As you know, I’ve been home for nearly two weeks visiting my Mum and Dad at their farm in rural New Zealand. While it’s not a large working farm, my parents are always outside and are constantly gardening, tinkering or building something new. They’ve even had me building new barn doors while I’ve been here – I must say, I’m a dab hand with the drop saw and can hang a door with the best of them…!
When I was at school, we had to go home and ask our parents what their one piece of advice for our life would be. Most people came back with answers like “follow your dreams”, “believe in yourself”, or “do what makes you happy”. When I asked my mum her immediate reaction was, “Well that’s obvious; never leave the house without makeup on!”. That goes for on the farm too.
As I’m sure you can imagine, gardening and building doors aren’t the tidiest of jobs so I often find myself in a predicament of what I can wear that doesn’t look horrendous but that won’t matter if it gets ruined. While I’ll still give you some pointers, I do live in the city now, so I thought it best to take advice from the Queen herself, my Mummy, and show you some pictures I have snapped in my time at home.
One of the main tips Mummy Arrowsmith had was to wear nice clothes that you don’t perhaps wear very often anymore. Take this blazer, for example. Mum was actually wearing this to dig weeds from the flowerbeds. “Why not?!” she said, when I asked why. “It looks smart and it’s comfy, and I’m not going to wear it into town anymore.”
Obviously, what’s essential is a good pair of Wellies, and Mum has a great collection. Her favourite being her classic green Hunters (which are in a slightly more worn condition that those you see parading around London!). But a problem Mum had was that when she was doing really mucky work, she’d continuously ruin clothes beyond future wear. The solution for this for men, she said, was overalls, but she refused to wear an oversized pair designed for those lumps. After much searching, Mum found these tailored overalls that are fitted perfectly for her. Honestly, only Mum could make overalls look good! She’s also added an extra bit of girly glam by tying a little neckerchief around her neck.
The final two “must-have” items that Mum insists on for rural wear are a wax jacket (and half jacket – she obviously has both) and an Acubra hat (the one in this picture is actually mine, but I’ll let that slide). She’s also got this awesome pair of leopardy skinny jeans that I’ve been trying to pinch but sadly to no avail…
Do you think you could pull off the same farmyard chic as Mummy Arrowsmith? She’s one to aspire to.