I have this thing about waived coats. I don’t have a problem riding without a coat. I’m down with comfort and not dying of heat stroke.
The thing is this: if I ride in a show without my coat, I need to look fly as fuck.
There are a couple of things that go in to this.
Thing the first: I’ve mentioned it before, but I do not want to be showing anyone my sports bra through my show shirt. That is a no can do. White shirt, no sports bra shadow or lines. If you’ve been in a tack store lately you’ll notice ALL KINDS of adorable, breezy show shirts around. Unfortunately, they’re mostly completely see through.
Thing the second: Good fit. I can be hard to fit because I’m in the sub-5’1″ category with boobs that can occasionally be hard to control. I’m short waisted and I have long monkey arms. My current show shirt is fine under a coat but when I’m wearing just that shirt it makes me look like Quasimodo. I do have a straight back. I want to show that off.
Thing the third: Breatheability. This goes along with Thing the first in that it’s kinda the opposite. Breatheable =/= completely opaque.
It is tapped into the current lacy equestrian trend that’s going around. It didn’t look see through. It had adorable shiny buttons. It was one sale.
I bought it.
I had to go back to my order history to figure out how much I paid for it. I thought it was like $22. I was wrong. I paid $56.88. I’m not sure what compelled me to pay so much for a show shirt, but I’m guessing it was the above (lacy, not see through, shiny buttons, on sale).
So you can imagine my disappointment when I ripped open my Riding Warehouse package only to find that the lacy pattern was in the weave of the shirt, not overlaid on the weave. It would be completely see through. I was devastated. But I tried it on and it fit really well. So I looked into a way I could wear this adorable piece of equestrian nonsense (I mean, who even wears white around horses?! That is like vomiting into the wind. No matter how hard you try you are going to get splattered.)
Ingenuity Interlude: Remember when I bemoaned the fact that sports bras in a beige/skin toned color are ridiculously expensive? See above that I have boobs that can, occasionally, be wildly unpredictable. And by “wildly unpredictable” I mean they make like squirrels in a rice sack if not appropriately tied down. Browsing Amazon I realised that there weren’t any good beige sports bras for < $35, there were lots of beige sleeping-style bras for <$10. For $5, I could layer a beige bra on top of a supportive bra and still come in at less than one of those fancy beige sports bras! I ordered one of those too. TL;DR: IT WORKS. You just layer a cheapo bra over your supportive bra and BLAM: no more sportsbra shadow. You’re welcome.
Back to the Odette Show Shirt. I wore it today for my lesson so that I could check with B that my bra wasn’t showing and the shirt fit well enough to be a waived-coats shirt. I also took a torselfie in the bright morning sun to make sure that the sports bra solution was working to my standards.
What I learned is that trying to take selfies makes me pose like Cameron from Modern Family, and that white balance for a SUPER NEW white shirt makes me look tan as fuck. I am not that tan. Also, you can’t see my bra!
I was pleasantly surprised when riding around in this shirt. The lacy fabric means that it has inbuilt air conditioning/sun shirt cooling capabilities. I’m not sure it would block ALL the UVs, so you would run the risk of getting a really sweet tan pattern if you rode in this shirt all day, but I repeat my point from above: who wears white around horses habitually anyway?! The shirt also fits well to my body and didn’t come untucked or billow while I was riding.
TL;DR #2: I approve of this show shirt. While I wouldn’t normally condone paying >$50 for a shirt, I’m okay with it for something this classy and wearable. If I amortize its cost over 10 shows, that’s only like $5/use. For something I really love, I’ll take it.
Features: magnetic collar, floral lace fabric weave, built-in air conditioning/show shirt abilities, shiny buttons.
Magical powers granted: fabulous posture.
(If you’re wondering why all the crazy colours, I’ve been working on the NorCal OTTB website for like three straight days and my brain is melting and so I went a little kookoo.)