We know: There are days at the barn that call for your oldest jeans, most tossable T-shirt, and the really (really) nasty muck boots. Like the days that you pull mats from your stalls. But there are other days when you go to ride, and you have other things to do after your saddle time—like picking the kids up from school, having coffee with a friend, or hitting the grocery store. Those days might call for more presentable (and less stained) attire.
We’re here to help you assemble barn looks that are comfortable (and washable) while still looking put-together. Here are nine tips for better barn dressing and examples to illustrate what to look for.
Where to Start
Here are a few basic pieces to build your barn-casual wardrobe and tips for what to look for when shopping. Remember: You can find all of these pieces at a variety of price points, from high-end to discount store—and even second-hand store.
Good denim. Find a pair of jeans that fit, and buy a few pair right then—you never know when a cut will change or be discontinued. If you prefer jeans that hold their shape, look for a 98-percent cotton/2-percent spandex denim. For more stretch, look for higher spandex or polyester content.
High-quality T-shirts and tanks. Colors, patterns, and designs give interest and help cover horse snot and arena dirt. Embellishments such as embroidery, rivets, and crystals let you express your personal style.
A cap you love. Style choices today are endless for headwear—mesh-back trucker-style caps, flexfit baseball caps, and cadet caps are great for covering barn or helmet hair.
Layers you can move in. A cute hoodie isn’t any good if it’s too small to accommodate your sleeves. Try on layers in the store to ensure that you have full range of motion when wearing them.
Performance tanks, tees, and jackets. If you ride in the sun and heat, choose fabrics with moisture-wicking qualities; some even offer SPF protection. If you look around, you’ll find these items in vibrant colors for interesting layering.
Most of these items can be found in your local Western store. To shop online, visit the manufacturers’ Web sites, found below.