From the Latin albus (= white); albeo (= to be white, clear, shining), the Alb is the white robe with reference to baptism (in which every Christian receives the white garment), resurrection and the chosen ones (Revelation 7:14-15) who "have washed their robes white again in the blood of the Lamb". It is the tunic that is worn over the common dress; it derives from the garment that was commonly worn by the citizens of the Roman Empire. In ancient times it was made of linen, then also in wool and later in cotton. It can be of any light fabric, as long as it is white.
As the GIRM (no. 336) suggests, the Alb is "the sacred garment common to ordained and instituted ministers of any rank" (OGMR 336). It should be worn over and after the amice and tied at the waist with a cincture. Amice and cincture may be omitted if the Alb covers the neck and adhere to the hips. Modern Albs are with a collar fitted to the neck and have zippers on the front or shoulder.
There are also other types of Albs that recall monastic robes, with wide sleeves and hoods.
It can also be enriched with hand made embroidery (i.e. with “gigliuccio”) in the hem or in the sleeves.