“A day in the country is worth a month in town”Christina Rossetti

Monday, March 30, 2009

Winter Farm Fashion

Yesterday it rained a cold rain, and then it got windy and colder, till the sleet showed up late last night. Then this morning - ARGH!- the snow was back. So I got my wardrobe bulked up again and put on my specially crafted hat and stomped to the barn looking like a hobo - as usual!

After a winter's worth of experience, I though I'd share some knowledge, and take notes for myself for next winter.
These are my favorite work pants. They are sort of wannabe Carharts, but they are Dickies, are tough, and they fit me perfectly. Actually, I think I look darn good in 'em!! I sort of get tired of jeans sometimes, so I was really glad when I picked these up. Decently warm, and I can fit my silk long underwear under them for those sub-zero days. Very important.

A lot of the other days I wear my old running tights or sweats. The tights look thin, but they are really very warm, AND they are easy to step into the boots with. Also important.

Easier to wash too. You got it - important.
This is one of three outfits from yesterday that were drying on door knobs.
I was going to call this Farm Gal Fashion, but then I realized, there is no real difference in the Gals and Guys when it comes to dressing to go out or to the barn, especially in the colder weather.

This is the "Hat and Hoodie" layering style. A cap can be substituted.
What it does require is layering, to stay warm, but not sweat, and also the ability to move. It is a science. The first thing required is the temperature check to know how many and how thick the layers. Then you calculate frozen or mud for the socks and shoes. When in doubt - boots.
The other two dripping sets of clothes soaked from the rain.
My uniform three quarters of the year is this blue vest. Its got huge pockets that hold dog treats, corn, medicine, seeds, the dog's shocker, eggs, and a Kleenex in season.
Then comes a hat of some sort, depending on temperature and wind conditions, or my trusty 30-year-old "Ear Muffins" from my sister-in-law Becky. Yep - still have 'em Becky. I'm not a hat person in "real life", but I am in the barn. The blue and white hat is a specialty item knitted by my mom. I itch from wool, but it is the warmest in winter and still breathes. So finally I asked my mom to knit me a hat with a wool top, but cotton around my ears and face. Eureka!! Warm and no itchy forehead.
Work gloves have to be loose enough to let your fingers move in the freezing weather or you will be walking around with your hands in your pockets. No pockets?? Arm pits. Either way, kind of hard to work like that. You're done.
Earlier this February on a forty-ish day I'd guess - gloves are off.
Critical are shoes or boots that can deal with mud, cold and poop. If your feet get wet or cold, the rest doesn't matter. Additionally, shoes that don't need to be touched to put them on are a big plus in my book, and yet they must not be loose and rub you to blisters. You really get to recognize the perfect boot, and when you find it, you don't care what color it is, especially if you can get a good deal on them. For example, those purple boots. According to our township supervisor Tim, they are pink. He does like to make fun of "those pink boots". I'll let you decide. Purple - right?
It is going to take a lot for me to ever throw those out. I bought them the last week-end in March on a clearance sale at Bob's in Simsbury, CT lots of years ago. They are felt lined, but all I wanted was something waterproof to deal with the spring mud in the back "duck pond". Little did I know how warm they were going to be, especially that very next week on April Fools Day when we had a state-closing blizzard. Those purple boots were the smartest move then.
This is NOT a barn hat. This is my Saturday go to meeting, game or auction hat.
I'd be dressed up if I'm wearing this.
So if you see me in town and I'm in old jeans, a turtleneck and fleece vest, know that I dressed UP for you !


Diane Cipa said...

OK, here's a boot story for you. I bought a little farmette and built a barn for horses and bought some "farm" boots, the winter style step in high top ducks, if you know what I mean. They were terrific in the mud but I had no idea that they weren't so good on the ice. My barn was across the road and so on the first big ice morning, I started across the road to feed the horses. Much to my surprise there was no way to walk over that road so I literally got down and crawled over it and I crawled back, too! I hope the neighbors got a chuckle.

PS I always called my farm attire, Chechen-wear. Sometimes it was my robe with hat, boots, and coat on top. ;)

Deere Driver said...

Ah Yes! I forgot about treads, especially when the fields are frozen solid for about two months, and ours are on an angle. That's why the purple boots are in limited use. They are just about worn smooth.

Yep - got to have chunky treads.

Chechen-wear? Peasant wear? But its what takes me so long to get out of the house to Mellow Mike when I've come from the barn. The clothing turnover takes forever! Can't wait till the clear June weather.