Farming Base (farmingbase.com) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to them.
In order for you to understand, I must first take you back in time to the origins of the check shirts. They are commonly known as plaid shirts and are mostly flannel. Plaid and flannel are actually two distinct words, plaid meaning the pattern on the shirt while flannel means the shirt’s material.
The plaid pattern finds its origin in Scotland while flannel is a Welsh fabric.
Farmers started wearing these flannel check shirts back in the 17th century. The tartan pattern on the shirts is part of Scotland’s tradition. Given that the two were commonly associated together, flannel shirts were being manufactured with this check pattern. It gives the shirts a casual but smart look for the farmers apart from keeping them warm.
In these modern times, however, flannel shirts have become really popular everywhere in the world thanks to one Hamilton Carhartt. If you don’t have one in your closet, I’m sure you had it at one point in your life.
Before the fame, however, they were farmers and lumberjacks’ stereotype.
Why do farmers wear plaid shirts?
Growing up, I’m sure you have watched one or two superman movies. He was considered the ultimate farm boy and at one point, people called him the red-blue blur. This was because he was always in a red or blue plaid flannel shirt whenever you saw him.
His home town was characterized by never-ending cornfields and very diverse weather conditions. Even being the man of steel, he needed the flannel plaid shirts to seem like he was protecting himself from those weather conditions.
Farmers prefer these shirts because they help keep them warm.
You can also unbutton the shirt as a farmer if it gets too warm. This explains why they prefer them to t-shirts and other clothes in general.
Farmers also have very busy schedules and the flannel shirt is the best go-to when you have to work and later run to a meeting in town. Though informal, they are very smart for such occasions.
Plaid flannel shirts are also designed for hard dirty work as they are very easy to wash.
Flannel shirts are what are very common with farmers. And given their history comes from Wales and Scotland, it’s pretty easy to see why they stuck with the tartan pattern as it’s part of the two countries’ tradition.
What other clothes do farmers wear?
Farmers have a variety of clothes to choose from apart from the flannel plaid shirts. The time of the year also dictates to some extent what you will wear depending on what season it is.
The key to a farmer’s wardrobe though is that you have to be ready for whatever kind of work will come along all day long. Equipment might break and need fixing or you might be required to birth one of your animals and most of your clothes get ruined doing these errands.
A farmer’s clothes are therefore relatively low budget due to the nature of the work.
A long pair of pants, preferably jeans is a must for a farmer. This is because they help keep your legs from harm’s way. They help protect you from getting scratched by straw or hay bales and crops that are growing on the farm as you walk through monitoring. And let’s not forget sunburns as well as you might find yourself out in the sun for a long time. Jeans are also very durable and built for this kind of work.
Hand gloves are also a must for a farmer. This is because you need to get down and dirty almost every other day as a farmer. Apart from helping with the dirty work, they also protect your hands and skin from any harm.
Farmers also have a wide variety of headgears and neck gaiters. They are made from different materials to help protect them during different seasons. During summer, a wide well-ventilated hat and light gaiter help to protect your face and neck from UV rays and biting insects. Winter comes with different demands as you have to switch to heavier material to help keep your skin warm and as dry as possible.
Though not the most attractive form of wear, overalls are essential for any farmer. They are very easy to wear and remove and come with a lot of pockets to help you carry around all the tools you require. They also help protect your legs and torso as you move around your farm. They may not be very fashionable but I am sure they are the most comfortable clothing option every farmer wants.
The type of shoe you wear is also dependent on the season. What’s certain is all the shoe varieties must be very durable. The quality must be good to help keep your feet warm during the winter and dry and comfortable during summer.
Accidents happen all the time and the best you can do is protect yourself. You might drop heavy equipment on your feet or get stepped on by your cow. Good boots that have steel toes protect your feet from sudden injuries like these.
A good pair of rubber boots come in handy when working in the garden. They are easy to wear and remove after completing your work. They are also very easy to clean since gardening tends to get very muddy.
Farm clothes are generational
So many things about farming are generational. Most of the clothes and equipment you use are usually hand-me-downs. Even the seeds you plant. That is why it has been very easy for flannel plaid shirts to stay in farmers’ wardrobes from generation to generation.
Farmers get a lot of clothes from when they invest in new farm supplies. Most of the farming companies throw in a little something, mostly in the form of clothes to show appreciation to the farmers. It also helps the farmers in cutting costs so much as they don’t have to keep spending on new clothing.