Coveralls are one of the greatest joys and biggest frustrations of my life (other than, of course, Jethro and the kids).
In coveralls, I feel just that little bit more indestructable. I can go forth into the wilds of the muddy corral, I can throw hay around and fling mucky shavings and will my clothes get dirty? Noooo! Will I freeze? Noooo! Look at me in my coveralls! I am impervious to extreme cold and excrement!!!
There is just one huge problem, one that I've faced my whole life, and one that is not going away.
Nobody, at least not that I've found, makes a GOOD set of coveralls in my size.
I am, if I stand up as straight as a woman with scolisis can stand, barely 5"1" tall. I weigh about 120 lbs. Men's coveralls don't fit me. I don't know many men my size. I have lucked out a few times and found boy's coveralls, which I've snapped up before some other small women clawed them off the rack at the TSC store. The problem is, boys do not have backsides like mine. My 120lbs of weight is made up mostly of long messy thick hair and a very large bum in proportion to the rest of me.
Boy's coveralls, if they can be found, don't fit me well.
When I've had to make do with the smallest men's size, I've had to cut off six inches of fabric from the arms and legs. Then it fits in the limbs, but the crotch hangs down to my knees.
This is all very, extremely, maddeningly frustrating. I take it all stupidly personally, like The Man is out there thwarting all of my workwear desires. How dare The Man make my life difficult like this???
When I let myself get totally paranoid about the whole thing, my defiant little feminist rages come back. I was that tiny, scrawny little girl in the long braids and dirty jeans who would place her small fists on her narrow hips and scream at you that anything boys could do, girls could do better! And then, to prove it to you, reach up and drag herself onto the tractor and chase you down. Do you have any idea what it was like to be that kid in the 70s? (I think some of you do.)
So now, a good thirty years later, how far have we come?
Finally the makers of outerwear and workwear are starting to smarten up. Carhartt, I heart Carhartt haha, have rolled out their women's line, which is absolutely not poofy or girly-in-a-useless-condescending way. It's the same stuff the guys get, only shaped and sized for our bodies. Now, when I walk into a TSC store, yes, the place I like to go shopping for clothes, there are racks and racks of women's clothes. Finally.
If you were to visit most of the people working on farms and ranches, you'll find women and children. We are not only in the kitchen, scrubbing things and dusting things. We never were hiding out in the house. We have always been outside, in the barn, working.
And it's taken until 2007 to make good workclothes for us?
My grandmothers wore dresses out to the barn. That was what the time and the culture dictated. That was the fifties, people.
So imagine my happiness, even though I can't afford such lovely clothes, when I checked out the Carhartt website.
Then imagine my gut dropping disappointment when I found that in the women's section, there are bib overalls. And coats. Nice overalls. But coveralls? No.
My sweet rubber booted goddess, people, can they not make coveralls that fit me? Must I continually be denied? Will I be forced to suffer forever????
2007. It's the year 2007 and they still can't get it right.
I honestly don't get it. When I was showing horses, the women far outnumbered the men. Out of maybe ten of us, guess how many women were over 5'4" tall? One.
We are out there, and we want something safe, tough, durable and warm to wear!
And you know what? I'm not gonna sew it myself.
Until the makers get their act together, I'm still wearing the coveralls I bought three years ago, after my last pair gave up.
They do the job, but only just. They don't have enough pockets, I presume because some ass hat thought us chicks don't need to carry as much stuff around with us as the guys do. There are no slashes to get into your jeans pockets. I guess us girls aren't supposed wear jeans either. There's no hood. The zipper stops at the collarbones and there's no neck coverage. The legs are too narrow. There's no storm cuff on the sleeves, which means that when I'm grabbing a hoof with one hand, and gripping a hoof pick with the other, the sleeve rides up, exposing my sweater sleeves underneath, resulting in my clothes stinking like a mud caked hoof when I get back into the house.
It's all bad.
And you know what? They're not even cool looking.
I try. I do make an attempt to let my natural hick-chicness shine through, but it really does help to have the right materials for the job.
I do hold out hope. Things are improving and manufacturers are figuring out that (duh) women have a part in industries that require physical work. And that we like to work. There's still a ways to go but some day, I will have coveralls that fit me. And they don't even have to be pink.