Choosing Functional & Comfortable Country Clothing
Deciding what to wear is never easy. You may think it’s hard coming up with an outfit for a fancy dinner party with your in-laws, but wait till you have to dress for the country. Whether you’re casually visiting some picturesque town of rural Australia or about to start to work around a farm, it’s essential that you get yourself some comfortable and functional country clothes.
And just like street and haute couture styles have their own sets of unwritten rules, so does country fashion too. That being said, when you know how to master the rules of country style, you can dress in a way that’s functional and stylish at the same time. And here are some tips to help you.
Go for Tough, Weather-Friendly Fabrics
When choosing appropriate country clothing, the first thing you should focus on is fabrics. Country attire needs to be durable and be able to handle weather well. That’s why most pieces are made of a blend of polyester and cotton. Polyester is strong, stretchable and moisture-wicking, while cotton is breathable. So this type of clothing can keep you dry, cool and comfortable while working or moving in the harsh Australian sun. On the other hand, moleskin provides more warmth for the colder months and is soft and very, very comfortable.
Some fabrics can resist creasing and wrinkling, and thus allow you to look polished and put together even when doing hard work out in the country. Polyester work shirts do this very well, and so do suede and denim pants and jackets. Denim is also a densely-woven fabric which is UV-resistant. Other UV-resistant fabrics which are a great option for spending the summer in a rural setting are linen and canvas. Linen is an especially good choice for a country style top as it’s breathable and lightweight too. The only downside is that it wrinkles easily.
Wear the Appropriate Colours
Some colours are seen as traditional colours for country attire. Country-specific colours are mostly based on practicality – they are muted and dark so that any dirt, dust and grime accumulated on the clothes isn’t as easily visible. However, even the darkest colour possible, black, isn’t preferred for the country. For instance, men in rural parts tend to wear brown shoes rather than black shoes so that the ground that gets on their shoes isn’t as noticeable. The rest of their country wear is muted too. A palette of greens and browns for bottoms and beige for tops is the best choice. But some activities in the country require you to wear hi-vis colours. If you move around a hunting area or near a high traffic road, it’s crucial that you put on hi-vis country clothing to stay safe.
Dressing in Layers Is Always a Good Idea
Out in the country, the weather can get unpredictable. It can be perfectly warm and sunny one minute – and the next thing you know, there’s a thunderstorm. That being said, if you can’t run inside for shelter, it’s always a good idea to dress in layers and have a waterproof top layer on.
A polo shirt, or any other short-sleeved shirt is an okay choice for a bottom layer. If it’s windy, you may want to put on a skivvy to protect your chest and neck. You can put on a jumper over your bottom layer for lightweight wind protection in the summer. In the autumn, you will need a warmer mid-layer such as a fleece.
And if you’re staying in the country during the winter, when temperatures are known to get extremely low, you will need extra protection. Just last winter, NSW farmers were hit with the lowest June temperatures in decades. That being said, a well-insulated, windproof and waterproof coat is the most essential piece of clothing to have if you’re staying in rural Australia during the winter.
Don’t Forget Your Feet
Because you’ll be up on your feet a lot, you also need to invest in some good work boots. Choose boots that are waterproof and have a thick sole which soften the impact from rocks and uneven terrain. Usually, a pair of sturdy wellies are enough to keep your feet dry and clean even if you’re up to your knees in mud. You can also bring along a pair of flip-flops if you want to let your feet breathe while you’re lounging.
Nor Your Head!
When you go out in the city, you usually walk in the shadows of the tall skyscrapers. However, when out in the country, there are no buildings so you’ll be exposed to plenty of sunshine. For that reason, it’s important to protect yourself by applying some sunscreen as well as wearing a quality wide-brim hat. And when it comes to hats, an Akubra is the go-to Aussie choice. The symbol of the Australian outback, the Akubra is lightweight yet protective. It’s made from the finest quality rabbit fur ensuring longevity. Additionally, most Akubra hats are treated with a water-resistant coating, which means your head will stay protected from all types of weather.