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Dress code for trialing?


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#1 gcv-border

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 10:12 AM

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

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#2 NorthfieldNick

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 10:25 AM

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!
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#3 Cynthia P

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 11:06 AM

I always dress like it is a priveledge to run under a judge. I try to wear neat and presentable clothing

My nice clothes might be under warm clothes...

Granted in winter trials, i'm not all that stylish!
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#4 Sue R

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 11:22 AM

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.
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#5 juliepoudrier

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 11:27 AM

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.

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#6 Shoofly

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 12:01 PM

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!).

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#7 WildFlower

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 12:28 PM

I love seeing what handlers wear in the trials.

And I too am fond of the tweed sport coats and caps. :)

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#8 gcv-border

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 12:51 PM

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

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"Folks will know how large your soul is by the way you treat a dog."  Charles F. Duran


#9 juliepoudrier

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 01:05 PM

How come I haven't seen the new Western hat in any pictures? Or did I just not look at enough pictures to see it?

J.

I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream.

~Vincent van Gogh



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Julie Poudrier
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Willow, Farleigh, Boy (3/1995-10/2010, RIP), Jill (8/1996-5/2012, RIP), Twist (the troll), Katty Rat, Little Miss Larky Malarky, Phoebe (the rabid possum), Pipit (aka Goober), Kestrel (aka Messy Kessie), and Birdie!
Willow's Rest, Tunis sheep and mule sheep



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#10 Shoofly

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 01:46 PM

It's a palm hat, no felt. And i wouldn't have a clue how to soak and shape, the vendor did it!

Julie - i think there was one on FB somewhere but i don't know where. I know i wore it to run Zac at Meeker.

-- Robin French
Working Border Collies Zac, Bill, Zeke, Spot and Devin


 


#11 stockdogranch

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 01:53 PM

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,
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#12 Gloria Atwater

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 11:44 PM

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. :)

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#13 Maja

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 04:04 AM

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.

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#14 juliepoudrier

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 06:20 AM

Since I generally live out of my van/in a tent, I just try to be clean and neat. There have been trials where it was all I could do to keep my belongings dry, let alone make sure my clothes were pressed ....

J.

I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream.

~Vincent van Gogh



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Julie Poudrier
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Willow, Farleigh, Boy (3/1995-10/2010, RIP), Jill (8/1996-5/2012, RIP), Twist (the troll), Katty Rat, Little Miss Larky Malarky, Phoebe (the rabid possum), Pipit (aka Goober), Kestrel (aka Messy Kessie), and Birdie!
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#15 Maja

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 06:36 AM

Did anybody said 'pressed'? Yeah, pressed between the dog chow and the maps :lol: :lol: :lol:

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#16 Smalahundur

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 06:57 AM

Wearing a tie while working sheep? Thatīs sounds pretty ridiculous to me.

#17 Smokjbc

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 07:23 AM

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.

#18 Smokjbc

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 07:23 AM

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.

#19 Sue R

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 07:44 AM

Wearing a tie while working sheep? Thatīs 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.
Sue Rayburn - Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult, but not the brightest firefly in the jar.

Celt, Megan, and Dan

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#20 Tea

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 08:37 AM

One trial I am thinking of going to is a halloween costume thingie.. What should I go as......????




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