Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gardener Discovers Overalls. Happiness Ensues.

I have no butt. It's true. Sometimes I think that I must have been distracted by a shiny object when they were handing them out at the factory, because when I turned back around, everyone had one but me.

Anyway. Having no butt may seem like a small problem to have, and in the grand scheme of things, it is. However, women's pants are not made for buttless people. Plus, today's fashion dictates that women's jeans must sit on the hips, below the waist, even though that style has never looked flattering on anyone, ever. Think about it: If you have no butt, what holds up jeans that sit below the waist? You get my drift.

But here is why having no butt is a problem to a gardener:

Bend over to work. Straighten back up. Pull up pants. Move to a new spot. 


You get my drift again. I suppose I could wear a belt, but besides having no butt, I am also what is euphemistically called "an apple," and for a belt to work in this scenario, I'd have to cinch it so tight as to be life-threatening.

I also have a bald spot on the back of my head from a car accident, but that's another story.

So one day, not too long ago, I got a little tired of the whole bending over/pulling-up pants thing and placed an order for some good old fashioned overalls from Carhartt. I was about halfway through building the wine patio when they came in, which was a good test for them, since there is a lot of bending over and straightening back up involved in moving around flagstone. Here is my comprehensive report on the overalls:

They work.

But not only do they do the job of staying up during the up-and-down, my friends, they are shockingly comfortable. Let me put it this way: You know how sometimes you run across something that is so perfect that it makes you just want to sit down a weep with joy? Yeah, well, enough said.

They are so wonderful and comfy, in fact, that I've been trying to figure out how to justify wearing them to teach my classes.

As for them being Carhartts, I picked them because I recognized the name. I haven't tried any other overalls, so I can't really compare them. As far as I can tell, overalls are overalls. I did read a couple of negative reviews about fit for another brand, and I can say that these may be a little big for size 8's, but overalls are supposed to be a little big, aren't they? Kind of defeats the purpose if you have tight overalls, I would think...Otherwise, they appear to fit fine. Maybe they'd fit just right if I had a butt.

The Carhartts do seem to be well-made, which is also what one would expect from something wimmen-folk farmers might wear for, oh I don't know, bending down and straightening up eleventybazillion times a day.

Here's a picture of my new friends, after a hard day in the garden:

Note the the FTC: I have received no remuneration for my overalls. Not a sou. However, should Carhartt decide that they'd like to reward me for loving the overalls so much, I'd like to try a size 6 next time. See if they fit a little better for a buttless apple.

Edit: Hmmm, I seem to have struck a nerve here. Yes, apparently there are overalls made for women. I'm not sure what the difference is, though I read it somewhere in my research before purchasing these. Something about the waist being higher, or the hips something something...I dunno. Can't remember. Anyway, I got these by typing in "women's overalls" on the search engine on Amazon.

Here's a confession: This is not the first time I've tried overalls. Back in my distant youth, I wore a pair that were simply small men's overalls. They were not flattering, and it scarred me (so much so, that I declined to wear them again, until now). These seem to be a tad more attractive, if you considering that you are wearing an item that is essentially designed for the barn, not the ballroom.


  1. Were they actually designed for women? If so, where'd you get them?? I have some men's Carhartt's because I couldn't find any women's. That's a giant pet peeve of mine--try finding durable field clothes that actually fit a woman's body! Have you noticed how most women's outdoor clothes look like they're for yoga or tai chi? What about real activities like gardening, birding, or catching dragonflies, without wearing something ill-fitting or looking precious?

  2. Nancy--I went on AMazon and typed in "women's overalls" and these and another brand popped up. These are described as being designed for women, so I guess it's true. You can also find them on Carhartt' website, and they do look a little different from the men's in the pictures there. What can I say? I like 'em.

    I know what you mean about the frustration of finding flattering, non-precious outdoor clothing for women.

  3. Ooooh, they make them in women's cuts? (off to check them out)

  4. I totally agree that overalls are the BEST for all shapes. I own several pair.

    You might check out Rosie's brand, made especially for women, too.
    rosiesworkwear.com I have not tried these, but have heard rave reviews.

  5. When they passed out butts, I got two. So I think I have yours.
    I love over-alls for gardening, these look comfy as all get out.
    Fun post!

  6. Could it be that the women's version doesn't have that easy pee feature that the men's version has? But seriously, overalls sound like a great idea, butt or no butt!

  7. I have that bend over, pull up pants, repeat issue too :(

    Looks like for once you've found something practical rather than fashionable. Fashionable never was my strong suit anyway.

    I'm loving your FTC asides - I wonder how long it'll be before we have similar legislation over here?

    WV says unful - I reckon it's commenting on the lack of butt in your overall ;)

  8. I LIVE in my overalls, they are great for working and comfy for lounging. I simply buy men's overalls and buy them a size (or 2) too big so they are loose and only touch me where the straps cross my shoulders. In the summer I pair them with a tank top and flip flops; in the winter I wear thermals under them and add socks and clogs. Maybe not the most fashionable look, but I'd sacrifice fashion for comfort any day! And... they get more comfy the older they get!

  9. d.a.--let us know how they work out. I'll be checking your tweets!

    Clare--I looked up the Rosie's work wear. They look great; may have to try some.

    Rosey--I was wondering what happened to my share...

    Michelle--well that part certainly is lacking. ;-)

    VP--yeah, the whole FTC thing is kind of funny actually. ANd I've been suspicious for a long time that my computer is spying on me, so that explains how word verification knew about the buttless overalls. :-D

    Nola--comfort over fashion any day, any time.

  10. I used to have a pair of purple corduroy ones--quiet the thing, believe me! Enjoy 'em....

  11. Well, 6p00emanynumbersandletters: purple corduroy overalls would be quit a sight to see indeed! Hope you have a great book tour, BTW.

  12. Must try overalls. I have the same bend over, stand up, hitch pants routine despite (I always thought it was due to) having plenty of tush. I think the real secret is that no one knows how to design functional jeans, at least not at the mass market level.

    Oddly, I've been trying to find overalls for a ten year old boy for Halloween and you just can't find those puppies for less than a small fortune.

  13. I made some to wear many years ago when I was pregnant (the only things I ever made in my life I might add). I must have been lightly unhinged at the time.They were comfortable and ever expanding - though I wasn't bending down very much.

  14. Susan,

    Yes overalls are very comfy! Such an entertaining story to boot. I used to have a butt, but getting older and losing some weight it seems it all left the pants holding up area.

  15. I've only ever had one pair of dungarees, and that was when I was pregnant, but they were ever so comfortable! Maybe I ought to invest in another pair.. well not maternity ones obviously!

  16. I bought a pair of carhart overalls exactly like yours two years ago - I have worn them through every house remodeling project and garden planting. They are covered in paint, silicone caulk, liquid nails and who knows what else. I love them and think every girl should own a pair. Mine are actually mens, straight from the hardware store.

  17. This is my first visit to your blog, by way of Blotanical, and the first thing I learn about you is that you have no butt. I explored further and find your blogs charming.

  18. You know how gardeners are such generous people, so I'd be happy to share with you if I could. My problem with overalls is that I am more of a "pear," so I feel like they emphasize that in unpleasant ways. Plus, all that unhitching when it's time to get out of them. Well, maybe I should give it a try, I always worry that the neighbors are going to get an unexpected view of a full moon when I'm out weeding.

  19. Casey--I agree completely that whoever is designing pants for women has apparently never done any physical labor. It's criminal, really, that we have to suffer the useless, non-functioning fashion.

    EzG--Wow, I'm impressed that you made some. I've never been able to sew with any great success, so I consider making overalls quite a feat!

    Randy--That's too funny!

    Jan--I dunno, maternity ones ought to work just fine, too. Might be a little baggy out front, but you could always use that space for gathering your veggie harvest, I suppose. As a kind of basket... ;-)

    Julie--I can just picture your overalls! Fits your practical personality perfectly. BTW--welcome to the comments section. I'm happy to see some of the LBB peeps chiming in here. :-)

    Nell Jean--Well, I'm glad the news about the butt didn't frighten you off. :-D

    Karen--Yes, I agree about the "unhitching," but it seems a small price to pay for not have to "hitch up" all the time. And I think you are unnecessarily worried about the full moon...;-)

  20. Interesting - now if I could just find some that had pockets for putting knee pads in (for all the kneeling i do) - life would be perfect.

  21. Now, I'd wager that there are 'dress overalls' that would be just fine for the front of a classroom - but to find them, you might need to do a survey of the faculty in the agricultures colleges at the University of Nebraska - those Kansas University - and Illinois.


  22. Hey, the previous comment was me. I got trigger happy (or sneezed). The latter being most probably considering the congestion in my head!

  23. Wait! Here you go:


    (At least you could wear them in December?)

  24. Great story. I used to teach preschoolers in them. They were wonderful and had lots of pockets for all the stuff the children would find and want to keep. I too turned mine into cut offs when they begin to get old. The Ant

  25. I'll join in on the overall fracas. I LOVE mine. Got them at my local Savers thrift store about 4,000 years ago. WISH I had some fancy Carhartt ones. Oh, and you can have some of my butt ANYday. I got some bootie to spare. Course, if you'd get off that bike and eat some brie and bread you might get you one too. lol.

  26. My dear, you always make me smile. I think I need some overalls. My sister called me "flat butt" all my life. Nuff said.~~Dee

  27. Hilarious. I have exactly the same shape and buy my pants in the men's department. I had overalls years ago but the last time I went shopping for some, I couldn't find any at Academy. I'll have to try Callahan's or some place like that...or drive to an outlying small town, I guess.

  28. Hi Susan and other overalls folks, I'm actually teaching my classes here on University in Northern Norway in my overalls ! see my blog from yesterday with photo of me in class, and together with a lot of your fellow overalls sisters, I am organizing the first international overalls day next week in fact, November 20, !, see more on my blog, and here http://creagerstudios.blogspot.com/ so please join us in the movement for making comfortable clothing ok to wear on campus as well as in garden and perhaps even for parties ?


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.