By Hannah Dorrel, Community Fellow
In the midst of the winter season, we farmers tend to busy ourselves with garden planning, seed ordering, infrastructure projects out the wazoo, animal wrangling, navigating snow and ice, and daydreaming about the coming spring. Yet how often during the winter doldrums do we forget about the most important aspect of farming -- fashion!
That’s right, it’s Fashion Week here at AMI and I have compiled a lookbook that even Vogue would be jealous of... well, maybe not jealous, but you get the point. This week reminds us that just because you are a Fellow working to transform the food system, you can still bring couture to the carrot patch. In this lookbook, you will find the hottest fashion trends currently gracing AMI’s fields. Inspired by the words of Meryl Streep’s iconic character Miranda Priestly, “Flannels for winter? Groundbreaking.” Get it? Groundbreaking?
At AMI, the farm often influences fashion just as much as fashion influences the farm. This winter season, we see the chickens leading the trends through big, puffy coats. Hardly a winter original, but the chickens have updated this styling trend through their bright, colorful feathers and an oversized cut.
Community Fellows at the mountain farm have taken cues from the chickens to make the oversized coat their own. Here, Jamie reminds us that just because winter tends to be more monotone, your clothes don’t have to be. Jamie styles a classic black tee with comfy denim jeans and a playful, navy beanie. Khaki-colored hiking boots are her shoe of choice, providing comfort and warmth for snowy weather. To complete her ensemble, a brilliant, felted red hooded coat catches the eye, a perfect piece for going to town, taking a meditative walk, or watching an enthralling documentary.
Hannah has taken the oversized coat trend to the comfort level. When you don’t feel like dressing up with too much effort, style some comfy grey sweats from the house of Dollar General and a muted sweater with a very oversized, cheerful quilt coat. A snuggie for grown-ups, you will feel like you are lounging in bed all day while getting some serious work done.
Another hot trend coming out from the farm is textured bangs. This edgy style is most favored by our cows, the risk-takers of Bear Mountain Fashion, making a bold statement that textured-bangs can be a flattering, unisex look.
Community Fellow Sarah has recently followed in the hoofprints of the cows by rocking her own curly bangs from an at-home haircut by one of our Community Fellows, proving that you don’t need lots of money or fancy equipment to style an individual look.
Accessories can take any outfit to the next level. AMI’s favorite accessory this season is the backpack sprayer. This ultra-versatile backpack can water seedlings, spray fish emulsion, and can even hold up to four gallons of chocolate milk... although we don’t recommend it. Styled with some black denim overalls, calf-length muck boots, an emerald long sleeve, and a cozy hoodie, this backpack sprayer takes the look from hardworking farmer to futuristic jetpack explorer.
Trends in fashion always seem to come back, albeit updated, but we love to see old classics reimagined. In the industry as a whole, the ’90s and early 2000s have made a resurgence in the world's biggest fashion houses. Today, we are proud to announce that AMI is ahead of the fashion trends, as we have seen functional, alternative 2000’s band looks come back into play. Just because Muse, Nickelback, and Lifehouse aren’t topping the charts at present, doesn’t mean that you can’t dress like your favorite lead singer. So pull out your favorite men's henley, rock that slouch beanie, and strap on that cuffed bracelet as you wheel hoe beds in the dead of winter.
Often our use of fashion helps us stand out from the crowd, but sometimes blending in can make just as big of an impact. Styling your outfit with browns, blacks, and olive greens helps ground you to your farmwork, allowing you to stand out in your profession while blending in with your seedlings.
If quarantine has taught us anything, it is that everyone needs that one feel-good, comfy outfit to help you feel your snuggliest on the weekends when it's cold and dreary outside. Throw on your favorite pair of sweatpants - you can roll up the cuffs if you are feeling adventurous. Toss on a warm sweater, your favorite fuzzy socks, and a well-worn pair of slippers and you are ready for a day of no stress. For a more fashion-forward look, wear a sweater in a similar shade as your sweatpants. This adds interest through a “perfectly-imperfect” combination.
It would not be a farm fashion lookbook without the mention of flannel somewhere. Flannel may be simplistic, but in its simplicity, it shines. There is a reason the combination of flannel and farming is so iconic. With the vast range of colors, patterns, textures, and cuts you are sure to find a flannel that matches your farming personality perfectly. Be prepared to look fierce in your fabulously functional flannel!
Finally, as the harsh reality of winter sets in, sometimes warmth takes precedence over intentional style, yet to create a textured, eye-catching look that is very striking, follow in the footsteps of Community Fellow Sarah, who combines prints with a COVID-friendly face covering and the requisite beanie. An air of mystery is drawn out through a pair of mirrored sunglasses, to block out the sun... and keep secrets.
As we have seen, farm fashion is an expression of functionality and personality. Farming is not always fashionable, but fashion is always fashionable. When you are experiencing something missing in choosing your farm-based outfit just remember the golden rule of AMI farm fashion- when in doubt, throw on a beanie! You’ll automatically rise in farmer points if you put on this versatile, chic, and warm hat that flatters all people.
Winter may not last forever, but fashionable farm photos do. AMI is not only a hub for Fellowships, farming, and food justice, but also for this season's hottest looks. Take a cue from this look book to add some farm fashion flair to your wardrobe today
*Warning! Modeling is not easy as it appears, please proceed with caution.