Joy and Tracy answered a question on their podcast a few weeks ago that got me thinking. It was in response to a listener that works outside and wanted to know how to bring more style into her life. When your clothes have to be durable and utilitarian, how do you sass it up?
I could totally relate. I’m a pretty hardcore gardener and spend most of my summer and weekend days with dirt under my nails and in clothes that can do some work. But I’m also a sassy young lady. I still like to accessorize and experiment with new looks like most girls my age. So how do I bring my sense of style out to the yard with me? Here’s how.
You already know I love my Hunters and with so many fun colors, there are lots of ways to express yourself while also wearing shoes you can work in. Bogs has some pretty fun colors and patterns too. Earlier in my gardening career, I made the mistake of getting some fun looking boots that were cheap, but cute. I paid the price when a few months later I was soaked to the socks. It’s worth it to invest in some boots that can get you through a few seasons – both style and durability.
Now, this isn’t my strong point – styling my hair has never come naturally to me. But, what I have learned is that actually doing my hair before going outside to work all day makes a difference. Instead of thinking to yourself, why do my hair? I’m just going to be working in the dirt all day. Do your hair for you. I don’t care who’s going to see me or not – it feels good for me to feel a little put together. I get to see it all day and that matters. Plus, a bandana, a braid or a headband go along way.
Hands down, earrings are my favorite way to accessorize. It always has been – since my days as a fifth grader when crazy earrings like Paula Abdul records hung from my ears. To this day, my earring philosophy is the more dangly, the better. No matter what grubby clothes I’m wearing up top, my earrings always make me feel feminine.
A good pair of jeans:
For the longest time, I wouldn’t want to ruin my nice jeans by working in them outside even though I finally found a style that fit me perfectly. I’d wear the old ones I was phasing out until they pretty much disintegrated. Until, one time, I wore some jeans I like outside, got them pretty dirty in the knees and deemed them, from that point on, work jeans. What a difference it made to wear the jeans that actually fit and felt good! Why wouldn’t I wear the jeans I actually like where I spend the majority of my time doing what I love?
Of course, like Joy and Tracy mentioned, Carhartts does make some pretty rockin’ utilitarian clothes (at least for men) and it’s probably high time I bought me a pair of those.
I worry that this post might seem narcissistic and I hope you see that’s not my intention. My point is that spending so much time living outside in the yard doesn’t mean I have to give up the opportunity to express myself and my personal style. And I’m not suggesting that we abandon practicality. I’m not talking about wearing heels and working in your Sunday best. What I am suggesting is that we rethink our habits. When we go out, we often feel compelled to dress up, fix our hair, and put on make-up. We do this because we know we’ll see other people and it’s a way of presenting your outside persona to others. But why don’t you deserve the same treatment, when it’s just you and your garden? Aren’t you worth that?
*Boot image by Jenn Ireland