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[Urban Buy]

Horsing around
Saddle up for a new crop of equestrian styles this fall

BY NICOLE ADRAGNA

MAKING HER WAY through the crowd, a woman clad in a luxurious brown velvet blazer, slim camel-colored leggings, and knee-high leather riding boots raises her hand, poised to ... hail a taxi? But we’re not at the racetrack or at a polo match. This is Boston’s trendy Newbury Street.

Whether from a sense of pride in a more traditional American lifestyle, a return to ’80s fashion sense, or a nod to celebrity chic (i.e., Madonna’s mechanical-bull stage antics), equestrian fashion has gone mainstream this fall. The trend has kicked up items such as buckled leather belts, flat-heeled riding boots, blazers, modified jodhpurs, saddle-inspired bags, and horseshoe jewelry.

Though dressing like a jockey may sound absurd, the equestrian look is quite versatile. Betsy Thompson, director of public relations for Talbots, says the fashion is "very tailored, very classic, and very wearable," making it easy to add items like Talbots’ equestrian-motif scarf ($34) or ankle-high jodhpur boots ($104) to your existing wardrobe.

To get on this high horse, hightail it over to your local high-end retailer. Neiman Marcus has a great selection, offering HermŹs equestrian-themed scarves ($250) and ties ($108); Mia & Lizzie horseshoe necklaces ($375 to $2155), which Sarah Jessica Parker wears on Sex and the City; and for you boyishly-thin women, jodhpurs from Michael Kors ($725).

At Saks Fifth Avenue, giddy-up with Christian Dior saddle-shaped handbags ($595 to $1195) and Salvatore Ferragamo horse-figurine ties ($110), plus a variety of trendy leather belts for women ($65 to $165).

Lasso up Ralph Lauren fashions at Lord & Taylor, where you’ll find a ladies’ horse-insignia lamb’s-wool sweater ($139), suede-elbow-patch jacket ($275), and long-sleeve horse-print blouse ($99). Men won’t be left in the dust with a leather-elbow-patch lamb’s-wool sweater ($155) or polo-print tie ($39.50).

Or, rein in other standouts from around town: suede fringe pants ($108) at Arden B.; BDG yee-haw T for women ($38) and Itsus bronco muscle T for men ($30) at Urban Outfitters; rhinestone-heel cowgirl boots ($149.99) at Aldo; or a denim corset ($125) at Victoria’s Secret.

While all these fall fashions may leave you wishing for a pony, Talbots’s Betsy Johnson reminds consumers what’s best about the equestrian trend: "It’s not a look that you have to go out and buy a horse to pull off!"

Where to get it:

• Aldo, various locations, www.aldoshoes.com

• Arden B., Prudential Center, Boston, (617) 236-0834; CambridgeSide Galleria, Cambridge, (617) 225-7960

• Lord & Taylor, various locations, www.lordandtaylor.com

• Neiman Marcus, 5 Copley Place, Boston, (617) 536-3660

• Saks Fifth Avenue, Prudential Center, Boston, (617) 262-8500

• Talbots, various locations, www.talbots.com

• Urban Outfitters, 361 Newbury Street, Boston, (617) 236-0088; 11 JFK Street, Cambridge, (617) 864-0070, www.urbn.com

• Victoria’s Secret, various locations, www.victoriassecret.com

Issue Date: November 15 - 22, 2001

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