myself do not have the seemingly essential Carhartt jacket, although I do have overalls. My dad gifted them to me for Christmas when I was 18 or 19. At the time, I had three jackets to match as these were most important to the identity the gift of overalls was part of producing. I probably had my first Carhartt jacket at 12 or 13 years old. Again, we’ll simply say that it was standard issue at the farm and in the nursery. It was always somewhat of a complicated negotiation at school until the West Coast rap and hip hop scene started to offer a way to articulate Carhartt into a fashionable identity.
I suggest that now I don’t have a Carhartt jacket, or that I haven’t considered buying one, because it would be to buy something new just to work in – where I’m seemingly operating under this ethical sensibility of my grandmother that one works or plays in their old clothes – or, the ones that weren’t owned for public show and performances such as school or church. However, as time goes along, this model is under challenge as there really is no separation of public and private anymore – there is only the work-day (many times I even sleep in my work clothes).
Just finishing fashion week, I’ll add a few bullet points:
1. Specifically for work in the summer time, I buy canvas shorts from Patagonia with a 6” inseam. There was an old rule of the green professions my dad advocated (enforced) – shorts must have a hem at the bottom (no cut-offs), four pockets, a button and zipper, and no elastic around the waist. Now, this is a tough specification to find in a Men’s short that doesn’t come down below the knee.
2. I buy plain white t-shirts – Hanes or Fruit-of-the-Loom – and wear these exclusively through the season. I like everything as plain and unmarked as possible. It will suffice for me for the dirt and wear on the shirt to be seen as the texture of my décor.
3. I always wear Red-Wing boots. I consider boots of paramount importance in landscape production. Although bulkier, four years ago I began wearing steel-toe and puncture resistant boots. It is a basic safety measure I now see as absolute.
Landscape designer and Proprietor of Buffalo Horticulture