Friday, May 9, 2008

Fashion Friday: Farm Edition

I've been reading Big Mama's blog for some time now. In fact, hers was one of the first blogs I started to read with any regularity. And I have so enjoyed it.

For several months now, she has been doing Fashion Friday. And while I love the suggestions she has and the examples she scours the internet for, there are only so many "town" outfits a country girl can reasonably own before her clothes just sit lonely in the closet, longing to be worn. Many of those darling outfits just aren't practical when day to day, you encounter all manner of barbed-wire fences, long prairie grasses, dirt, and, my favorite, manure. I've had my Spray 'N Wash Stain Stick out too many times trying to get a muddy goat hoof-print off my favorite "town" pants or mud off my shirt from holding a chicken or rabbit.

And when I say mud, know that I use that term loosely. It's much easier on me to just pretend that all that's brown is mud. Realism is a crop that doesn't grow around here.

Anyway, I thought that I'd do my own Fashion Friday. A farm edition. Of course, fashion will most likely be a loosely-used term as well. But I'll do my best.

Even though the season for it is about over, let's start with outerwear, shall we?

When we first came here, I owned 2 coats. Which is actually quite a feat since we came from Arizona.

The first was a cute mid-thigh-length brown coat that I picked up at the Gap. Now, when I bought it, I thought it would be just perfect for farm work. I fantasized about when we would eventually get to the country and how I'd don my cute little coat and go out to milk the cow. Two things were wrong with this picture. First, I bought a small. That was just fine in Arizona where even in winter, layering for warmth is a foreign concept and my thickest sweater was little more than a T-shirt. Here? I can't fit myself into my coat when I've dressed warm enough for outdoors. Of course, it doesn't help that I'm also nursing now, but I digress. The other problem with that coat is that it's too cute and cost way too much to even think about putting it through the abuse the farm can dish out. So, it's a town coat. It's much happier that way, too.

My other coat was a slim black leather jacket. You can stop laughing now. Yes, I'm fully aware that a leather jacket has no place on the farm. In fact, it still has a big brown smudge of "mud" on it from a visit to my neighbors' new goats. Before I knew what was happening, I had a goat kid thrust into my arms. I pull it out every once in a while for town, but it doesn't get to see daylight very often.

Obviously, I was in need of some new farm gear.

I picked up this cute little number from Berne at the farm store in the dark brown color. It is oh, so toasty. Ugly? Well, that's beside the point. What's important is that keeps me nice and warm, even in blasted cold weather. And, I can actually fit a few layers in underneath. The hood is an added bonus when the wind is blowing at a gusty 40 mph and you are out in the field, away from the protection of the tree line. It's tough too, which is nice when you are crawling through a barbed-wire fence. What's most important is that "mud" just blends right in so I don't even have to think about it.

Now, no farmer in her right mind would be caught with out something, anything, to also cover her legs. So, I got these matching babies. With these on, I don't even feel the cold. They have a zipper that runs from hip to ankle on the side of each leg. I haven't exactly figured out what that is for yet, but I do know that it makes putting on boots handy. They have a nice loop on the leg that you can slip a hammer into, which is handy so that you don't have to lay it down and forget where you put it. Not that I would do that, of course.

Of course, there are other options. If I could stomach the pricetag, I'd love this coat from Duluth. It's much prettier. Or, this beautiful barn coat from L.L.Bean. The problem with it is that it looks more like something you'd wear if the extent of your chores was to give your mare a brushing and then go out riding while the stable boy mucks the place out. It's much to beautiful for scooping out your own horse's poop. Besides, matching it with the bib overalls would just look silly, now wouldn't it?

And now on to the questions. Which I will have to make up since there are none.

Imaginary Friend #1 asks "Why a coat and overalls? Why not just go for coveralls and skip a step?"

Good question, #1. I thought about it, I really did. But in the end, I decided that there may be a season that is too warm to don the overalls, yet too cold to forget the coat. Meaning, I'd have to have both coveralls AND a coat. It's all about simplicity, while keeping your options open. Much like the little black dress. Of course, in the end, it's your decision. You would certainly have company with the coveralls. Just take a look at the cattle auction barn. It's what all the gray-haired, overweight cattlemen are wearing. (Oh, I kid. They aren't all cattlemen.)

Imaginary Friend #2 asks "But how will anyone know I'm a woman? I mean, where's the femininity?"

Short answer is that they won't. Because there is none. Unless you tie a big pink bow around your waist, you'll look like a boy. But that's okay, #2. The chickens won't mind.

Imaginary Friend #3 asks "What about footwear? What goes well with these farm duds?"

Oh, #3, you read my mind. We'll cover that in a future edition.


Big Mama said...

That was so funny! Thanks for sending me the link.

Overalls would be pretty comfortable if I could get away with it!

TeamBettendorf said...

Good to know!!! I'll be putting those items on my list.