Apparel Riding

New Era Collection Unveiled (Aztec Diamond Review)

Written by Horse Rookie

Creative Vision & Detailing

When it comes to equestrian apparel, brands have to strike a balance between function and fashion. This is a tough challenge, and some pieces do a better job than others—even without a single brand.

That’s why I was curious to try three items from Aztec Diamond’s New Era Collection, including a base layer top, breeches, and tech headband.

Keep reading to learn more about my first experience with the brand!

About Aztec Diamond

If you’re new to Aztec Diamond, as I was, let me provide a little history. The brand was created in 2014 by Jordan McCabe, and the company targets the contemporary rider—”a person who’s lifestyle is rooted in, but not limited to equestrianism.”

A long-time equestrian herself, who knew what it felt like to struggle with such an expensive hobby, McCabe wanted to fill a gap in the market for fashionable-yet-affordable horse riding apparel.

Creating high-quality clothing that is more accessible to riders of all ages, disciplines, and budgets remains a priority to this day. The brand now features 100+ products, including traditional items like breeches and technical tops, as well as lifestyle and loungewear pieces.

Looking back now, McCabe recalls:

“The only thing I ever wanted to do was own an equestrian clothing brand, I still have folders full of drawings with outfits for me and my pony from when I was as young as 10. Although the pink and sparkle has been toned down, these designs eventually evolved into what you see and buy online today.”

At its heart, Aztec Diamond focuses on:

  • Uncompromising quality
  • Functional fabrics
  • Impeccable details
  • Affordability
  • Sustainability

The commitment to planet-friendly processes and materials is a great differentiator. I was immediately impressed by the quality and beauty of their packaging, all the more because the brand has started changing all product packaging to recycled and/or biodegradbale materials, and removing all plastic from swing tags.

Aztec Diamond also rewards UK customers for supporting sustainability by teaming up with reGAIN to offer online discount codes for recycled clothes through their partnership.

Aztec Diamond Unboxing

From the moment I lifted the first package from the shipping box, I knew I was in for a treat. I’m a marketer by trade, so I really appreciate attention to detail when it comes to branding and packaging.

This is the nicest presentation I’ve seen from any equestrian brand.

aztec box

The packaging made a great first impression

The company even included a handwritten card, another special touch that didn’t go unnoticed.

aztec card

Love the personal touch

The ribbon, tissue paper, stickers, boxes, and brand booklets were all elegantly branded.

inside packaging

Every element was intentional

My favorite part was the biodegradable bags that housed each piece of apparel. 

shipping bags

LOVE the responsible packaging bags

Trying the Collection

I was able to try a long-sleeve base layer top, pair of breeches, and a headband. Read on to learn more about each of the pieces.

Grey AD Performance Breeches

These bestselling breeches took more than three years to develop, which certainly shows up in the details. I picked up these pants and loved the feel of the fabric right away.

The only downside was that I could barely pull them up above my knees!

Though I’d spent a fair amount of time trying to convert US to UK sizing before I ordered, I was clearly way off. (We’ll get back to that.)

What’s to Love 

  • High-tech fabric is buttery soft, durable, and stitched to perfection
  • Pattern and style are beautiful, high-fashion, and classically designed
  • Two zippered pockets integrated into side seam panels
  • Wicks sweat for more comfortable rides
  • Curved side panels provide flattering freedom of movement
  • Textured “dot” fabric panels add visual interest and additional stretch
  • Silicone gripping on inside legs provides security in the saddle

Room for Improvement

  • As I alluded, sizing was the biggest issue. I’m 5’6 and 125 pounds, so I originally ordered UK size 8. The company was great about sending a new pair and even let me give away the small pair to a young rider at my barn. So kind!
  • They sent a UK size 12, and I was able to get that pair on. There are only two larger sizes available (UK 14 and 16) though. That would leave *many* equestrians unable to fit into these otherwise-lovely breeches. Bottom line: Size UP.
breeches sizing

Breeches Size Chart

  • While the fabric is said to feature four-way stretch, these breeches feel fairly restrictive. In order to have the amount of “give” and movement I prefer, I might need to order the largest size…
  • While I love the idea of the soft knitted “sock” element on the lower leg, intended to be more comfortable under riding boots, I found them to be a bit tight.

Overall, the quality of these breeches is wonderful, and I love the design and fabric. My biggest concern is that the sizing runs so small that most average and plus size riders wouldn’t be able to wear them.

Shop AD Performance Breeches

breech bottoms

Photo Source: Aztec Diamond

Navy Icon Base Layer

I wouldn’t be able to ride year-round in Montana without good base layers. As with the breeches, the technical fabric in this top is super soft, beautifully finished, and feels lovely against your skin.

What’s to Love

  • I would wear this quick-dry fabric every day if I could—it’s that comfortable.
  • 3D-created pattern moves with you and is fitted, but not restrictive.
  • This top comes in a wide range of colors (17!) so you can mix and match with a lot of breeches.
  • Laser-cut ventilation holes under the arms and mesh waist and back panels improve breathability.
  • Design is cute enough to be layered or worn alone.

Room for Improvement

  • I’d love to see a smoother cuff on the sleeves with thumb holes. When layering under other shirts, this would help the sleeves stay put. 
  • These tops run much truer to size than the breeches, and I tried a size Medium. It does fit, but I’d choose size Large for future orders. (Again, I’m 5’6 and 125 pounds.)
sizing chart

Sizing Chart

  • While I like the high neck for warmth, the jury is still out on having a zipper against my neck. I’ll likely wear a neck warmer under the top so I have a layer between the zipper and my skin.
  • As with most technical tops, this one does feel pretty chilly when you first put it on. Adding a brushed fleece interior could make it feel more snuggly for those of us riding in really cold climates.

Overall, this top is lovely, and I’m obsessed with the variety of colors. If you size up, this base layer is definitely worth the price. 

Shop Base Layer Tops

Grey Tech Headband

One fun aspect of Aztec Diamond collections are the mix-and-match accessories. The tech headbands are particularly nice for adding a touch of warmth during chilly rides, and it fits well under a helmet.

It’s stretchy, nicely detailed, and quick drying.

Shop Headbands

Parting Thoughts

When it comes to design and quality, Aztec Diamond apparel doesn’t disappoint. The fabric, detailing, and styles suit today’s equestrians very well. With some additional attention paid to US/UK sizing (and expanding the sizes offered), I would shop this brand again!

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About the author

From the tender age of six, I embarked on a journey that would weave horses into the very fabric of my existence. Over 35 years have passed since I first mounted a horse, and my love for equestrian sports is stronger than ever before.