From sun up to sun down, horse girls know how to get stuff done. Whether we’re balancing homework and ring work, meetings and lessons, or mucking stalls and jumping oxers, we always manage to make it happen. We wanted to create a button-down riding shirt that embodied this same can-do attitude; a multi-purpose piece that was both tough and tailored.
It would not only have to be elegant enough to be worn to the office in the mornings and the barn in the evenings, but also tough enough to handle a day full of barn work at the hands of professional riders and grooms. In short, we wanted a performance button-down that could really do it all. Almost a year of testing, designing, and prototyping later, we’re pretty thrilled to say we did it.
We named our creation the Alba Work Shirt after the Spanish word for dawn - a nod to the hardworking horsewomen who rise early every day to maximize their time in the saddle. So whether you’re setting your alarm for 5am to head to work, dress for school, or turn the horses out in the pasture, the Alba Work Shirt was designed for you.
Read on to discover all of the thoughtful planning that went into creating this epic button-down for horsewomen everywhere.
1) Light as Air Fabric
The Alba Work Shirt is made out of a lightweight but sturdy polyester poplin. What does that mean exactly? Two things. First, a poplin is any fabric that features two yarns of different thicknesses in a plain weave. Because of the difference in thread thickness, poplins offer the best of both worlds - they have a thin, comfortable hand-feel that's easy to drape, AND are seriously sturdy and tough. Second, polyester is a lightweight material that's notoriously easy to care for and winkle-resistant by nature. It even has a bit of stretch too, so you won't be busting out of your shoulder seams when you go to make that big release over the square oxer. In summary, a polyester poplin = light, tough, and perfect for an equestrian button-down.
2) Serious Ventilation
Our favorite thing about riding in button-downs is that glorious feeling when you're cantering and the air moves through your shirt - it's like outdoor air conditioning! Naturally we wanted to maximize the breezy comfort factor with the Alba Work Shirt, so we added a hidden mesh vent to the upper back of the garment. A discrete addition, the vent is nigh-invisible until you're riding at speed. The breeze will gently lift the back panel, allowing air to flow through the garment and keep you cool. When not riding, the vent stays hidden and nobody has to know you're really wearing your favorite barn shirt to work.
3) High-Low Hemline
The biggest issue we've had riding in traditional button-downs was that those suckers never seemed to stay tucked in. The Alba Work Shirt features a generous high-low hem (meaning that the hemline is longer in the back and shorter in the front), which when combined with the stretchy poly poplin fabric allows for maximum range of motion all while staying put. No more hurriedly tucking your shirt back in while in the middle of a lesson!
4) Minimalist Styling
When we set out to create a true "work" shirt, we knew we wanted to keep things clean and classic. That meant no loud graphics or wild patterns - we save that kind of awesome for our graphic tees anyway. But keeping things classic doesn't mean we didn't have a little fun with the details. You'll find subtle touches abound on the Alba Work Shirt, from the branded pearl buttons to the super cute tri-color logo tags on the front pocket and rear vent panel. We couldn't help getting a little playful with the interior label, though! We'll just keep that secret between the two of us, yeah?
5) Easy and Breezy
Quite possibly the most important detail of the Alba Work Shirt: it's insanely easy to care for! We're true believers that it should be a crime to make riding clothes that are hand wash only - who has the time? If it requires such delicate handling, it definitely won't be able to stand up to a full day at work or the barn. The Alba Work Shirt is so easy to take care of, even the most laundry-inept individual in your family can do it. Just turn it inside out and toss it in the washing machine with like colors on a cold cycle. Follow up with a tumble in the dryer and you're good to go! The polyester poplin fabric is wrinkle-resistant by nature, but we do recommend taking it out of the dryer as soon as you can to keep things looking extra crisp. See? Easy peasy.
And that's the low-down on the new Alba Work Shirt! A button-down that's as tough and versatile as you are. Have a photo of you gettin' stuff done in yours? Send it in or tag us on Instagram! We love to see how people make the most out of their riding gear. Interested in ordering a whole bunch for your team, barn, or business? We can handle that too! Just drop us a line through the contact form below.
The Alba Work Shirt is available in 8 different colors - check them out here!