Karen McConnell – What do you wear to judge a best dressed competition?

Earlier this month I was excited to be asked to be one of three judges at the Hiho Silver Best Dressed competition at the first horse inspection at last week’s Blair Castle International Horse Trials. I was extremely honoured to have been asked but not entirely sure I was qualified for the job in any way, and oh gosh, what was I going to wear?? I could not have been more grateful for my connection with Toggi to help me select the perfect outfit.

With Toggi’s 2017 Autumn/Winter range due to be launched, it was the perfect opportunity to showcase some amazing pieces from their collection and they didn’t half get noticed.


I literally lost count of the number of people who stopped me to ask “Where did you get that shirt?” It is well-fitted, soft with a hint of stretch in the fabric meaning it’s extremely comfortable and practical to wear. Oh, and it’s beautiful, really beautiful!


Throughout the whole event, person after person walked by wearing a cape of some description – it really is the essential country clothing item and a must have for your autumn/winter wardrobe. The Blyth Tweed cape is a luxurious cape, lined in a beautiful burgundy printed fabric with elegant detailing and a detachable faux fur collar.

I was standing watching some show jumping on the Sunday and a beautifully groomed older lady approached me to ask where she could buy the cape – when I told her it was from Toggi’s new collection she explained that she had always walked her dogs in her tweed cape and field boots. Her old cape had seen better days and she’s been searching for a replacement. She assured me she would be ordering one as soon as it became available and I can’t imagine a better dressed dog-walker. It is gorgeous, I love it and I can think of so many occasions and so many ways in which I can wear it.


We matched the Baildon Shirt and Blyth Tweed Cape with Loredo Breeches which have a dark navy denim look with suede seat. They are extremely smart and comfortable and wearing them for the trot-up, I didn’t feel for a minute that I was standing there in riding wear. I’m wearing them again today with the Toggi Framingham long-sleeved top to school the horses in and they couldn’t be more practical around the yard.


As was our criteria for judging the best dressed competition, the details matter, and we teamed up my ensemble with the Penelope Belt. It’s a beautiful piece of leather with lovely snaffle detailing and it really set-off the whole outfit.


My outfit was completed with my Quartz Boots which are extremely comfortable and easy to get on and off with their full length zip. I could ride in these as they have a lovely suede panel however, I’m loving keeping them cleaner for events just like this.


To garnish a classic, elegant and sophisticated outfit I kept my accessories simple – my usual jewellery of wedding and engagement rings, watch, Hiho Silver cherry roller bracelet and simple diamond earrings, a classic navy Longchamp shopper, a pair of dark Mark Jacobs sunglasses and a bright coral manicure to add a little fun!

I’ve been flicking through the new Toggi catalogue and there are so many items on my wish list. What I do know is that whatever I chose, along with the Toggi aesthetic, I’m guaranteed their signature attention to detail, luxury finish and genuine practicality.

Have a watch of our VLOG from the trot-up where I show you my lovely Toggi outfit…

Karen McConnell





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