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When I first started working on a farm, I had no idea what to wear. “It’s just like working out,” I thought to myself, so I wore leggings and tennis shoes and running shirts. Major faux pas. The leggings were thin, they ripped easily, and didn’t stand up to dirt. The shoes had no ankle support and didn’t fare well in mud. And the running shirts were hot — but of course, everything was hot in summer. Even my shins were sweating, the only other time that happened was at Bikram Yoga.

I had to change it up if I was going to last.


The best advice I can give for working outdoors is to layer up. On the farm, days start at sun up and finish around sundown, and there are a whole range of temperatures to account for in between. Layering allows you to quickly adjust as needed.

Good Shoes

If you’re going to spend money on anything, it should definitely be on a good pair of shoes. You deserve it. And to be honest, if your feet are hurting you after a few hours of work, it’s going to be a long and miserable season. I also advocate for ankle support. It gets muddy and bumpy and ankles are fragile. A good steel toe boot also comes in handy — especially when changing tractor implements.


Regardless of whether I’m wearing jeans or overalls or leggings, I need to have double-lined knees and real pockets. I carry harvest knives, clippers, rubber bands, cookies etc., and I simply don’t have time for fake or flimsy pockets.


I like my shirts a little big, sometimes I even steal Matt’s old shirts. I like them because they go up to my collar bone and don’t cling. On the hottest days, I usually wear a light-weight button-up shirt over the shirt because farmer’s tans are as cute as they sound (not cute).


I go back and forth between wide-brim hats and baseball caps, depending on the task and the amount of sun I want to get. Bandanas are also good to have on hand, either for use as a makeshift dust mask, or to dip in cool water and place on the back of your neck for a quick cool-down on a hot day.


What I really needed was a jacket that would keep me warm on early market mornings, move with me when I’m weeding, planting, and harvesting, and not tear when I’m working with sharp edges — and then sometimes double as a changing pad on the farm, because real life is glamorous. Well, I found two that fit the bill and then some, and sometimes I wear both (Once again, it’s all about the layers).

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