hawaiian-attire-not-optional luau on Sat night, and some of the Open handlers dress accordingly for their runs. The entry form has a disclaimer about the taste (or lack thereof) of the handlers' dress!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Casual for lower classes and preliminary rounds (like the two Open trials at the Bluegrass or prelims at the Finals). Dressier for a double-lift finals (like at the Bluegrass or Finals) - oftentimes a sport coat for the men (and a tie, for the snappy dressers), a jacket or vest for the women, and a not-your-every-day-dirty-chore-hat for both. Oftenimes, chinos for both at a final round.

 

Some outfits stand out - Christine Koval several years back at the Bluegrass, in a saddle-seat style black jacket, black pants, and a black hat with horsehair whatever-you-call-it dangling down the back. Tres chic! Or Kathy Knox at National Finals (maybe 2005?) in gauchos (one of those split riding skirts) looking feminine and definitely in charge.

 

I love it when the men wear a wool sport coat and a tweed cap - they look very authentic with regards to the dogs' origins.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the main thing is to not embarrass yourself or others with your clothing choice. Obviously you need to dress appropriately for the weather, which could even mean shorts in the summer (at least for women; you don't see too many men in shorts). Local farm or fun trials might have much more relaxed dress a more prestigious trial. You are expected to dress nicer if you make it to the final rounds.

 

J.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And if you run in trials out west, you'll find lots of western hats too. I even took the plunge and bought one for myself this year at Meeker, at the urging of several handlers who helped "fit" it for me. It was quite a project to get just the right shape and style (soaked and shaped on site!).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And if you run in trials out west, you'll find lots of western hats too. I even took the plunge and bought one for myself this year at Meeker, at the urging of several handlers who helped "fit" it for me. It was quite a project to get just the right shape and style (soaked and shaped on site!).

 

Yes, I REALLY like some of the hats I saw in photos. Perhaps you can post a "how to" on the proper soaking and shaping. :)

 

Did you get a felt hat?

 

Jovi

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I am by no means any kind of fasionista, I really hate to see ratty jeans and a T shirt or even shorts on the trial field, even at a local trial. For me, it's always a starched, ironed button-down shirt with fresh clean jeans (and of course the cowboy hat--straw for summer and felt for winter). For any kind of Final run, a vest or jacket looks good, I think. I've always said that even if my run goes down in flames, we'll look good doing it :D

 

Some of our mounted cattle trials have a dress code: long sleeved western shirt, jeans, and a western hat of some type,

A

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks like others have already covered most things, so I'll just add my own thoughts. I also don't like to see sloppy/lazy dress at a trial. It seems disrespectful if someone shows up looking like they just grabbed whatever was hanging out of the laundry basket.

 

For me, it's usually new-ish jeans, nice-but-comfortable shoes or boots, and a nice blouse. If it's a bigger trial, like Lacamas, I'll probably wear a Western-style vest. (Unless it's just too blasted hot.) If it's cold, I'll wear a clean, un-patched, un-stained coat. Though if it's BITTER cold ... well, then style goes out the window. ;) But I am a believer in showing respect for the judges, the organizers and my fellow competitors by looking neat and tidy.

 

I really like it when people dress up a bit for the double-lift stuff. It just looks classy. :)

 

~ Gloria

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really enjoyed Robin's sheep vest! Robin, where did it go? The hat looks great!

 

I only had two trials, but it is nice to dress nice to trials :D . Also most of my clothing for training and clinics I try to match to become a set, though as a rule the clothing is cheap, usually my "demoted" clothes or something hunted down in a second hand store. But for the trials I bought a nice shirt in a hunting store as leitmotif.

 

Maja

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I try to dress decent, never fancy but some nice jeans and a nice long-sleeve shirt. I admit, sometimes I do wear my old Carhart ballcap that has seen better days. I'll probably retire it for the next trial in favor of a shadier, practical hat. I would dress up a bit more if I ever made it to the finals or something more prestigious. What I wouldn't do (although guilty of a lesser form of this in my early years) is show up in shorts, t-shirts and tennis shoes. I've seen that even at smaller USBCHA trials and to me it's just a slap in the face to the host, judge, and even your dog. I try to think of it that it shows respect to the people who bothered to put the trial on. Plus, I think when you dress well you'll run better. Dress sloppy and you'll run sloppy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I try to dress decent, never fancy but some nice jeans and a nice long-sleeve shirt. I admit, sometimes I do wear my old Carhart ballcap that has seen better days. I'll probably retire it for the next trial in favor of a shadier, practical hat. I would dress up a bit more if I ever made it to the finals or something more prestigious. What I wouldn't do (although guilty of a lesser form of this in my early years) is show up in shorts, t-shirts and tennis shoes. I've seen that even at smaller USBCHA trials and to me it's just a slap in the face to the host, judge, and even your dog. I think that dressing well shows respect to the people who bothered to put the trial on. Plus, I think when you dress well you'll run better. Dress sloppy and you'll run sloppy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wearing a tie while working sheep? That´s sounds pretty ridiculous to me.

For a double-lift final, that's just respectful - it's not a rule and it's not necessary but the top handlers usually look as good as they run when they are running in the top trials, at least in the Bluegrass and Finals.

 

You wouldn't even work sheep in chinos, a sport coat, or a good tweed driving cap, would you? But they all look nice on a finals field. And when you show horses, or other stock, you dress nicely, to fit the occasion.

 

The important thing is to look neat and tidy, and respectful of where you are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, if nothing else, the OP now knows that there's no huge consensus on what to wear to the post! I've seen plenty of men in the finals wearing a jacket, nice shirt, tie, jeans and a ball cap. So top and bottom are somewhat casual, and in between is fancy? If one doesn't wear tennis shoes, what should one put on their feet? Cowboy boots? I tend to wear my waterproof muck shoes/boots. Practical and my feet stay dry....

 

I honestly don't see how wearing jeans and a t-shirt is a "slap in the face" to the host. I would think the host would be much more concerned with trial attendees' behavior/comportment than the actuality of the clothes on their backs--again as long as they are clean and neat and not in anything outrageous.

 

Around here you see plenty of t-shirts, shorts when it's really hot (not talking Daisy Dukes here or anything, but neat, appropriate shorts), and ball caps. I doubt all the folks wearing them are disrespecting their trial hosts, some of whom are in the exact same attire.

 

J.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For a double-lift final, that's just respectful - it's not a rule and it's not necessary but the top handlers usually look as good as they run when they are running in the top trials, at least in the Bluegrass and Finals.

 

You wouldn't even work sheep in chinos, a sport coat, or a good tweed driving cap, would you? But they all look nice on a finals field. And when you show horses, or other stock, you dress nicely, to fit the occasion.

 

The important thing is to look neat and tidy, and respectful of where you are.

Well I must admit i am further away from a "double lift final" than most people on this forum :P.

I was present at the icelandic nationals a couple of weeks ago, our highest level trial event, and "normal" daily clothes seemed to be the rule.

Why dress up, nothing disrespectful about normal working clothes I say.

As a non native speaker I don´´t even know what "chino´s" are...

Of course one would dress in accordance with the habits/traditions of the local trial culture. I am thankful that it´s pretty relaxed around here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There was one trial where a handler wore super short length, skin tight jeans shorts and a low cut top and sandals. I was not at this trial and expressed disbelief at this so the person who told me whipped out their cell ph and showed me the pixs. According to my source, all of the guy's eyes were on her and it was not on her handling style.

 

Someone did mention something to her about her sandals and next day, similiar outfit.

 

Clean or classy is fine. Trashy is not.

 

wear something that is respectable and fit for the occasion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...