Country living, especially for homesteading, requires certain fashion essentials. Country women just need different wardrobe basics than suburban/city women. Our clothing must be durable and comfortable without sacrificing our feminine and stylish senses.
If you put something on, make sure it has pockets because you will need them. You can even enjoy your dresses out on your property because more are now being made with pockets due to customer demand. Finding blouses with pockets is almost non existent, so my fashion secret is buying short dresses with pockets and wearing them as my long blouse! Sometimes I hem them if they’re just a bit too long to be a blouse length. I even started only buying leggings that have side pockets to use for my cell phone because it can’t fall out easily. This is also a helpful feature on outerwear. Many jackets do not have them, or they are too small to be useful. It doesn’t always determine whether I will purchase the jacket but it is a feature I aim to get. Even better when there are closures like zippers or snaps to secure your items. And that inside pocket on a jacket is a thrill.
Real boots, not cheap fashion boots, are made for rough terrain, traction, weather, foot and ankle protection. Sneakers and other fashion footwear do not work on rural property. Once you start living out on land, you will realize how most footwear is designed for paved or level manicured terrain and popular footwear of all styles are completely useless to you on land or in a barn. Sneakers do not keep rocks from jabbing up into your sole. Sandals can be good in your immediate yard but that’s about it. Heels are absolutely absurd. Most shoes do not protect your feet from mud, debris, rocks, and do not have the stability or traction necessary for country life. If you just moved to the country, boots are your new best friend. Do not cheap out on your boots, buy high quality genuine animal hide for a better quality of life. You will also need a quality pair of waterproof boots which can either be in a ranch working boot style or a rainboot style. You may also need to have a pair of snow boots depending on your climate.
Durable fabric for leggings or jeans is key. Nothing too thin and flimsy that can rip easily because there is equipment, fences and animals that can tear fabric. Fabric durability also protects you from abrasions. Stretch factor is important for comfort in any kind of pant. Some country women prefer very thick durable denim that has less stretch but I prefer softer denim just not extremely thin denim. A bonus item to invest in is a pair of waterproof rain pants. The Norweigans have a saying “There is no such thing as bad weather just bad clothes.”
A good feminine shaped blouse or sweater goes a long way. We can’t have much jewelry swinging around and we don’t carry handbags as a part of our look. Our basic clothing items are our style items. Just the right cut makes a country woman look amazing. You have to find the cuts that always flatter you and just stick to them. Have a formula for what works. I prefer items that have a feminine shape rather than boxy baggy things with no definition. For cold weather I add in sweaters that are insulating and shapely in the same way as a blouse. I keep to that hourglass silhouette even in sweaters to look put together not frumpy. Your day wear can be comfortable like lounge wear but shapely.
Hats with brims
The brimmed hat is the boot for the head. It protects you from snow, rain, and sun and allows you to traverse the outdoors with more ease. A classic cowgirl hat comes in many shapes. Also baseball style hats with a bill over just the face are very good to have and you can find cute designs. In the spring and summer, we can enjoy our “garden” style hats that are made of woven or more delicate materials but still just as practical. These feminine woven hats look beautiful when out picking fruit in the orchard, or working in the garden, or having tea outdoors.
Gardening gloves can be found in all different adorable floral prints and pretty colors. You would also do well to invest in a pair of work gloves that are more durable. You can find these in various pretty colors not just black or brown.
You will need different weight of coats for different seasons as well as waterproof outerwear. A flattering style for any outerwear is the belted coat. It follows your natural silhouette without erasing your feminine shape even if it’s a thick bulky coat. You can find this style in lighter weight jackets, rain coats, and heavy winter coats.
I wear everything from leggings, to jeans, to skirts and dresses out in the country but they must meet this criteria. These are your basic homestead fashion essentials to get you started. But even these items can display your feminine sensibilities. Check back for more fashion for the farm, homestead, and country living.