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STYLE FILE
How helmets
went from
geek to chic
Charting the rise of the riding helmet as a fashion statement
There was a time not too long ago when riding helmets
weren’t exactly considered very desirable or chic.
Now, all that has largely changed. Olympic dressage riders do their Grand Prix tests with safety helmets and equestrians actively seek out hats to complement their look as the new generation of helmets that popped up during the noughties got slick, streamlined and ventilated. Funnily enough, we’ve ended up where 1950s fashion left off: that you’re not really dressed unless you’re wearing a hat. They complete an outfit, and we put the same consideration into choosing one as we do our breeches and jackets.

As part of MIASUKI’s exquisite Performance Wear we’ve collaborated with KEP Italia on a series of EU and US-approved riding helmets that are certified to five different international standards. Designed by us and engineered by KEP, they take the helmet into elegant new womenswear territory. From corset-lacing details to tonal brocade and our glossy house colours, our helmets are feminine, hi-tech objects to covet – somewhere between athleticism and art.
Riding without a hat signalled you’d certainly never do anything as silly as fall off, and that you belonged to the old guard of traditional horsemanship. Some people would bark at helmets because they’d mess up their hair or were too hot in summer. If you rode with one outside of your pony club years, you somehow insinuated you were a bad rider, devoid of any equestrian cool.
In addition to innovative helmet design like ours which is ultra-lightweight, breathable and comfortable – and seeing our equestrian heroines looking poised in their safety hats – we also probably shouldn’t underestimate the power pop culture has had on bringing the helmet in from the cold. Whether it’s Betty Draper on Mad Men – looking impossibly refined in her breeches and velvet cap – or mainstream celebrities being snapped on horseback with sensible headgear, it’s all been part of putting riding helmets firmly back into the style sphere.
Apart from the obvious virtues of a proper helmet (after all, what good is having perfect hair if you’re in a coma) a hat also makes you ride more confidently. When you know you’ve got your safety gear in order, you’re much more inclined to kick on and ride forward, guns blazing. With their 5-point chinstrap, MIASUKI helmets limit possible movement in the event of a fall, and the front ventilation and washable inner lining helps keep you cool, calm and collected under pressure. It’s a given that they look good, but most importantly, they feel good, too.