Hello and welcome to the very first Booty in Breeches post! The idea for this series arose from my desire to find reliable, honest reviews from riders who have other equestrians’ interests (and pocketbooks) in mind before purchasing a pair of breeches that I will wear for the next 5 years. Because I have struggled to find such reviews, I have decided to become the Breech Guru and do the hard work myself! Spending hundreds of dollars on riding pants?! Thrilling!

Every pair of breeches will be rigorously tested and rated on four categories: cut, comfort, bang for your buck, and style.  Each breech will receive a rating out of four stars in every category as well as an overall rating. My goal is to be as honest and in-depth as possible, because us equestrians only deserve the best pants money can buy. Now, let’s get started!

Ariat® Equestrian Olympia Acclaim Breech

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Retails for $229.95 (although some styles are currently discounted)
Available in both knee patch and full seat styles
Sizes range from 22-34 in short, regular, and long lengths

Cut: 2.8/4
Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of these pants is that they run small and don’t offer many large sizes. I wear a 28 in Tailored Sportsmans and a 42 in most Italian brands, but my pair of Olympias is a 30. Yes, the size on the tag doesn’t mean much, but it can be disheartening to step into a pair of breeches that are “larger” than your normal size.

That being said, the cut of these pants does an awful lot to flatter my lower half. I LOVE the contrasting Euro stitching on the seat—it both gives the illusion of curves to straight figures and slims curvier figures. These pants also lift the butt and compress the perfect amount from hip to knee. Magical! I think the calf is also very well cut as it is not too tight and not too loose and doesn’t have a bulky velcro closure.IMG_1894

These are a true low-rise breech, and as such, are not ideal for riders with long torsos.  I’m long from hip to shoulder and my shirt always comes untucked whenever I ride in these pants, which can be frustrating. I’ve lost weight since I purchased them in the spring and have certainly noticed a little gapping in the waistband at the rear, but I don’t think sizing down would help much in this situation because then they would be too tight elsewhere.

Comfort: 2.9/4
The Olympia Acclaims are not the stretchiest breeches I have ever put on my body.  If you’re looking for a legging or yoga pant type feel, these probably aren’t for you.  They do have an elastic insert in the back of the waistband that adds a little bit of give, which is definitely appreciated.

Though they are not super stretchy, I never feel like they pull or cinch in any uncomfortable way either on the ground or in the saddle. I also like that the knee patch has a zig zag cutout behind the knee so has not to interfere with boot fit! I always feel really secure in these pants, if that makes sense.

Bang for your Buck: 2/4
These pants retail for $229.95 and don’t even come in tan or white, so you can’t even show in them. The Olympias do come in tan and retail for $209.95, but they are lacking in some of the details that make the Olympia Acclaims so cute. I purchased my pair at the Ariat® Boutique at the Winter Equestrian Festival and was shocked when I looked at the price tag. I think they’re a bit overpriced, though I’ve had them for six months and haven’t noticed any fading, pilling, or stretching, which is a good sign.

DSC_5804Style: 3.7/4 In addition to the stitching that I’ve already mentioned, the Olympia Acclaim breeches have faux back pockets, which add dimension to straighter figures without adding bulk to curvier bottoms. They also have contrast color piping on both the front and back pockets, which is a nice touch. I like that these come in a variety of colors and the branding is subtle with the Ariat® logo on each of the buttons and pocket grommets. They’re a pretty snazzy breech for schooling at a show or lessoning at home!

The Bottom Line: 2.85/4
If shelling out a bit of cash for pants that can only be worn for schooling doesn’t bother you, then I certainly recommend the Olympia Acclaim Breech by Ariat®. The fun accents and pops of color set these breeches apart from the pack, but as someone who literally founded a company based on body positivity, it frustrates me that these both run small and are only available in a limited number of sizes.

Kate Kosnoff