Some sports – star sports, if you will – have a tendency to grab all the glory when it comes to epic competitions like the Olympics. But does that make them the most visually appealing? Well, no. To celebrate the summer of sport this year, we’ve taken a look at the most stylish sports ever to have been played.

Dressage is one such sport. With style at its heart, dressage has not only been the inspiration for countless fashion magazine shoots and designer collections, but horse riding is an industry which has some pretty stellar icons in its own right. Labels including Hermes and Gucci, for instance, began their lives as saddle makers and still have a keen affinity with the sport. This year, Gucci created a capsule collection of dressage wear, inspired by Caroline Casiraghi (daughter of Grace Kelly) and Hermes still create equestrian attire from super practical (though terribly glamorous) riding brushes through to the elegant silk scarves for which they are renowned.

But what is it about dressage that makes it so stylish? Well, of course it has an aspirational quality - an association with the rich and well-bred that runs from the British royal family (the Queen being a well-known lover of horse riding) through to Hollywood stars like Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor.

Dressage also stands hand-in-hand with a preppy, fresh-faced style that’s all about clean lines and fitted functionality. Key components include jodhpurs, immaculate white shirts, velvet covered riding hats and tailored jackets with cutaway wings. The look is clean, fresh and athletic - something which is, no doubt, key to its enduring popularity not only as a sport, but also as an aesthetic.

Picture courtesy of Country Living