Portugal is full of incredible craft and handmaking history of beautiful equestrian items tack and clothing. We provide articles about the artisans their skills and the history.

#2 Portuguese style – “à portuguesa”

The History of Fashion

Fashion history has always been directly related to History itself, as are all of the elements that we surround ourselves with, evolving through times. But fashion itself is an easy way of showing one’s personality, beliefs, or even mood. We can “dress to impress” or we can be careless but regardless, what we wear is always going to say something about us and place us somewhere in history.

The Portuguese Riding Costume

is characteristic of a specific period in history, and although the masculine costume can be placed in the late 1700s, the feminine costume is directly related to the fashionable dresses worn by the last queen of Portugal, D. Amélia de Orleães e Bragança, in the late 1800s and beginning of the 1900’s – the Belle Époque period.
D. Amélia de Orleães e Bragança
Today, as we see the horse men and women riding in Portuguese costume, we hardly notice any differences in most cases, apart from the skirt and, in fewer cases, the hat.

The Feminine Costume

The ladies costume has evolved in such a way that it’s look is very similar to the masculine – the cut of the jacket, the shirt with the collar and cuff links, the vest, the hat – all pieces that are characteristic of the male costume, but are also worn by female horse riders – also here, in this fashion, we see history!

But the traditional Portuguese feminine riding costume has much to say!

We can consider two kinds of costumes – the Amazona costume (for the side saddle), and the Amazona costume for riding astride.
It is more common to see a more romantic look on the Amazona costume for the side saddle – the jacket is cut to fit the feminine silhouette, there are no collar or cuff links on the shirt but a silk bow or a jabot of lace, the placement and application of the buttons, all variable according to the fashion worn in that period of time.

It is my belief that the majority of the horsewomen who dress in the Portuguese style prefer a more minimal and contemporary costume, and as a result, the traditional feminine costume with its puffed sleeves was set aside and did not earn a solid place as did its pair.

Costume Evolution

As a fashion designer and dressmaker, it is very interesting to realize that there are subtle changes that can be made in this Amazona costume and that those changes can bring it back to life and allow horsewomen a more romantic look if they so choose, still respecting the rules of the traditional Portuguese Riding Costume.
I will write in a more detailed manner on this subject, reviewing every garment of this beautiful costume, and I would love to hear from you as well! Let me know if you have any questions or comments, and I’ll “see” you soon!
written by Silvia Teixeira and revised by Peter Cann
To order your own bespoke costume by Silvia check her page in our online shop.  Silvia is always available to discuss with you style fabrices and colours.

Riding in Portuguese style – “à portuguesa”

The traditional Portuguese Riding Costume – a must have for every Lusitano horse lover .

Hello. My name is Sílvia and I’m a fashion designer. I’m Portuguese and live on the beautiful island of Terceira in the Azores. I am a horse rider and have been for more than 30 years.

The Beginning of an Adventure

A few years ago, I decided to start my own business, designing and handmaking exclusive costumes dedicated to horseriders. Since I love Working Equitation, I started with the feminine traditional Portuguese Riding Costume with which I was already familiar. Through my research I found out many interesting details about this particular costume and this made me want to develop it and embrace the challenge of bringing it up to date. I decided to revisit and redesign it, respecting its history and purpose while taking a contemporary approach that has a fashionable look and that values the elegance of the horse rider (with an emphasis on the feminine figure).
Along this path I’ve been given the opportunity and privilege of meeting and working with other horse riders, with diverse personal requirements for their presentations from Dressage to Natural Equitation Horsemanship.

Exploring the History of the Ladies Costume

Regarding the traditional Portuguese Riding Costume, I’ve been asked questions such as: “Should the skirt be like this?” or, “Is the vest a mandatory piece in this outfit?”.
So, why do we wear this costume and what’s the correct way of wearing it? And how should we style it?
I have seen many variations of oppinion on this subject, and definitely there are some “dos” and “don’ts”.
I love what I do and since there is so little online information about this subject I decided to start this blog to share my work and my experience. I would also like to to hear from you, your questions, comments or sugestions. I hope this can be useful.
Thanks for taking the time to read through, and “see” you soon!
Silvia T.
Text revised by Peter Cann

Thinking of having your own costume made check out Silvia´s work at the  online shop. You can also discuss with us what you are looking for in shape, style, colours and finishings. Costumes are made to order with your unique measurement taken into account for a perfect fit. SILVIA T.ATELIER