Thursday, March 28, 2013

Prada to Carhart

Several years ago on my journey to find a farm I'd set my eyes on a place in the hills of North Carolina.  Actually, I should say, valleys of North Carolina. Vale Crucis to be exact.  A picturesque 20 acre farm situated on a hillside.  It had been an alpaca farm.  The owners built a specific structure with living space above and alpaca quarters below.  Warm summer days plus piles of alpaca poop adds up to ripe aromas, right?  Didn't they know that architectural design went back centuries and had been dispensed with because the residents of those living areas couldn't survive mother earths perfumes?  Yep, they knew it.
They had plenty of money when they built the place to incorporate elaborate fans and exhaust plans so that they would only be consumed with alpaca cuteness...nothing else.  It was a glorious place.  At the time I really had my sites set on it.  Am I glad today it didn't work out? You betcha.  A switch to farming was a shock to my financial reality as it was without saddling myself with more debt and less land to farm.
Not just any working clothes...the FLARE is there!
The reason I'm sharing this with you is at the time this was all going down a friend of mine said, "oh, your going to farm where the farmers wear lace".  Mind you, I'd never farmed before.  I spent my first adult life very conscious of fashion.  I loved clothes and all the adornments.  For some reason at that moment I defended the honor of all female farmers before me and those yet to find their way. My head spun toward him and I said, "...and why not?"  Why just because we farm would folks assume "lace" was not normal?  Maybe it was a path I would soon discover.  Maybe it was a bra about to be burned?
Now, several years later as I speak from the tractor seat I have a much better understanding of the roots of such perceptions.  No, lace isn't a farm worthy fabric this is true.  There are certain realities in farming that become the "fabric" of your day.  Utility takes precedent over frills.  You wear things that are tear resistant, wash hardy (they get washed ALOT), weather protective and last but not least you look for quality in what you wear more then ever before...your clothes have to stand up to hard wear and tear.  Your adornments are chosen by need not complimentary color or bling.  Your gloves are where you can most easily access them, your cell phone is where it won't fall out as your bending over or hurling bales of hay and your boot socks are usually chosen by what's not currently covered in mud!
So, again back to why I'm writing this female (and male) farming friends have found their own individual way to express their fashionable side. Our designers are different and we probably pick up our farm seed at the same place we choose some of our clothing. It doesn't matter, I want you to know the farmer fashionista does exist.  We just have our own standards to go by.  As I've said before, don't ever underestimate what's under those Carharts!

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