When people think about what a North American farmer ought to look like the immediate picture that comes to mind is a Midwestern sort of fellow in workboots, bib overalls, a flannel plaid shirt or plain work shirt and a hat of some sort. This clothing caricature isn't completely unreasonable either, especially not in my case. If you're here for a visit and decide to snoop in my closet enroute to or from the bathroom you'll find multiples of everything I mentioned earlier. I like flannel plaid shirts or heavy blue Dickies work shirts on winter days. I own several pairs of bib overalls and bib coveralls and when the weather is cold and wet I wear them a lot. I wear work boots at every season of the year.
Easily the most iconic item in a typical North American farmer's wardrobe is his collection of seed corn/fertilizer/farm equipment hats. Every farmer I know has closets full of these freebie hats, although lately companies seem to be getting stingier about who gets them and how many they are allowed to hand out.
The day I left for college I had three hats with me in the truck. The one on my head sported multi-national Pioneer's seed corn logo, another was from regional Hyland Seeds and the third one was from our local grain elevator, W.G. Thompson and Sons. I'll admit none of these hats provided much of a fashion statement but that was never really the point. One of the girls I was kind of seeing at the time suggested I update my image by going to the local department store and purchasing (and wearing) a hat without an agricultural logo across the front. I went along with her until I realized she wanted me to pay sixteen bucks for a hat with a check mark on it. I told her that if I ever traded in my work boots for running shoes and Nike wanted to throw in a "free" hat to seal the deal I'd probably wear it but damn if I was gonna pay money directly out of my pocket to walk around advertising their product for them. Well, honestly. We broke up about a week later.
In the summer there is nothing lighter or more comfortable for keeping the worst of the sun off your head than a wide brimmed open weave straw hat and I wear one most days when it's hot out. I put it on in the morning and except to wipe my brow it stays on my head until I'm done that night.
As far as fashion goes I've been so out of touch for so long that I fear there is little hope for me at this point. That's okay. I feel about fashionistas just about exactly how they feel about me. The only one who possibly suffers from this is Melissa. At least she doesn't make me wear a sign that says "I'm not with her" when we go to town.
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