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What the Team at Ariat Wears to Work

Welcome to Working It, where Racked follows street style into the office.

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In the late '80s, Beth Cross and Pam Parker envisioned a way to change equestrian footwear. By 1993, they had launched Ariat to bring performance technology into the market—first to boots then to clothes. In just over two decades, the brand is now America's leading performance footwear brand for both English and Western riding. As the riding equipment continues to advance, the brand has also found a lifestyle clothing niche— proving that performance fabrics look just as good inside a competition arena as they do on the street.

No other brand attempts the same feat that Ariat so deftly achieves—a strong presence in the two equestrian riding markets, in addition to its growing fashion and denim collections. The brand's success stems from its ability to remain adaptable to the demands of the various sports and trends. It's that startup mentality, which once catapulted Ariat to the forefront of equestrian equipment, that the team at the Union City headquarters works hard to maintain.

Many of the workers at Ariat ride horses. Among the equestrians, there are varying levels of participation that include all disciplines from hunter/jumper to Western pleasure to endurance. Some wear their boots from the office to the barn, while others prefer to keep it all separate. The underlying similarity, from the people to the clothes, is in the versatility. Below, see how eight Ariat employees dress for a day on the job.


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Lauren Duncan, footwear designer, wears a Trouvé shirt, Citizens of Humanity jeans, an Ariat belt, Hacienda boots from Ariat, and earrings from Nordstrom.
What’s your typical office look?
Equestrian chic. I usually wear skinny jeans tucked into boots with layered tops and big earrings.

How do you dress up your day look for post-work plans?
I'll wear a cotton dress with a belt, an infinity scarf, tall boots, and statement jewelry.

Who are a few of your style icons?
For shoes, Valentino, Aquazurra, and Manolo Blahnik.

How do you showcase your personal style?
I have my own fashion blog called Style Me Lauren. I post my daily outfits and tips on how to mix highs with lows.

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Riding boots to work: yay or nay?
Yes, they're easy to dress up and versatile—but they get dirty at the barn so I like to keep the riding ones separate.


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Jose Monroy, footwear designer, wears a J.Crew shirt, Prps jeans, and Easy Now boots from Ariat.
What’s your typical office look?
Jeans with a button down shirt—either solids or plaids—with mid-height boots or lace ups. I'll wear sneakers on casual days.

What’s an upcoming trend that you're noticing in footwear?
Boots will be more dressy—cleaner, sleeker. It's a change after the last couple seasons of chunkier, distressed styles.

Can you remember the happiest you've ever been in your boots?
My one-year anniversary with my wife on July 26, 2014.

To tuck or not to tuck?
Real men don't tuck.

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Jenni Smith, director of brand marketing, wears a James Perse shirt, BCBG sweater, Ariat jeans, Kenna Boots from Ariat, a Peyote Bird necklace, and Judith Jack earrings.

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How would you describe your office style?
I'm known for matching. It puts the fun in shopping for me. Sometimes, I'll discover matching items in my own closet because I have so much stuff.

So is this how you often wear your socks with your boots?
Yeah, I'll wear the socks on the outside so everyone can see that they match my outfit. Otherwise, it's just me and the socks that know.

How would you describe your office style?
I'm known for matching. It puts the fun in shopping for me. Sometimes, I'll discover matching items in my own closet because I have so much stuff.

Where can we find you on the weekends?
Flying out to Arizona to ride three 50-mile endurance races on three different Arabian horses.

What's your favorite memory of time spent in your boots?
Finishing the Tevis 100-mile endurance race in fifth place.


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Megan Seifert, apparel merchandising coordinator, wears a Vince shirt, Ariat denim trousers and cardigan, Lucky tall boots, and a Michael Kors watch.
What’s your typical office look?
Denim and layers.

What’s an upcoming trend in denim that you're noticing?
Knit denim like the French Terry bootcut style that Ariat will release for Fall '15.

How do you dress up your day look for post-work plans?
I keep the trousers, but I add heels and a blouse top with a leather or denim jacket.

Who would you call your style icon?
My grandmother. She's the most stylish 90 year old woman. She recently gave me a couple of sweaters that she didn't like.

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What’s the most surprising thing you've learned while working here?
That different regions have very different demands in styles. And also, just how many steps there are in the production process—from sketches to retail.


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Holly Andrews-Kramer, senior director, English footwear, wears the Corland vest from Ariat, Halogen cashmere sweater, Rag & Bone jeans, and the Wexford boots from Ariat.
In three words, describe your personal style.
Simple, classic, equestrian.

And tell us a little about your dog.
His name is Hubert—Huey for short. He comes to work with me every day. I recently adopted him while at Thermal [a winter show circuit for the hunter/jumper riding discipline]. He also has a weekend job of going to the barn with me and my daughter.

Speaking of weekends, what's your favorite weekend wear?
I'm usually in riding clothes—Olympia breeches, a Sunstopper shirt, and test riding the latest pair of Monaco tall boots.

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What's an upcoming English footwear trend that you're noticing?
I think there's a growing interest in the English country lifestyle, so boots need to be both functional and stylish. And it'll be important for boots to also have waterproof features—like the Stanton.

What's your favorite memory spent in your boots?
Well, I have three favorite memories, but the first two are of others in the boots. The first is when the Monacos were at the top of the podium at the Beijing Olympics, on our riders Beezie Madden and Will Simpson.

The second is when another of our riders, John French, won the United States Hunter Jumper Association derby in that same style of boots. And the final is whenever my daughter and I wear our Monacos while competing against each other at horse shows.


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Devon Whalen, product manager, Western apparel, wears a Denim & Supply shirt, Diesel jeans, Ariat boots, Nixon watch, and his own assortment of rings and bracelets.

What's your typical office look?
Denim jeans and plaids shirts—essentially what I'm wearing today.

What apparel trends are you noticing for summer?
Lightweight and breathable materials.

Where will we find you on the weekends?
On long distance runs, wearing the best moisture wicking running clothes.

What influences your personal style?
I'm inspired by the country rock lifestyle.

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How do you dress up your look for a night out?
I'll wear jeans, a henley, a blazer—instead of a flannel—and a Stetson.


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Christopher Jue, lifestyle footwear manager, wears a Woolf Originals shirt, Levi's 508 jeans, Oakley glasses, and Invicta watch.
What's your signature style?
Interesting pockets. That's my style identity in the office.

Have you noticed any upcoming trends in apparel?
More fitted and slim fitting options for men.

Where do you shop for your clothes?
Online because I have a five year old that I'm constantly chasing around on the weekends.

Which boot style would you recommend for a first-time wearer?
An all-around, versatile, lace-up boot.

Is your daughter already wearing boots?
She has two pairs of Ariat boots. One is leopard with pink trim, and the other is pink with glitter.

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Laura Horton, sponsorship coordinator, wears the Terrace vest, Sylvie shirt, and Meadow Pendleton boots—all from Ariat—and Gap leggings and a scarf from a thrift store.
In three words, describe your personal style.
Boots, jeans, layers.

Who is your personal style icon?
My mom was a total ski bunny when she was young, and so I'm really drawn to the '70s après-ski style and her closet.

Wearing English tall boots for fashion: yay or nay?
I'm thinking of doing it, but my legs are so long and require so much coverage. A quarter of my body would be in leather—and that's too much leather.

Your favorite weekend getaway?
To Tahoe for a snowboarding trip.

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What's your favorite trend for this upcoming summer?
I was just at a rodeo in Texas, and fringe was everywhere.


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