What to wear to the farm | How About Orange

January 18, 2012

What to wear to the farm

I'm headed to the Altitude Design Summit today, so Grandma G. will have to look after the blog while I'm gone. (For those unaware, she's my mom. And a frequent commenter.) I've noticed that many bloggers are enthusiastic about their Alt wardrobes, and lots of style articles have been popping up. See examples here, here, here, and here.

Since it looks like Alt is covered, I thought it might be helpful to post some fashion suggestions for visiting Grandma G. If you plan to attend a conference at a Minnesota dairy farm, you might consider packing the following wardrobe.

1. A pair of everyday jeans. Forget skinny, low-rise, stretch and all that business. The heifers don't care. Pick something nice and comfy.

2. A coat to wear outside. Preferably something your grandma bought you at a rummage sale, so you won't need to worry if it gets dirty.

3. A flannel shirt. Preferably something your grandma bought you at a rummage sale, so you won't need to worry if it gets dirty. Or you can raid the closet in my old bedroom, where there are probably lots to choose from. That came from rummage sales.

4. (Optional) On warmer days, a promotional seed corn cap that has collected dust in the basement. A note: don't wear this ironically like the hipsters do. The cap was likely a free gift after you spent thousands of dollars on seed corn. It's functional, not a fashion statement.

5. On colder days, a knitted stocking cap. Preferably something your grandma bought you at a rummage sale, so you won't need to worry if it gets dirty.

6. Bring a pair of old glasses that you wore a few prescriptions ago. Replace your regular frames with these when you go outside into the cold, because they'll fog up like crazy when you come back in. Once inside, you can immediately switch back to your good glasses since you'll want to see clearly right away. Right, Mum?

7. Overshoes in case the yard is muddy.

8. A stylish accessory. Instead of a sequined handbag, bring a flashlight for locating things at night, including raccoons and possums.

81 comments:

Stephanie said...

LOVE IT!

Kira Rae said...

I'm a Utah native. And most us don't really dress like this! just kidding! Hope you have a good time in Utah, but I would bring a scarf or two, it's supposed to snow all weekend here!

Anonymous said...

Long underwear, tops and bottoms. Gloves AND mittens that fit over them. Bandannas - two colors, one color for wearing, different colors for the other 1001 uses!

Carolyn said...

Love! Enjoy Alt Summit ...

Shannon said...

This makes me so happy! My parents live on what we call the farm (really just a couple of acres out in the boonies with vegetable gardens and fruit trees and lots of dogs and solar panels) and every time I go for the holidays I pack a bunch of cute outfits for going out and doing holiday things. But then I get there and wear the same one comfy pair of jenans and three old turtlenecks/sweatshirts because when I'm there I'm baking or cleaning or digging frozen carrots out of the garden, or hand-dyeing fabric, or mosaicing a mural, or quilting and none of those are things that should be done in cute outfits!

Have fun at Alt! I love the blog.

Ceri said...

How refreshing. You made me snort my tea through my nose. What is it with this obsession with Alt wardrobes? Honestly. Who cares??? Thanks you for making my day.

Grandma G said...

And I bet people think you're kidding!

Mum

Ceri said...

Mum, I hope she isn't kidding! :)

Anna Kristina said...

Reading this post made me feel like I'm at Grandma and Grandpa's farm. Because it's Grandma's daily outfit, and also because I realized she could probably make a fortune selling all Grandpa's old hats to hipsters. Also, never underestimate the overshoe. We used them (purchased at the local farm supply store) instead of snow boots growing up.

Peppermint Drop said...

I moved from the city to the country a few years back and was not prepared for country life - I thought it was all gonna be like the glossy magazine take on country living... but, uh... no. Not even a little bit! You made me laugh till my cheeks hurt reading this! :-) Have a great weekend!

Jessica Jones said...

Ceri, not kidding! Mum, you should take a picture of yourself today. I can't see you, but I think I nailed it.

Cecilia said...

Oh, stunning ;)
This is awesome.

Blue said...

I love this style board! Can I just note that you could also easily wear this ensemble on a Western Kansas or Eastern Colorado farm/ranch, too? Although out here, if you spent thousands of dollars on seed, you might be lucky enough to get what I used to know as a "seed jacket" - really a Carhartt with the seed company logo instead. Conveniently the color of any of those dirty things you might rub against! (And definitely not allowed in beyond the porch.)

Jessica Jones said...

Yeah, I considered adding lots of Carhartt to the board since it's essential, but ran out of space. :)

mamasue123 said...

Oh how true! We bought my daughter a horse last year, ya, that's right city slickers who don't own the comfy, clothes to work hard in! Well let's just say my wardrobe has changed considerably, and I almost don't even notice the equine smell anymore!! Almost!! Have fun!!

BellsInSpires said...

i'd recommend bringing about 234 more layers to minnesota - it's supposed to hit -25 here in minneapolis today! ridiculous.
i wonder how cows stay warm?
anyway, have fun at the alt design summit!

Laura said...

Heh. I love this. Thanks for the refreshing change of pace.

Grandma G said...

Nailed it you did!! And I keep trying to stop laughing long enough to leave a little more "detailed" comment... but it's hard!! Your post was funny by itself, but when I checked out those other style articles, I totally cracked up at your comparison!

Okay, I'll try to pull myself together here. Ahem.

You're so right on, but I do need to make a few minor corrections:

1. Those jeans are a little too nice. The ones I have on at this very moment have holes in both knees and... um... other places. I did not buy them this way! (I never could understand buying new clothes that already look worn out!!) I did the wearing out myself. I do have unholey ones that I wear to town, but I need to finish getting my money's worth out of these before I retire them. And besides, they're very comfy this way.

2. Funny you should mention the coat (which looks very much like mine, indeed!). I actually ordered a new one last night, as mine (which was handed down to me 20 years ago or so from a younger-but-bigger boy cousin who'd outgrown it) is falling apart. Sad. I've always loved that coat.

3.Yes, I'm wearing a flannel shirt. Over my staple T-shirt. I have a good supply of T-shirts, too... lotsa colors.

4. Wrong on the cap. Mine was 'purchased' from Lands' End and bears their logo. Pa wears the freebies.

5. I also purchased my stocking cap. Before you were born. It's kinda been replaced, though... by a fleece one... and on the really cold days by a sherpa-lined aviator hat! (Oh, I look so stylish in that! But my head is warm!) Courtney wears the stocking cap occasionally, though. It still doesn't show a bit of wear. It'll last forever!

6. The glasses. Absolutely right on!! I also wear them when mowing lawn to protect my eyes (and my good glasses). They're getting a bit pitted, so they must do the job.

7. Fail. I haven't worn overshoes like that in quite a few years. In the summer it's my Muck Boots (hey, I've come up in the world!) garden shoes, and in the winter some really warm snowboots. Sorels, in fact.

8. We do have flashlights like that. But in my coat pocket resides one of those that doesn't use a battery... instead you shake it awhile to charge it up. That way I don't have to worry about dead batteries. It doesn't really give off enough light, though. And speaking of 'possums... they seem to have become extinct around here, so the cat food is being eaten mostly by cats now.

There ya have it! The truth and nothing but the truth! And now I'm REALLY wondering what you'll be wearing at the Alt Summit! I heard rumors of a Yeti outfit.

P.S. Blue... yes, we have the seed jackets, although they don't give 'em away as abundantly as they used to.

Miranda said...

Haha! Being from MN I can appreciate this list. We have been totally spoiled this year though. We have next to no snow and last weekend it was up to 43 degrees! Tomorrow is going to be the coldest day of the season, but then it's going to warm up again! The thing is that we don't care how cold it is, we still go out and do stuff or drive in snow storms.

Julie said...

So, what are you wearing to Alt? Ack--evening wear!

Raspberry said...

I used to live in MN. We'd use my dad's old army jacket to collect eggs at 5 in the morning. And coats are SO not for looks there. Heavens, you'll wear anything to keep warm...

Katie said...

Hahaha. Loved this.

Karen said...

You nailed my every day wardrobe. I'm a dog walker :)

nicole said...

i'm just going to say this. i love your grandma. can she adopt me?

piccola samurai said...

Altough I live in a Sicilian farm, things to pack are just the same! Love this post!

mrs.lmnop said...

Amazing! And that "the cat food is being mostly eaten by cats now." Love it.

Jordyn said...

This is my daily wardrobe most days. Except replace the Pioneer hat with a John Deere one.

Grandma G said...

I'm just going to say this, Nicole... I'm Jess's mom, not her grandma. Easy mistake to make, but not if you read the post. Pay attention here. ;) But I'll adopt you, anyway. Thanks for loving me. :)

marymary said...

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Awesome. Sending love to you and Grandma G.

Larissa said...

I'm so lame I've never heard of the Alt Summit. I don't think I could take that kind of wardrobe pressure, after viewing the other posts. I feel stressed out and desperate to lose ten pounds now. And I'm not even going!

Emily said...

Hilarious and true- pretty much what I should be wearing when I visit my in-laws on their farm. Have a fun time at alt!

LaNinin said...

Hai vinto un premio!
Passa dal mio blog.

Megan said...

you're funny, I grew up on a 10,000 acre farm in south dakota and grandparents both have farms in nebraska and SD as well. you'll need some taller mud boots thats for sure :) a "carhartt" jacket seems to be the necessity these days, and a pair of bib overalls or snowsuit to keep warm in the winter. My dad has a ton of those seed corn hats and every time i see one ( I live in California now ) i tear up a little. i miss the farm!

lp said...

I'm sensing a mud and muck theme in those clothing descriptions. Have you ever seen the movie (or read the book) Cold Comfort Farm? You have to have a certain sense of humor for it, but I think you'd like it. Also, there's lots of mud and muck, so it's great.

lp said...

I feel stressed out and insecure now that I've seen all those other outfits! :) I think everyone else is feeling stressed out and insecure, too, hence all the working on the outfits. Should be some good people watching!

Suzanne said...

great wardrobe guide!

Hello Olive said...

This is a great post! :-)

dawn said...

this made me smile this morning. this is my kind of style blog!

Sharon said...

Yes, you got it right! We all dress like that in Utah! Farmland everywhere. Why are there not more style boards like this floating around on the internet? There seriously should be! But really, I live right by SLC and I know several people going (I'm too cheap) and all I've heard people talk about are their clothes...this is an awesome post.

Anonymous said...

If you can't find it at a rummage sale, Farm & Fleet or Tractor Supply can set you up. I detassled for DeKalb, so I'm a little more partial to them over Pioneer. : )

Mel

sara.ann said...

I feel like I stumbled upon a Midwestern inside joke - in a good way! I am from MN, but have lived in Philly for the last 11 years getting totally SPOILED with mild rainy winters. I do have the mn weather on my phone so I can commiserate with friends/family.
-Sara

Evelyn said...

This post is so funny to me! Fashion for the farm! I live on a several hundred acre farm and never given one thought to "farm fashion" when I am out helping my husband with the cattle or working in the garden. Oh well, I guess you never know whom you'll meet. Have a wonderful time!

Cowgirl Goods said...

You might want to add a Stormy Kromer hat to that wardrobe. www.stormykromer.com Made up in the U.P. of Michigan and looks great on any farm. Even mine in Maine.

Jo @Countrylifeexperiment said...

As an Australian farmers wife, the only thing I would change is the boots (we use elastic sided boots so that you can get them off easily before coming inside), and a broad brimmed hat to prevent sunburn in summer!

Grandma G said...

Jo, I do have the broad brimmed hat, too. I was going to mention it, but I thought I was getting too long-winded as it was. ;)

Adrienne said...

Love this post.

If this were my roundup, everything would be a size or two too big, also. None of my work clothes were my size, I always borrowed the stuff from Mom or Brother. Also, I'd throw in a pair of Redwing hunting socks.

We had a seed corn hat, which was worn non-ironically cutting firewood. Ours had ear flaps! My brother thought that all hats with ear flaps were called "seed corn hats"- he didn't realize it was the patch that made it that.
Unfortunately, the patch was removed and turned into a Yoshi hat for my Halloween costume one year, otherwise it could bring big bucks today.

Adrienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LeeAnn said...

One of the first posts I ever read on your blog identified you are a farm girl and I have been following you ever since. :) Love this post. I would add a dull pen knife and two unmatched gloves, probably two lefties to your ensemble. Have fun at Alt Summit!

Sell WoW Accounts said...

where are the gloves? haha

Lisa Carol Fremont said...

This is the only fashion spread I have scene on a blog that I have ever liked. Ever. Thank you for not taking yourself so seriously and forgoing all that damn preciousness. Now if we could just convince all those same bloggers that toilet paper covers by J. Adler are nothing but tacky, stupid items and that just b.c his name is on it, it still is not cool, stylish, hip or good taste. Just little sheep those bloggers are, yup.

Meags Keogh said...

My hubby and I have just moved to our first home on 2.5 acres in rural Australia and coming from Melbourne I'm trying to work out how to pimp up my farm wardrobe so I feel glam while being practical....but judging from all the comments it appears that unless I work out how to make a flannel into a funky dress and bead up the overcoat, it appears there's no hope at all :)

kathryn sk said...

Both of my parents grew up on farms and I spent a lot of time there as a child. I love this post!

Grace said...

I love that farmers everywhere relate to this post. I'm a city girl who married a farm boy and my first summer on the farm was an eye-opener. Lots of jeans and old T-shirts and knee or thigh-high muck boots. I love and miss it! :)

Sharon said...

Aah, I should read more carefully, a Minnesota farm. You would think since this is one of the 2-3 blogs I have time to read, I'd get it right. But seriously, travel 20 min from any city in Utah and you will run into that wardrobe too.

M said...

Love this post! Particularly the non-ironic wearing of the seed corn cap. My farmer grampa wore that particular hat for years and years and years. I can't see it without thinking of him. :)

Rachael G. said...

Jess,
I almost fell out of my chair laughing. This is a great post!
Although I agree with Grandma G. Those farm jeans are too nice. Mine tend to have holes in odd places, completely frayed bottom hems, and mysterious stains from prior trips to the farm.
You also forgot the Carhartt coats, overalls, etc.
This is awesome.

Amy said...

You are awesome. Truly. I love reading your blog. Your writing almost always makes me smile and today it made me laugh, too. As a home gardener/farmer and camper, I truly appreciate this ensemble, and find the humor in it's truth! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I also was raised on a MN farm. LeeAnn, I loved your comment about the two left handed gloves. My folks bought a bunch of left handed gloves from a one handed farmer (lost his left arm in an accident). So for years we wore the left gloves, correctly on our left hand and inside out on our right hand. Jess, you did nail the outfit!

Becky said...

I know Jess isn't kidding. I'm surprised there aren't more layers listed!!!

Meredith said...

I grew up on a cattle ranch in Wyoming. The wardrobe looks about right. Don't forget wool socks and thermals and leather gloves and. . .and. . .and. . . Your post made me laugh. Thanks.

Ashley Smith said...

This post is my favorite thing EVER. Wish I could meet you in person at ALT but alas I can't go this year... and I live in Utah to boot and that is just torture. Have a good time!

Anonymous said...

HAHA!Awesome, on our ranch I wear way too much comfy spandex and lululemon yoga pants topped off with -50 rated Helly Hanson Reflective coveralls meant for oil rig workers.The heifers don't care!

Nina said...

Excellent outfit. Maybe I need to move to a farm. Certainly I must not go anywhere near Alt. But Grandma G, don't you feel your outfit is missing something? Like, ooh, I don't know, maybe a one-off handmade torch holder that clips to your belt, from a young and trendy fabric designer?

Grandma G said...

Alas, Nina... I don't wear a belt! There must be SOMETHING I need, though!

mer said...

This is AWESOME Jessica. So great meeting you at ALT.

mer

B. said...

This really made me laugh!

micah said...

haha so cute. and practical! and actually realistic! ;)
http://lendroitdestyle.blogspot.com/

tammie said...

hahaha! this is awesome! and i SO wish i had realized you were going to be at ALT! i would have totally hunted you down. (wow - that sounds so scary!) i read your blog every time you post, but somehow i must have missed you saying you were attending alt! oh, well - next year.
did you have fun?

momma2O said...

Hee hee. I laughed out loud about the jeans! My baby is smiling too. :) Thanks for a great Monday post.

SpiderMonkey said...

Don't forget the plastic grocery sacks in your boots!

Joy @ HowJoyful said...

Oh man!! I am just catching up with my reader and realized you were at ALT Summit, I would have loved to meet you =] Maybe next time!

Jessica Jones said...

You were there, too, Joy? It would have been great to meet you! We missed each other in the masses of people!

Christina said...

That's the kind of conference I want to go to ... I'm a city gal who would love to be on the farm, yuck and all

Charissa said...

"The cap was likely a free gift after you spent thousands of dollars on seed corn."

Awesome, Jessica. My husband's side is from the corn-rich state of Iowa. I enjoyed this!

Jill said...

We farm. In Nebraska. Brother in law sells Pioneer Seed. :)

Jessica Jones said...

You guys get a commendation.

Kathy McCreedy said...

I'm SO jealous!!! How was the conference?!? I had it in my calendar and receive their email updates, but couldn't possibly attend this year. I KNOW you had fun and learned a lot and without a doubt met all sorts of amazing people... PLEASE write a post and tell us all about it!!!

Jessica Jones said...

Hey Kathy,
Alt was a good and interesting experience. I was glad I went, because I came home having made some great graphic designer friends. I'm not one who gets worked into a frenzy over free stuff or fancy outfits or parties or photo opportunities or corporate sponsors or famous people, so if there was an alternative Alt where you just wear your everyday clothes and sit around with regular people who aren't out to impress anybody, I'd be happy. An alt Alt, so to speak!

{northern cottage} said...

HA!! #7 is a must & I adore that you called them 'overshoes' ahem....the end!

www.northerncottage.net

Jessica Jones said...

Well, the alternate name of sh*tkickers didn't seem appropriate for a G rated blog. ;)

Cait said...

I'm a little late...but this is totally amazing and totally true. Sadly, living on a small sheep dairy myself, these are the items I'm wearing on a daily basis too. Note to self: start buying corn from big business to acquire sweet hat.

Ditto on the Sorels too...although I'm not sure mine would be considered "hip", being the up-to-your-knee, weigh-50-lbs-, covered-in-dirt, kind of Sorels.

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