May 23, 2022
2-Lane Roads, Top Down
After the main crops are planted, a lot of farms open to the public on weekends for visits, tours, and even a bit of shopping!
Our heroine is a particular fan of old barn architecture, of driving in the country, and of buying fresh produce!
And she takes this as a chance to dress nicely – she already knows that she’s going to need a scarf in her hair, so wearing a dress isn’t overdoing it. It’s not like SHE’S the farmer, right?
I like to think that all of these heroines have a pair of driving shoes in their car (these come in about 20 colors!) – they kick them off when they park, and slip on their sandals… Better for driving, better for their sandals, and safer too!
Yes, people who WORK on farms don’t wear white dresses to work, but she’s a visitor; she wants to look summery and pretty! It’s just respectful to those who are hosting her…
if you find an accessory somewhere in a color that you love, keep looking at that same place! The earrings, necklace, and perfect espadrilles all come from Talbots.
Barns – they’re all the same, and they’re ALL different. Just like people…
A simple dress can serve as a good base for larger jewelry; the labradorite jewelry dresses up the dress, and the dress gives a good, simple balance to the lovely jewelry and scarves…
If the weather isn’t madly warm, sleeves that can be rolled up and down can make sense…
Imagine the hours of work that were done in this barn – the milkings, the delivery of calves, the stacking of hay…
Nothing more versatile than a simple denim dress!
If you look good in this color, go whole hog!
There’s a reason that our heroine carries a big tote bag – so MANY farms (and people with smaller gardens!) have farm stands where you can buy the very BEST fresh produce…
p.s. Nine years ago, I shared with everyone my secret for working out on a treadmill…
Beth T says
I used to wear driving shoes (navy moccasins) until the 1990’s when I began to wear trousers and flat shoes more.
Perhaps farms in the US are cleaned for visitors. In the UK, uneven ground, mud and dung will abound – ridge soled boots or wellies are more practical, even if you wear a dress instead of jeans. I would wear these outfits to a farmer’s market in a town centre.
Same thoughts here, Beth t!! Even for a visit, would wear jeans with sneakers. The outfits are lovely, but would leave them for eating out or going to church. Even for work on a casual Friday or when returning in September from the summer break.
Sally in St Paul says
The open toed sandals and platform wedges kind of scared me to even look at in the context of a working farm (even as a visitor). These outfits are lovely but would make me nervous to see as the host, waiting for the heroine to twist an ankle on uneven ground and fall straight into a dung pile, ruining her shoes, dress, and expensive scarf. I guess there are farms and there are farms, but the ones I’ve been to in the US Midwest and South, you need to be prepared for high grasses/plants, bugs, and muck…which in my view means protecting your lower half with jeans and boots with a good tread. But I agree that for a farmer’s market these outfits would work quite well.
Sally in St Paul says
As to dresses on the farm, I should be fair…my family on my dad’s side includes a LOT of farmers, and certainly the older generation of women would wear dresses at least sometimes depending on the tasks of the day. But I’d still err on the safe side and wear denim jeans (or overalls if you’ve got ’em).
I nominate guava bronzed pumpkin for color name of the year. Or maybe a challenge cocktail on Chopped.🍸😏
But I do love the sunset linen dress. I could see it for farm stand visits (and a bit of wine-tasting.) The linen would be so necessary in the mid-Atlantic summers.
Ah, AK – it’s spelled PUNKIN – not pumpkin. Never miss a chance for even MORE cuteness… ahem…
Linda J says
I have never been a dress person, but i recently bought a summer dress that i can wear with sandals, sneakers or dress up with wedge sandals. I love how versatile it’s going to be, I can wear it all day with sneakers, then put on wedge sandals for dinner It’s sleeveless and I need to find something I can put over it when it gets chilly because I’m planning on packing it for a trip to Maine at the end of June. I’ll wear it out to dinner or on days we aren’t hiking.
Sandy b says
What a great fantasy to start a Monday. I haven’t worn a dress in years. Not sure why, as they seem so practical and cool for summer. This inspires me to look about a bit and try to find one that would be flattering on a slightly round shape. With terrible knees. TMI, I know. The Eileen Fisher dress looks the most comfortable and that’s a great color.
Lovely outfits, far too “dressy” for me to be wearing driving to farm visits! The labradorite jewelry is amazing, but then that’s my favorite. I’m drawn to the last outfit – even though the colors would not be for me. It’s just appealing this morning. I’d be wearing flats for sure, afraid I’d twist an ankle or something wearing wedges – as Beth T mentioned, often the ground is uneven. It’s a farm.
I actually have a small farm and a struggling garden and do wear dresses when the temperatures get warm. I find rayon shirt dresses the best style for cooling and depending on the task, clogs, hiking boots or lightweight knee high boots work best. Thrifted summer dresses are much less expensive than women’s work pants; but that said I wouldn’t want to do without my overalls and denim.
Lovely summer outfits, thank you.
Carol Carlson says
I would love to see a post on how you wear the scarves in the summer when you don’t want a lot of bulk around the neck and shoulders. Thanks.
Cathy Tucker says
Love these outfits! I think they are perfect for farmer’s markets.
I’m an urban farmer, and would wear any of these outfits except the white dress, even for working—except the shoes. When friends come to visit and want to see my farm, I offer them a pair of slip-on Crocs to wear, because farm ground is just not friendly to espadrilles, sandals and shoes with thin soles, etc. There’s goat poop and chicken poop and mud and uneven ground—no matter how hard the farmer works to keep it all clean and nice.
In addition to keeping a pair of driving shoes in the car, perhaps also keep a good sturdy pair of thick-soled clogs as well–and then you’re all set for a lovely day on the farm!
Just want to add as well that I LOVE this 24 seasons series! Following the ways of nature as we dress, and honoring and celebrating the more subtle changes that the natural world brings us, and the dependency we have on seasons of planting, growing, harvesting, resting…I’m so glad you’ve introduced us to the Japanese seasonal calendar.
These are lovely dresses, but I learned my lesson back in the 80s when I visited a friend’s ranch and ended up in the potato patch helping the family dig potatoes while wearing a dress and pumps.
Sally in St Paul says
Practicalities aside, these outfits are so pretty! The white with seafoam/mint looks so fresh, and I love the multi-colored accessories with the denim dress. (At first I mistook the multi-colored jewelry to be hoop earrings instead of bracelets so the link to a metallic earring confused me!) I think low-volume sneakers (e.g. Keds type canvas) or ballet flats would be other good options for footwear.
Y’all are so funny that the dresses seem not realistic to you, or the shoes.
Personally these seem like lovely outfits although different from Janice’s usual capsules or French 5 style. To me the part that was unrealistic was being a fan of old barn architecture but then I thought there ARE a lot of coffee table books with photographs of barns and SOMEONE had to buy them LOL!
I do like to see these outfits as perfect to wear for an outing on a spring day! Thanks, Janice and thanks for your imagination and being a good sport– hopefully we are not trolling you in a mean way, just teasing our internet friend whom we learn so much from. Happy Spring!
Maybe its the difference between growing up on a farm (I did) and the work clothes it conjures up vs. being on a sight seeing road tour where you’re not actually doing any work! :) I could see a summer dress for that – but still flats – but that’s just me anyway :)
Sally in St Paul says
Dee, thanks for the comment that we are not intending to troll anyone in a mean way with any comments re: the practicality of an outfit for a specific purpose. Janice weaves lovely stories for us, some more realistic, some more fanciful, and I enjoy all of them. But there is a strong pragmatic part of my brain that says “it’s good to point out the impracticalities just in case a reader who is not familiar with this setting doesn’t fully get the fantasy elements.” I do hope that everyone, including Janice, interprets that as commentary but not criticism!
As for farming dress, I think I might be disowned if after the many centuries my ancestors spent working the land, I didn’t have *opinions* about wearing a white dress and platform wedge espadrilles on a working farm :D
Love this series. I’d like to see them all one after another so could you tag them ‘Japanese 24 Seasons’? It’s fun to see how they build 😄
I do like the fantasy of a pretty dress, but knowing what a 1 acre garden patch entailed…hmm…am skeptical that it would be good for anything except a stop at a nice roadside stand where there’s a decent gravel parking area and all the produce is pre-picked. The U-picks in my area are jeans, long sleeve tops and boots places. Think prickles, stinging insects, spiders and snakes…plus the risk of mud. A college friend lived on a farm and just visiting was not a dress friendly place except for the days I was invited to attend Mass with her and her mother. The dogs were penned and the men of the family told not to get mud, grease, etc anywhere near the house. All that aside, I really like the 24 seasons. So fun and informative to follow.
I have a PERFECT solution to the debate about appropriate footwear …instead of an ACTUAL FARM, stop by our tiny little town in Nebraska and visit our award winning Museum of Agrarian Art. I guarantee ALLLLL of these lovely outfits would be appropriate there! You could also do a driving tour (wearing the driving Mocs) of locally famous Roundbarn. I personally am in love with the white eyelet dress with stunning accessories 🤍🤍🤍
Sally in St Paul says
This is the perfect solution, Sandra! (If you’re in Bone Creek, that’s only about an hour and 15 minutes from where I was born, so hello!)
These dresses are perfect for a tour of California wineries where one can look at the growing vines But not actually go out into the fields and touch them. One can sit on a terrace drinking a glass of wine and having a meal on a perfect low-humidity cloudless day. I still have memories of doing that with my husband and my parents back in the day.
Yes! Definitely a “look, don’t do” set of outfits. I hadn’t thought of wineries, thinking instead of the David Austin Roses display garden, the lavender mazes that I am aware of, and the Dutch Tulip Fields – possibly also days out to National Trust and English Heritage properties and their attached gardens.
I admit that I was thinking of a place in Litchfield New Hampshire that we used to visit – it has a petting zoo, gardens that you could tour, a gorgeous farmstand…