Monday, 20 August 2012

Reader Question: farmyard Goth

"Dear Amy, I have a request to make, I have recently started 11th grade in another school and a week from now we have this farm camp, where we are going to be staying at a farm for a week and doing farm chores. I have no idea how I am going to be able to dress sensibly since I usually dress very dramatically (I wore fairy wings and black glittery platforms for picture day if that tells you anything) my mom has bought me some old t-shirts, jeans and a pair of rubber boots and I would like to make them seem a little more gothic but still be able to milk cows, any ideas?" - Lady Rowena Saew.

Of late we've covered spooky style for the Olympics, now we're touching on Farmyard Goth? *blinks* And I thought that figuring out what to wear for work was hard...

Footwear seems the easiest place to start, so I'll take it from there. I own a pair of rubber wellies patterned with skulls and roses that I got in a charity shop, so you can indeed buy pre-printed weather-and-animal-poo friendly boots.... and they're not even expensive - check these out, for example. For something that costs a little more but is slightly more durable, you might consider visiting an army surplus store and picking up some black boots with serious 'tude, or investing in a pair of Doc Martens.

I have these.

Of course, since you already have your welly boots, you could break out some paint to Goth-ify your farming footwear.

Now, on to clothes. Personally, I find nothing more practical than skinny jeans, which of course are now available in everything from black and grey to check, tartan, stripes, star print, even, yup, bat print (dear Young Bat, why you not ship your clothing to the UK? :-(( ...). Of course, a plain pair of black jeans are the casual Goth's best friend, skinny or otherwise. (If those jeans your ma bought you aren't already black, break out the dye!) Holey or ripped jeans with patterned tights underneath are a fun way of adding extra detail to a practical style, too.

Other casual combinations could include a short skirt or pair of shorts with thick leggings (skull print, stripey, crushed velvet - I have a crushed velvet pair from Primark that seem to be able to survive anything - plain black) or opaque tights. A frayed black denim miniskirt with black leggings and black boots seems perfectly sensible to me. And yeah, you could milk a cow in it. ;-)

T-shirts! Rip 'em, paint 'em, layer them over each other (especially effective if they have holes in), splatter them with glitter paint (black glitter paint on a black T-shirt is both yummy and subtle) and add safety-pins. Red, purple, black and white are all a fairly safe bet - mix it up with stripes or hunt down the cheap skull or cross patterned styles that are *eye roll* sooooo in this season.

Obviously accessories need to be kept low-key, I'd advise no rings, bracelets or dangly necklaces but don't forget cool belts (and cooler belt buckles), hairbands, hair ties and clips, and stud earrings. Pull your hair back with a Gothabilly-esque headscarf, or whip it up into a ponytail or pigtails. If you're working I'd advise keeping make-up relatively simple, but a flick of liquid eyeliner and a swipe of tinted lip balm or a red or purple lip stain (I recommend Revlon's Just Bitten range) would finish off a hard-wearing Goth look perfectly.


Loupie said...

As someone who has someone who has spent so time working on a farm I would like to add a few things.

Firstly steel-toe caps are a very good idea. The weight of a cow or horse is not going to cause well made boots to roll and it could very well save your foot from being broken. During my time on our university's farm steel toe caps were a requirement. Everyone had to wear them.

Biggest piece of advice I can give you steer clear of anything you really value. Including jewellery. If you really can't stand to loose it it is probably best left at home.

Oh and have fun, wish I was still doing that sort of thing :)

Amy Asphodel said...

Really? I worked at a riding school for a while when I was younger and we weren't allowed steel toe caps at all. o.O Perhaps the boss was simply paranoid... either way, will edit post. Cheers Loupie XD

App'y said...

Steel toe caps are a must! I know a lot of Farmers (Male and Female) who ware Rigger Boots, they are like leather wellingtons bur safer come in Black or Brown. But what I was going to say was do not forget waterproof over-trousers like walkers ware. Come in all colours and could be sprayed painted if you wanted.

DarkAngelCase said...

I enjoyed the post, and I found it useful actually. :)

I was wondering if you could tell me where you get skinny jeans with skull or bat or cross print on them? I've seen then but I don't know where to look to get me a pair.

Nightwind said...

If I were going to spend a week on a farm, the last thing I would want to do would be to ruin my favorite clothes working with animals and the soil. I'd wear my oldest pair of blue jeans and lighter shirts when working in the sun. I'd put on footwear appropriate to the task and would forget about fashion while in that environment. Sure, I'd probably put on a black t-shirt or something in the evening, but otherwise, I'd keep my favorite things at home, where they'd be ready for wear upon my return.

Some might disagree with me about this, but I believe in being practical.

Cerah Cemetary said...

May I recommend not wearing ripped clothes? I've tried wearing them and it catches on absolutely everything, which is a total nightmare (I speak from experience - I live on a farm). And really tight clothes are pretty bad too.

Above all... it must be washable.

LadyRowenaSaew said...

Thank you so much! I'll certainly use your advice.

linnea-maria said...

So many good advices! I wish I had something more fancier when I work in the garden except my brown pants that never wears out. Those rubberboots are cool.
Steel toe caps is a very good advice, remember lots of blue toe nails when I took care of horses.

Nebel Finsternis Violet said...

I agree with Loupie on clearing everything that has a value. I mean, if black it is- even a plain black t shirt won't have such a value for you if you're planning to work on a farm.
Also, I think that you can add all patterns and customizing, but don't spear from comfort! seriously, I personally find it really hard to wear "insert the prettiest but most uncomfortable clothing item here" when I am physically working with something. maybe you should tone the dramatic look a little for that specific week, in order to happily come back to it when you'll be in class? :)

Victoriomantic said...

Wonderful advice Amy! :)

Anonymous said...

Amy thank you so much for this post! while i do not, and hope i never have to work on a farm this post was really great for my camping trip im going on... thank you!

Anonymous said...

Ditto. Besides, you'll be at a camp, where you will be on someone elses schedule/pace, and will likely not have any time to "goth" up.

Aside from fashion, be sure to bring a good SPF and a hat.

Heather said...

I work around horses daily and, actually, it is advised to NOT wear steel toe boots as the weight of a horse can still crush the steel inward and end up amputating digits. I would rather take broken toes over non-existent ones. :) Trust me, it happens.

The safest footwear to use would be plain thick leather working boots, no steel. And do always have your wits about you when standing around a horse or cow.

Also, as a self-described goth who does have a part-time job at a barn and whose family own several horses, it's become so I don't really care how "alternative" I look when working around them. Manure, slobber, hay, dirt, and grime are all pretty much guaranteed to be flung everywhere on your person. You WILL get filthy. I spare the lipstick and skirts for non-horsey activities.

I usually just wear a tee shirt -- one of my old black or purple shirts that I don't care about -- and tight-fitting pants or leggings, with appropriate boots. I tie my hair back and apply sunscreen liberally. Makeup? To work on a farm? Hahaha...not necessary, lovelies. You can always wear spooky earrings, as long as they don't dangle.

Besdies, a week or so dressed in practical clothing is not going to kill your gothic identity. Safety first, and don't be particularly attached to anything you chose to wear. :) Just some "imho" from a farmgoth!

The HouseCat said...

From a country/horsey/farm-y Goth who is currently doing conservation work rather than horsey things, but used to spend a lot of time being rather horsey indeed:

The priorities are keeping safe, warm, comfortable and practical. Remember that most outdoors and practical clothes come in black. Don't wear anything that will catch on anything else, minimise jewellery and if you absolutely must wear a necklace, keep it underneath all your tops. You will get filthy and sweaty; don't bother with makeup.

Steel toe-caps are generally designed for people working with machinery, where they are on solid ground and more likely to get run over than stomped on - I'd guess it's the flexing of the rest of the foot/shoe combined with the rigidity of the steel that causes the pinching and severing in those horse-y incidents. Steel toe-caps are better for garden-y tasks where you might accidentally spear yourself with a tool such as a fork than for working around animals.

Sturdy outdoors boots (leather) are probably best, with wellies for wet weather. Wear thick, long socks inside to help stop chaffing/rubbing and to keep your feet toasty. My preferred sock combination is regular socks, then short socks for an extra layer of insulation in winter, and then warm wooly socks. Wandering around in cold mud, cold water, and suchlike can give you awfully cold feet. Water-proof over-trousers are always useful, especially if you're in somewhere rainy like the UK.

I'd not wear a skirt at all. Combats are better than old jeans, in my opinion, because of two reasons; pockets, lots of pockets, and because they don't get as heavy. Get a comfy belt that doesn't dig in or chafe anywhere. If it's particularly cold, wear an old pair of tights (pantyhose) underneath.

Layer up in adverse weather - a vest, t-shirt, fleece, and good hard-wearing coat (Think of the real Barbour jackets, not the naff hipster clones. This is not a time for leather trench-coats! ). You can always wear an old band t-shirt!

Get some good, sturdy working gloves, and if it's particularly cold, wear fingerless gloves of the warm variety under them. You want gloves with grip, especially if you'l be using tools in wet weather.

You might want a wide-brimmed hat if it's really sunny out. I suppose you can stick a crow or raven feather in it and a couple of pin-badges without much fuss.

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