I saw a super cute purple blazer at LOFT this week. I wanted to buy it. But then I thought about where I would wear such a garment. And I couldn't think of ANYWHERE. And then I thought about all of the things that are supposed to be wardrobe staples. You know, those things that every magazine makes into lists of the must haves that every woman should own. So let's take a look at some of the top 5 items.
1. The button down white shirt
The white button down is supposed to go with everything. Put it under a sweater, under a jacket, over a t-shirt, with a statement necklace, with a skirt, jeans, dress pants...you get the idea. And I can visualize the item in all of the aforementioned configurations. The sad truth is this: I don't own one. At any given time I have 50 chickens, 25 turkeys, 3 dogs, one cat, and a partridge in a pear tree. These creatures produce copious amounts of waste, fur, feathers, and general messes. I don't own a white anything. Instead I give you the farmer girl alternative. The flannel shirt. I feel that flannels do the same job while working harder than a white shirt. The pattern hides anything you spill on it and I think it goes fine with all the same options that work with a starched white version. I own half a dozen of these.
2. The classic trench
Where would I go in a trench coat? Trench coats are for ladies who lunch, those with corporate jobs, and prostitutes. I am none of the above. In lieu of a trench, try a barn jacket. I like the versions by Carhartt and Real Work Wear. These jackets tend to be lined canvas with a hood. Show me a trench coat with a hood. Best part? They're unisex!
3. Black heels
Heels have no place on a farm. Literally. Unless you're aerating the field heels serve no purpose. I'm sure they look nice with trousers and skirts but you can't drive a tractor while wearing them. Why not try a pair of Wellies? Hunter makes the ultimate pair. Don't by cheapo ones at Target. They will inevitably spring a leak after one week of hard wear. Hunters are solid rubber so they never leak or crack and they come in every color. I have 3 pairs and they go with everything. Pull them on over jeans, skirts, or pajama pants. I do that last one for morning chores.
4. Fitted trouser
This makes me think of the bottom half of a suit. And the only suit I'm wearing is swim. So if you have no use for trousers i think you should invest in a pair of canvas overalls. They are kind of like the suit bottom to the barn jacket. These pants are literally indestructible. They will survive butchering day, barn clean out, and rooster attacks. Those talons are no match for the thick fabric. Don't forget that there's a lined version. They are the equivalent of snow pants and keep you super warm while schlepping water to poultry in 2 feet of snow. And lest you think these sound unfeminine... I have a pink pair.
5. A statement bag
I think stylists are imagining a famous name stamped all over what is essentially a very fancy grocery bag. Purses do the same functional job as a paper bag...carry your junk around. Designers have figured this out and convinced us all to pay loads of moola for what grocery stores give away for free with every purchase. May I suggest an alternative...the humble pocket. The pocket is an oft forgotten part of your ensemble. Yet they also come free with every purchase. 5 come standard on a pair of jeans. 2 in most coats. And, if you wear a flannel, that's 2 more. You're looking at 9 free storage spaces. That's plenty of room for most of the essentials. For most girls this includes makeup, wallet, 85 pairs of sunglasses, and breath mints. No, you won't find a tampon in there. We never have them when we need them. Even though we need them every 30 days. But I digress. A farm girl needs a different supply of items on hand during the day. My pockets are filled with the following: a) a fence tester. The farm has electric fencing all over and it has to be tested every time we enter and exit. b) rubber bands. These are used to bundle produce for the market. c) s-hooks. You have no idea the myriad uses for s-hooks. And d) chicken feed. If birds jump the fence the only way to entice them back is with feed. Dogs also see chicken feed as a treat. Bonus!
The best part of a farm girl's must haves is that they are all available at your local Tractor Supply. It's like a departments store for farm things. You can buy all of your clothes, feed for your animals, AND implements for your tractor! I'm not joking. This is a real place. www.tractorsupply.com