Making Sizing Make Sense: Breeches & Show Coats

Making Sizing Make Sense: Breeches & Show Coats

Have you ever walked into a tack store needing a new pair of breeches… or a show coat… and just been completely overwhelmed? What the heck do those size terms even mean? US, IT, GP, 6, 10, 42, 36, 28, 44?

Gibberish to anyone who doesn’t spend all day looking at these clothes and physically fitting people in them. But that’s where I come in, I’ve spent countless hours fitting other people as well as myself.

So in this blog I deep dive into all the ins and outs of sizing for breeches and show coats, so you can feel a little more confident the next time you’re trying to decipher a size chart!


When it comes to breeches and their sizing, it all comes down to where they were manufactured. Many equestrian companies are based in Europe, so they are going to have different sizing than the standard American sizing.

U.S. companies such as Ariat, Tailored Sportsman, and RJ Classics have sizes that correlate to your waist measurement. Typically from 22 inches to 36 inches, with both regular and long lengths, which is denoted by either an R or L after the number. For example, a 30R RJ Classics Gulf Breech corresponds with a 30 in. Waist, and the standard length. A 30L would denote the long length.

When we start foraying into European styles is when it gets a little more complicated, simply because we Americans aren’t exposed to European sizing as often. There are three main sizing systems for European breeches; IT (Italy), DE (Germany), and FRE (France).

The most notable Italian brands are Equiline, Ego 7, and Animo. IT sizing starts with the number 38 and continues to 50 in most brands. So an IT 38 corresponds to a US 22, and IT 50 to a US 34. I find it easiest to always remember a US 28 translates to an IT 44 and move up or down from there.

Pikeur follows DE sizing. It is the same concept as IT, but the numbers are slightly off. The sizing starts with a DE 34 equaling a US 22. Again, I always remember that a US 28 corresponds to a DE 40.

Lastly, Samshield uses FRE sizing since they are manufactured in France. French sizing starts at 32 and goes up to 44. So a US 28 equals a FRE 38 and then I use that as my base for the rest of the sizes.

Still confused? No worries, I’ve compiled the ULTIMATE breeches size chart so you can easily convert from one size system to the next!
Breeches sizing cheat cheat

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Show Coats

Determining the correct size for a show coat again starts as breeches do, determining where the coat is manufactured, as that will point you to the right size chart to use.

When it comes to American coats, the biggest brands are RJ Classics, Ariat, and Grand Prix. RJ Classics and Ariat use the modern US sizing chart that runs anywhere from 00 to 20, depending on the specific brand. This size system also allows for short, regular, and long lengths. These are denoted with either an S, R, or L after the number. For example, a 4S would correlate to the short length of a size 4 jacket. Determining what length of coat you need is not an exact science, but as a general rule of thumb, if you’re 5’4″ or smaller, a short is normally needed, 5’4″-5’7″, a regular, and 5’7″ and above, a long length. It comes down to the length of your arms and torso.

Grand Prix is a Canadian company that uses the “old world” style of sizing. It can be kind of confusing when Grand Prix coats are mixed in with other brands because you could mistake a GP 8R for a US 8R if you’re not careful. If you know your normal US show coat size, just simply add 6 to that number to find your GP size. Grand Prix offers a “tall” and “short” length for those with longer or shorter torsos. This is showcased by either a T or S after the number.

Animo, Equiline, and Ego 7 are Italian brands and use Italian (IT) sizing. Their size chart starts at IT 36 and continues to IT 48. A IT 36 converts to a US 0 and so on. You typically do not find any short or long lengths with European coats unless they are custom.

Pikeur follows German (DE) sizing. Their chart begins with DE 34 and goes up to around DE 44 or larger depending on the specific jacket. The DE 34 transfers into a US 2R, IT 38, and so forth.

Samshield is located in France and follows the FRE size chart. These numbers start at FRE 32 and continue up by even sizes. A FRE 32 correlates to a US 2 and so on.

European brands typically run smaller and shorter than American-made show coats, so just be conscious of that fact when you are shopping!

Make sure to check out our “Finding Your Perfect Horse Show Coat” Blog for a more in-depth look at how to size yourself for a show jacket! Or take a peek at our show coat size chart below to get you started on converting from one size system to the next.

Show Coat Sizing

Shop all Show Coats

And if some size charts aren’t good enough, stay tuned for a future blog post where I take it on a personal mission to find out just how our favorite brands fit compared to each other! Because as we all know, you may be one size in a certain brand… and then a COMPLETELY different size in another brand!

If you’re struggling to determine what size is best for you, do not hesitate to reach out to us for some help from one of our highly trained sales associates! They are more than happy to help with whatever you need.

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Good eye, updated the post. Thanks for catching that Louisa! Hope you and the family are well!


Really helpful article as the sizes can be very confusing. One thing though: DE stands for Germany (Deutschland) not Denmark.

Louisa R. Robb

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