In a lesson or at a barn with a more formal atmosphere, a well-fitted tshirt or polo is the only acceptable thing, whether in a technical fabric or not. When I'm schooling at my barn, which is a super low-key boarding barn, I am often the only one riding anyway, so if it's hot I wear a tank top! But no boobs or belly showing, I'm quite small on top and always ride in a sports bra, so no risk of anything popping out.
Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique
I'm guilty of wearing a tank top in the summer when the expected temps are 110 and I'm trying to sneak in a ride at 8 AM and it's still 90 degrees out. Gotta love summers up here. At least the humidity is low to nonexistent. I do prefer Kerrits sleeveless type shirts for the sake of professionalism, but if I know it'll be a quiet day at the barn I'm wearing a tank top with 1 inch or so straps. No spaghetti straps, though.
Long-sleeved technical fabric shirt (the REI Sahara shirt is nice, though I have to buy a Girls' XL and leave the bottom snap undone, because I am short and have hips.) Technical fabrics really help because as you sweat, the fabric picks it up and somehow cools it. Occasionally a Kerrits short sleeved zip polo. Too much skin cancer in my family for any more sun exposure than that. OTOH, I am Old.
My barn does allow tank tops/spaghetti strap tops but only the teens ever wear them.
---- "You have to have experiences to gain experience."
We don't have a formal rule about tank tops, but I've heard my trainer complain about them - and, hearing about, um, things popping out! So I usually stick to polos for lessons and tees for riding on my own. If it's really hot, a light fitted tee for lessons.
May I do a bit of a spin-off here and ask about breeches? Up until a couple of years ago I only schooled in jeans and full chaps, but now wear my old show breeches and field boots...old breeches as in 10 or so years old with the standard high rise wait and feel like I look ridiculous unless Im in the saddle. My students are buying the modern low rise breeches but I am not a fan of the look, even when shirts are tucked in, especially in the saddle (out of the saddle they are a lot cuter). I always wear polos tucked in with a belt; what style breeches do you guys buy and like?
One nice thing is, while schooling at shows, you're at a HORSE show which is full of horse people! We know what you're dealing with, everyone else is just as hot! If you're schooling in a polo and you're used to tank tops, and you're sweating a little, no one's going to judge, we're all sweating too!
Based on the responses here, I'm at a very (VERY) liberal barn. In summer, it's tank tops on everybody (trainers included). No one ever wears breeches or tall boots or chaps of any sort. We don't tuck shirts in, or belt, or put our hair up.
Sometimes I wish I was at a more "professional" looking barn - then I remember how easily I overheat.
LOVE the midrise - I'm a short-torsoed gal and high rise breeches come almost to the bottom of my sports bra! but I like to tuck in my shirt most of the time when I ride (if only because I love showing off my belts ) so midrise is a nice compromise.
As far as tanks go, my BO is VERY old-school/conservative - he always makes comments when we wear spaghetti straps or really anything that shows part of the bra. Out of respect for him (slash to shut him up! ) I wear thick-strapped, higher cut tanks or sleeveless shirts when it's really hot (not often), as do most of the girls at my barn. When I'm schooling at shows though I try to stick to polos.
I'm another vote for the EIS shirts. They keep me way cooler than riding in a tank top would, especially since I burn so easily. We try to keep them in stock at the store, but they sell out so quickly.
"For by the love that guides my pen, I know great horses live again."