October 11, 2017

Product Review: Ariat Ladies' Gridwork 1/2 Zip Top

I've gotten a couple of new winter riding shirts lately, and I wanted to review them before it got cold so you could add them to your wishlist!  This is review 1 of 2.

A while back, I started riding in real breeches because I was finally ready to adult ride in pants with belt loops, and also because I could not say no to these colors:

Stock photo from Dover because I'm lazy.
I really should review these too...

But when your only breeches are blue and purple, you start to realize there are very few shirts out there that go with them.  Oops.  So I started hunting for a 2-3 season shirt that I could wear with both pairs, casual enough for every day but classy enough for clinics.

I immediately liked the Ariat Ladies' Gridwork 1/2 zip top at Dover, even though the stock lay-flat photo tells you literally nothing about how the thing will fit.

Stock photo from Dover

But it's $89, which is about four times as much as I've ever paid for a riding shirt, haha.  So I spent hours scouring the Internet for something I liked as much that was cheaper.  And I finally had to admit this was The One.  So I bought it, and I am SO glad I did.

This photo shows the color the truest of all the photos in this post.  The rest of the photos were taken in our kitchen with orange LED Edison bulbs.

The price may be expensive, but the cost-per-wear is going to be super low: I am going to LIVE in this shirt at least six months out of the year.  It's super warm without being stifling, as comfortable as pajamas, and I also wore it to an outdoor non-horsey party, and my husband said, "Wow, that shirt looks amazing, is that new?"  not knowing it was a riding shirt.

Comfortable riding clothes that my husband finds attractive?  Yes please!

As far as fit goes, it's flattering without being super tight.  I'm wearing an XS, and as usual, it's not really made for a petite XS with the shoulders being sliiiiiightly too wide and the sleeves sliiiiiightly too long, but it's doable.

But you know what helps with too long sleeves?

Thumbholes.  This shirt has them.

This shirt's secret weapon, though, is the "gridwork" part of the name.  It's called that because it has the same fluffy grid-like heat trapping system as my beloved Underarmour 4.0:

Took a picture of the underside because I couldn't be bothered to take it off to write this review....which should tell you how much I love this shirt.

It's not nearly as warm as my Underarmour 4.0, but it's way warmer than a shirt like this would be without the "grid".  It's not windproof, so you'll want a vest or undershirt to go with it when it gets colder.  Dover expects you to wear the below vest with it, as shown in the photo below, which I've seen in real life and was not crazy about:

Stock photo from Dover website

It works tucked or untucked, although with the world's shortest torso, I do find I have a little more material tucked into my breeches than I'd like.  Short people problems.

Shown untucked with yoga pants

Bottom line: I've got some minor short-person fit annoyances with this shirt, but that won't keep it from being tied for favorite cold-weather shirt in my closet.  I anticipate it being comfortable to wear by itself between 40-60F, and at colder temperatures with additional layering.

What: Ariat Ladies' Gridwork 1/2 Zip Top
Price: Currently $89.95, Dover Saddlery exclusive (sigh)
Sizes: XS through XL
Colors: Caponata Heather, Oatmeal Heath (Oatmeal Heather shown in this review)

Disclaimer: I bought this shirt with my own hard earned cash and was not compensated or influenced by Ariat  or Dover for this review.


  1. That top looks so cozy! Thanks for the review.

  2. Ooooh it looks really nice! But the price 😂 ughhhh I'm so cheap haha.

    1. I know. Truth be told, I spent the rest of the giftcard I used for the Equisense on this. I couldn't have parted with that much money for a shirt otherwise either!

    2. It looks fab on you though, so worth it 😁 especially since it sounds so multi purpose in terms of temp and being able to be worn to non-horsey events!

  3. I really like Ariat clothes -- they can be a bit expensive, but they fit great and wear like iron!

    1. Totally agree. I really try to think of things in terms of cost-per-wear. I'm going to wear this thousands of times over probably five years or more before it wears out, so the cost per wear is much cheaper than if I bought something not as well made that only lasted one season.

  4. Wow, that is really flattering in the chest. I'm short torso so I feel ya on the way too much to tuck problem. I can't quite stomach the price, but if it really holds up guess its worth it in the long run

    1. It really is, and I felt like with those shoulder seams it could've gone either way. They need a picture of it on a person on the website!

  5. Love this review and I feel like we have some of the same challenges (short person problems is right) and this looks amazing on you! I may have to try to pick one up for myself.

  6. Looks a lot like a Patagonia R1 to me! Patagonia's got a much higher price-point though. Nice looking garb and super functional sounding for cooler months!

    1. I'll have to check that out! I will wear second hand $20 kids irideon tights and free t-shirts to ride in all summer but I don't mind spending some money on cold weather gear that's worth it, what with my Reynauds and all. Thanks for the suggestion!

  7. So, I came across this at Grand Champion yesterday and after reading your review, bought it. I'm obsessed. I did buy the other color, because that oatmeal color kind of made me look like a washed out stalk of wheat.

    1. Nice! I wish I knew they had it, I'd much rather support a local business than Dover. Glad you liked it!